Perfumerias Avenida or UMMC Ekaterinburg: Who will lift the EuroLeague Women trophy?
ISTANBUL (Turkey) - UMMC Ekaterinburg and Perfumerias Avenida are ready to do battle in the quest to be crowned EuroLeague Women champions in Istanbul.
There will be a sense of deja vu if UMMC climb to the top steps of the podium as they chase their sixth title, having previously lifted the silverware in the Turkish city five years ago.
Meanwhile, Perfumerias Avenida are chasing their second title, having last made the Final ten years ago, when they went on to win the competition for the first time.
Perfumerias Avenida v UMMC Ekaterinburg
Semi-Final Takeaways: Avenida were far from their best shooting-wise and struggled badly from downtown in the Semi-Finals, but their defense was somewhere near top gear and that was priceless in locking out Sopron Basket 72-61. UMMC outlasted Fenerbahce Oznur Kablo 88-84 in what was an absolute classic and they proved that despite having not had any close games all season-long, they can get it done in crunch time. They also showed that while they are a team dripping with star dust, the biggest names still have the appetite to get the small things done and take care of the hustles and intangibles on the court.
Key Matchups: There are intriguing matchups all over the court and for Avenida, they really do need centers Emese Hof and Nikolina Milic to have the confidence to stand firm against the imposing and towering presence of Brittney Griner in the paint. They are likely to share this very important role. Meanwhile, Katie Lou Samuelson and Tiffany Hayes of Avenida going up against Breanna Stewart and Allie Quigley or Alba Torrens of UMMC is about as good as any fan could ever wish for on the wings.
Key Questions: With Avenida unlikely to be able to keep pace with the firepower that UMMC possess, can they work out a defensive strategy to disrupt the favorites and make the game as stop-star as possible? Will they be able to make more shots from outside than they did against Sopron to give them an added boost?
UMMC were pushed hard against Fenerbahce, so will they come out and look to blow Avenida off the court early and what will their desired tempo of the game be? Will they once again look to pound the ball inside and use their extended frontcourt rotation to provide the platform for victory?
What They Say: "With this team, we know that we have many weapons and it is going to be someone's day every day. We know that we always have a target on our backs and returning to the Final was our goal. We're going to continue making sure we're all at our best and that we focus on ourselves while still respecting our opponent. To be back in the EuroLeague Women Final is great for me personally because obviously, it wasn't very pretty the last time I was here (when I got injured). It's a good opportunity to be back and to go for a Championship and there's nobody I would rather do it with." UMMC forward Breanna Stewart.
"This whole EuroLeague Women season we have done a really good job at just taking it game by game. We have stayed within ourselves and not necessarily listened to other opinions whether good or bad. We have stayed locked in within our own team and we will still be focusing on ourselves as a team. Yes, we are going to have to try and slow them down as they have amazing players and we will give it our best fight no matter what. We do a good job at running the floor in transition and we have valuable depth on the bench that gives us points. Whoever is going to step up on any given day, we always go and look to them. " Perfumerias Avenida wing, Katie Lou Samuelson.
Did you know?
- Perfumerias Avenida playcaller Roberto Iniguez will appear in the Final for the sixth time and this is the third time he has appeared in the title game in the city of Istanbul, having led Ros Casares to the silverware in 2012. He has also come runners-up to UMMC in three of his five Final appearances.
- This will be only the fourth EuroLeague Women meeting between Iniguez and UMMC coach Miguel Mendez, despite the pair having long records in the competition. Incredibly, three of the four meetings have been in the Final.
- Perfurmerias Avenida and UMMC Ekaterinburg have faced each other six times over the last 10 EuroLeague Women seasons, each team winning their three home games in that run.
- Both Perfurmerias Avenida and UMMC Ekaterinburg are undefeated in the EuroLeague Women this season (W9 each); over the last 10 seasons, only Dynamo Kursk in 2016-17 have been crowned champions without losing a single game.
- UMMC Ekaterinburg have won their last 18 games in the EuroLeague Women, only one team had a better run over the last 10 seasons (Dynamo Kursk, 34 wins between 2016 and 2018); they have scored on average 91 points per game in that span, and 100+ points in four of those games.
- UMMC Ekaterinburg (88.6) and Perfurmerias Avenida (83.0) are the only two teams this season in the EuroLeague Women to average 80+ points scored per game; they are also the teams with the best two-point accuracies.
- Allie Quigley scored 27 points against Fenerbahce Oznur Kablo in the Semi-Finals, her best tally in a game this season in the EuroLeague Women; she's one of the two Ekaterinburg’s players to have scored 25+ points in EuroLeague Women game this season, with Brittney Griner (28pts v Dynamo Kursk).
- Avenida's Tiffany Hayes has made 39 free-throws in the EuroLeague Women this season, more than any other player; she made 8-of-8 free-throws against Sopron Basket in the Semi-Finals, scoring a total of 25 points in that game, her best tally this season.
Sopron Basket v Fenerbahce Oznur Kablo
Sopron Basket and Fenerbahce Oznur Kablo will try to bounce back from their disappointment at not making the Final. Both clubs will attempt to sign-off impressive seasons on a winning note by taking the honors in the Third Place Game.
Did you know?
- Fenerbahce Oznur Kablo were previously third in 2016, the last time the Final Four was hosted in Istanbul.
- Sopron Basket have never won a game on the last day of the Final Four after previously losing twice in the Third Place Game (2009 and 2019) as well as losing the Final in 2018.
- Sopron Basket have only won three of their last 15 games against Fenerbahce.
- Fenerbahce have made on average 8.6 three-pointers per game this season, which is more than any other team. Meanwhile guard Kayla McBride has scored more from long-range than any other player.
- Fenerbahce’s Kiah Stokes and Sopron’s Tina Krajisnik have grabbed the most
rebounds this season in EuroLeague Women with 82 and 75 respectively.