Euroleague Women Final 8 (semi-final round-up)

A round up of the Euroleague Women Final 8 semi-finals in Ekaterinburg, Russia as we move ever closer to the biggest game in European women’s club basketball.

Ekaterinburg marches on.

Hosts UMMC Ekaterinburg recovered from a shaky first quarter to ease past Bourges Basket 73-44.

From the second quarter onwards, the game never looked in doubt as the hot favourites showed just why they are that with a scintillating display of team basketball, led by Olympic gold medal winner Candice Parker, who finished with 24 points and 14 rebounds.

Afterwards, Parker was glad that as the home team, the local fans get to see their team in a final.

“I wouldn’t say there’s a sense of relief, but it’s just really nice to get the third place monkey off our back,” she said.

“Playing in Sunday’s Final is what we have been working for all season.”

Ekaterinburg were aggressive throughout, but if they are to be champions, one area they will need to work on is restricting their opponents offensive rebounding, as they gave up seven offensive boards in the opening 15 minutes of play. They were efficient in terms of shot selection, shooting 52 percent in their two-point shooting compared to Bourges’ 29 percent.

It’s been a great run for a talented team-orientated Bourges who now bow out for another year. Marissa Coleman led their charge with 13 points. Jo Leedham was two points shy of a double-double with eight points and 10 rebounds.

Fenerbahce make history.

Fenerbahce came from behind to secure a place in the final after they beat Good Angels Kosice 68-56.

It’ll be the first time that Turkish basketball will have a side in a Euroleague Women’s final and it shows the progression made in Turkish women’s basketball over the last few years.

Cappie Pondexter led the victors with 19 points with Angel McCoughtry laying down her marker with a double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds.

“We had another bad start to the game, but we came back strongly in the second half and that again showed our strength and unity as a team,” said McCoughtry.

“I can’t believe we have made history for Turkish women’s basketball and that we will now get to play in the Championship game.”

The Slovakians looked the better side for the first two quarters until a burst from the Istanbul side in the third gave them the advantage and they never relinquished it. Winning the period 23-10 and marching on to Sunday’s final.

Pienette Pierson ended with 23 points for Good Angels Kosice.