21.10.16 | How Ekaterinburg basketball players overcame Slutskiy’s karma
Competing in France UMMC defeated ESBVA-LM Villeneuve d'Ascq and won SuperCup Women title.
For the second time in its history Russian basketball powerhouse UMMC (Ekaterinburg) is taking home to the Urals one of the prestigious European trophies. In France Foxes managed to edge out quite a tough opponent – local Villeneuve d'Ascq. In spite that the score was tight - 66:63, the game outcome was anticipated and logical, although UMMC acted without some big-hitters.
When speaking about French town, one of Lille satellites, we all remember the fiasco that happened to Russian football national team at Euro 2016. That time Leonid Slutskiy team three days before stood firm against England in Marseille and later yielded to Slovakia. Well, basketball is not football after all.
BC UMMC Director Maxim Ryabkov gave a short interview:
— Speaking about SuperCup I would say that it is an official FIBA event. Look and you will find FIBA management watching the game: FIBA First Vice-President and FIBA Europe General Secretary. It is not a pass-by basketball and not just another piece of show. The Arena was full and it is always a pleasure for us to compete in an atmosphere like it was tonight. You were right, when reminded about football: our hotel is located at the stadium that happened to bring so much misfortune to Leonid Slutskiy and his team. So different thoughts came to our minds. In addition, we missed some of our big-hitters, but it made our victory even more valuable for the team. Girl were able to find the right tone and stand all together, because they knew that there would be no one to come and help them, but themselves. It turned into a great start of new European season. It is our second SuperCup since 2013. It is also a big pleasure that we won the day when UMMC-Holding was celebrating its Birthday. The ladies made a great present to all our fans.
— Foxes won the game without one of team leaders, UMMC guard and Rio 2016 Olympic Champion Diana Taurai. How is she doing?
— Diana is feeling OK and does not have any troubles with her health. We decided that she would join us on November 20. Look, she helped us to win the EuroLeague and Russian Championship, later she took the USA national team to Olympic gold and continued with a full-time WNBA season. Together we decided to give her a month off the court. If we signed her earlier and engaged into our trainings and competitions, it might have ended in a bad way. She might have run out of both physical and emotional strength in the second half of the season that is considered to be the toughest and most important part of the year.
That was why for now we came to France without Taurasi. We also missed Evgenia Belyakova and Sancho Lyttle. Considering it, I would like to thank our Captain Olga Arteshina who had a great game. When you win +3 only after the buzzer it comes to you that every single triple might made the biggest difference. Natalia Vieru was also great fighting for the rebounds against the powerful and athletic French opponents. Nika Baric and our forward Alba Torrens showed their skills pushing the ball forward. One more thank you to our forward Maria Cherepanova who is competing for UMMC for the second season. We are glad that she is with us.
— Russian national team leader Evgenia Belyakova recently won WNBA Champion title competing for Los-Angeles Sparks. It is the second time when Russian player gets this title. When is she coming back?
— We have already congratulated her on this great achievement and second time success in WNBA. However, we have not talk yet. However, I confirm that we have a contract with Evgenia and you will see her with UMMC main team in about a week.p>