UMMC enter the competition for the ticket to the EuroLeague Women Final Four. In Game 1 of the best of three series of the Quarter-Finals Foxes breezed past the guests from Latvia. The hosts made the point in the debut and cleared all the questions about possible game outcome. UMMC center players’ duo Vadeeva-Griner ran the show in the paint. Alba Torrens was back on court and made her presence felt with a downtown shot. Kayla McBride grasped a steal and jumped forward to add few more points. After 4.11 to play in the first quarter, the figures on the board showed 11:4. Within a few second before the buzzer, Kayla was the one to help Alba Torrens with her triple bomb from behind the arc.
In the next ten minutes, the «orange» team fortified the defensive positions and allowed the opponent to score points only after 6 minutes on court thank to free throw shots. The visiting side forward Ieva Kulite came up with a triple .Her duo with Kristine Vitola became the most effective striking force of TTT Riga. Meanwhile by the time of the interval break UMMC collected the doubled score advantage – 39:13.
In the third period, both sides showed good team effort and the competition of equally strong clubs. Champion of Latvia tried hard to return on court, but it did not work. In the final quarter, Martins Zibarts’ team ran out of gas.
UMMC coaches had a possibility to call all players on court. In the last quarter, Foxes showed real team spirit and provided the newcomers on the floor who did not have points with the possibilities to make successful shots. In the end, a nice triple bomb from Elena Beglova fell down the opponent’s hoop. Raisa Musina was next to make her contribution from the long-range, improved her stats collecting 7 points and ended Game 1 of the EuroLeague Quarter-Final series – 78:45
UMMC center Maria Vadeeva added another double-double on her tally with 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 block-shots. Kayla McBride contributed 13 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. Britney Griner netted 12 points and 4 block shots, while Cortney Vandersloot harvested 10 offensive assists and 3 points.
The guests were paced forward by Ieva Kulite who scored double figures including 15 points and Kristine Vitola who added 10 points more.
UMMC Head Coach Miguel Mendez:
- Play-off time, 1:0. Not a lot to talk about. We are happy for our first game. We tried to control the game in the offense because Riga is capable to show good running, they have post players who can run the court very good. We also tried to control our offense and to use all of our players in the offense, but always keep the game under control. We do not want to play in fast break defense. I think we controlled the game, used our post players, called all the roster and it is 1:0 and this game is in the past.
- Alba and Emma are back on court. What do you think about their condition?
- It is a question for our medical staff. I am happy to have all the players/ Emma had only one practice, while Alba had 2 or 3 with is. We have to go step by step with them. They are important players for us, but we also have other great players and have to use all the roster.
- After an exhausting match against Dynamo Kursk what do you think about physical conditions of the players?
- We have a very good medical staff, great trainer and I am very happy with everybody. We have Ferraris, I mean very good players, and we have very good mechanics to make them drive.
- In what mood you are living to Riga?
- We have only one goal on our mind. It is to win and to have the qualification for the Final Four. We go to Riga to try to play a very good game. We know that it will be a different game, because at home they play a different basketball. We have to be ready to play a different game.
We remind, that the Quarter-Finals will be played as best-of-three series, with the teams listed first playing Games 1 and 3 (if required) at home. Game 2 will be played on March 8 in Riga and, if needed, Game 3 on March 13 in Ekaterinburg.