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20.04.19 | UMMC kicked-off the Final series celebrating the first win

Yesterday evening Ekaterinburg hosted Game 1 of the Final play-off series of the Championship of Russia. The first match of the best of three games series at DIVS arena ended with the hosts celebrating the confident win.

UMMC Ekaterinburg – Dynamo Kursk 78:66
Quarters’ results: 15-14, 23-13, 16-16, 24:23

Long before the match, it became evident that this game is going to be charged with the highest expectations and maximum degree of competitiveness. About a week ago, the opponents met in Hungary in the EuroLeague Women Final match. It was UMMC celebrating an ultimate win to take the fifth EuroLeague Cup and title in the club history.

However, this time the game turned into a true battle since the first seconds until the end. The second quarter played a key role in the game scenario when an acting Champion was strong enough to break off and gather first 10-point advantage – 23:13.

Miguel Mendez’s team took the leading position and never let it go away. They kept the game under control and did not allow the opponent to come any closer. UMMC got 1:0 score in the Final series after won Game one – 78:66.

Five UMMC players scored double digit. Kayla McBride and Brittney Griner each harvested 16 points. Maria Vadeeva was one-step close to collect double-double – 12 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Courtney Vandesloot chipped in with 14 points and 7 assists, while Emma Meesseman added 13 points.

Natasha Howard was on fire for Dynamo that night and ended up with 25 points.

UMMC Head Coach Miguel Mendez:

- Tonight I am very proud of my players. It is not easy to play after we won the EuroLeague, it was one of our main goals for the season. Well, tonight we had a great game, fantastic team game. We played good basketball and we were able to control the game for all 40 minutes. We played like a team. We have 5 or 6 players with double digits. This game is finished. It is 1:0. It is play-off time and now we start to think about the second game. We have to take some rest be ready, because on Monday they can play better.

- Is it possible that Natasha Howard might turn into a problem for UMMC in Game 2? How can UMMC keep her from scoring once again over 25 points?

- It is not a problem for me, not at all. They want to play this kind of game when one player scores the bulk of points. Tonight she scored 25 points of 66, but next time it might be different. We are a team and UMMC style is to play like a team, share the ball and show good team game.

- Can you say now that UMMC has reached all the goals that were set in the beginning of the season?

- We tried to win every game since the UMMC Cup until the last game. It is difficult to win every time. We lost 2 times: one time in Prague and one time at home against Kursk. We tried to win and tried to play the right game. For now we are close to win all the titles and we will continue to work hard and keep on winning games.

Game 2 of the Final round will be played on Monday on April 22 in DIVS Arena. The match starts at 19.00.

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