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26.04.19 | UMMC is 13-time Russian Champion

For the 11th consecutive time UMMC won the Champion of Russia title after Ekaterinburg defeated Dynamo Kursk in the Final play-off series. The score is 3-0.

UMMC Ekaterinburg – Dynamo Kursk 68:64
Quarters' results: 11-18, 21-17, 20-15, 16-14

After Game 2 of the best-of-three games series UMMC Head Coach Miguel Mendez said at the press conference that Game 3 would be the most difficult one. It turned to be true. The Final battle in Kursk became one endless quest for leadership. UMMC proved to be a true marathon runner, evenly distributed its powers and once again came up first to cross the finish line.

The «white-blues» were at home and exploded in a hot start leaving the guests behind to chase the hosts. Kursk was propelled forward by its center players Natasha Howard and Quanitra Hollingsworth who made the biggest contribution in the first quarter – 18:11. However, Lucas Mondello’s players were not strong enough to put the match under the home side control.

Kursk tried to hold the reigning Champion back by playing aggressive in defense and thus collected too many personal fouls. Too much fuzz and too many fouls allowed the «orange» side to score easy points from the free throw line.

The beginning of the second quarter turned into another stress test for Miguel Mendez’s team. Nevertheless, an acting Champion broke into powerful run – 4:0 thank to UMMC center Brittney Griner who worked as an assistant to Courtney Vandesloot and Maria Vadeeva. Dynamo took time out to adapt and went out on court to make another jump forward that allowed the «white-blues» to reach the maximum leadership – 26:17.

It fired up the guests in their desire to win. Evgenia Belyakov stole the ball from Natasha Howard and ran all alone toward the opponent’s basket to cut the score difference down to one good triple shot – - 33:30. Next, Emma Meesseman did the same trick with against Elena Kirillova to launch Brittney Griner into a solo ran –33:32. However, Quanitra Hollingsworth was the one to net the last ball along with the buzzer – 35:32.

After the interval Courtney Vandesloot, Kayla McBride and Evgenia Belyakova bombarded Kursk side from downtown to force the score move toward Ekaterinburg side. By the time of the final quarter, UMMC put the game under its control. In the thrilling ending UMMC captain came up with another triple to get a 4-point advantage – 62:58. Dynamo captain quickly gave a similar response – 62:60, however Tatiana Vidmer could not stay on court all the way to the end due to too many fouls.

Emma Meesseman jumped high to increase UMMC chances by 4 points – 66:62. Dynamo used all possible chances: with 18 seconds to play, Hollingsworth shooting from the free throw line cut the score gap between the opponents to its minimum – 66:64. Kayla McBride answered from the same point after Sonja Petrovic made a mistake and it allowed UMMC to end the match celebrating the third win in the Final series of the Championship of Russia - 3:0 (68:64).

UMMC ended the 2018-2019 season with a full collection of the Champion’s accolades and titles. Foxes came up on top and celebrated wins in EuroLeague Women, Championship of Russia, SuperCup Women and Russian Cup.

Photo: Andrey Bloschanenko

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