23.01.19 | UMMC took down Nadezhda for the second time and secured the spot in the Play-offs
The reigning Russian and EuroLeague champion UMMC competing in the second stage of the EuroLeague group round defeated the guests from Orenburg at the DIVS arena. So far after 10 matches UMMC moves on with a flawless 10-0 record and punched one of the first tickets to the Play-offs.
The opponents decided to give up scouting and kicked-off the starting period moving toward each other face to face. The hosts moved the ball fast forcing it into the opponent’s perimeter and used the tall players to attack from under the hoop. However, in the beginning this tactic did not work well and showed low efficiency. The guests on the other hand were more successful in attack, left the ceremonies behind and rushed forward into the paint. The center players spearheaded the game and collected points. Maria Vadeeva was leading the show for UMMC, while Nadezhda was propelled forward by Brionna Jones.
Erica Wheeler was the first one to break the home side defense and came up with the triple bringing Nadezhda the leaders’ position – 15:14. However, it was the last success for the visiting side. To begin with, Kayla McBride fired from the downtown, followed by the buzzer beater from Nika Baric. Both shots found its way down the opponents hoop due to careful assistance from Emma Meesseman. This moment was the turning point for our team. By the time of the interval, Foxes increased the gap – 43:25 after the first half.
The game did not change after the break and Victor Lapena’s team was not able to gather enough power for the comeback, while UMMC turned on the «turbo» mode and started the third quarter with one more run – 7:0 forcing Nadezhda to take the time-out. Eventually UMMC make up with the biggest lead in 32 points – 59:27.
The game outcome was already predetermined and the last period was mere formality. In spite of it, both sides showed some good action and nice game on court bringing joy to the basketball fans. Miguel Mendez’s team worked hard in both offense and defense. Therefore, after the final buzzer went on UMMC celebrated one more 77:52 victory.
It was Kayla McBride who made the big plays and collected 17 points. Maria Vadeeva impressed with 13 points, 10 rebounds.
Brionna Jones collected 12 points for Nedezhda.
UMMC guard Evgeniia Belyakova:
- It was a good game. Orenburg is in great shape, they won 2 last EuroLeague matched against strong rivals. So we got ready to face them. We were excited about the upcoming match. We had a lot of training and wanted to use everything we prepared for them both in defense and offense. We look forward to play nice and high class game that we train and that we usually show. Tonight it seemed like most of our schemes worked great, not everything was perfect, but all in all in was a great match. We felt on ease and very comfortable. I love UMMC of this kind.
- Was it a difficult game in a physical way?
- It was a difficult game. Orenburg is well prepared opponent in a physical way. They did not allow us to rub and score easy shots, especially in the first period we could not show our kind of basketball – light and easygoing one. We missed Alba a little. It was tough game in a physical way.
UMMC Head Coach Miguel Mendez:
- I am very happy and think we played a good game. My players were fighting for all 40 minutes in a good physical way. We were running a lot for 40 minutes and it is not easy to play against us when we have we play a good defense, when we ran and play for the rebounds. We are happy to run and give our fans opportunity to see dynamic basketball and good sharing the ball. For me it is very important, something I am very happy with in the end of the game that it is difficult to think about only one outstanding player. For me it is very important the same way as we are family out of the court, we have great relations out of the court. Not only players, but also staff and people who are working with us. It is very important for me to be a family when we are playing, to play like a team. Share the ball, look for opportunities for all the players, and work with everybody in the defense.
- When we will see Alba on court?
- Soon. She has a minor trouble with her finger, so we are waiting for her complete recovery. We have enough good players that can play on her position. I mean Petrushina, McBride or Belyakova, the latter one showed all her leader’s skills. I am glad that we have a such a great player in our tam like Evgeniia.
UMMC is having the next game on the road. On January 27, Foxes are having the next Premier-league match in Kursk against local Inventa. Meanwhile on January 30 UMMC will continue its EuroLeague campaign in Prague facing local USK.