UMMC Ekaterinburg Capture 2016 EuroLeague Women Title
ISTANBUL (EuroLeague Women Final Four) – A Final Four MVP performance from Diana Taurasi and a dazzling double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds from now four-time winner Sancho Lyttle, delivered UMMC Ekaterinburg a third EuroLeague Women title and their first since 2013 after they defeated Nadezhda Orenburg 72-69 in Istanbul.
Having missed last year’s season-ending tournament through injury, Taurasi returned to deliver 21 points in the Semi-Final victory over defending champions ZVVZ USK Prague, before sinking an array of crucial three-pointers in the Final to finish with 22 points.
Nadezhda, playing in their first EuroLeague Women Final, had the upper hand over the favourites throughout the opening half and led 40-33 at half-time.
But after WNBA team-mates Dewanna Bonner and Taurasi went on a shoot-out with each other from downtown in the final period, it was ultimately UMMC Ekaterinburg who came out on top – despite Bonner finishing with a game-high 26 points.
Earlier in the day, host club Fenerbahce were able to give their fans some consolation, clinging on for a 73-69 victory in a similarly absorbing contest which was just as worthy of being a Final.
The FIBA European Final Four season continues in France from 29 April to 1 May when Chalon-sur-Saône plays host to the FIBA Europe Cup Final Four.
(Story and photo courtesy of FIBA Communications Europe)