Piešťanské Čajky, Kibirkštis MRU Vilnius, Žabiny Brno and SBŠ Ostrava will play at the 2022 EWBL Final Four on March 19-20. Let`s find out the main storylines.
A new champion
A new champion will be crowned at the Diplomat arena on Sunday as four teams are chasing their first title.
Good Angels Košice won their second trophy in 2018, TTT Rīga added the second title in 2019 and Horizont Minsk celebrated a maiden success in 2021.
Žabiny Brno in a hunting mode
Moravian team has impressive trophy case. The Green-Whites five times played at the EuroLeague Women Final Four and won the biggest trophy in European club basketball in 2006. Žabiny finished second in 2005 and 2006, while adding the bronze medal in 2000 and 2003.
Jan Bobrovský guided Žabiny enroute to 14 Czech league triumphs, including 13 consecutive triumphs from 1996 to 2008 and one more success in 2010. The Frogs won 256 consecutive games in the ŽBL from 1998 until 2007.
Žabiny also have 18 titles in the Czech cup, including three successes in 2017, 2020 and 2022. Their first Czech cup win came in 1996.
The lucky hosts
Three teams have won the EWBL trophy while playing at the home court – TTT Rīga in 2016, Good Angels Košice in 2017 and Horizont Minsk in 2021. Belarus club decided to host the Final Four at Maladziechna, one hour outside the capital.
Peter the Great
Peter Jankovič is the only head coach in the league`s history with two EWBL titles. He scored his first triumph with the Good Angels at the Angels Arena in Košice and added the second trophy one year later in Rīga.
Aigars Nerips, Mārtiņš Zībarts (both – TTT Rīga) and Natalya Trafimava (Horizont Minsk) have one trophy each.
Jankovič will enter his third Final Four. Viktor Pruša will coach at his second Final Four (not counting the one which didn`t happened in 2020), while Iveta Raškova (SBŠ Ostrava) and Gitautas Kievinas (Kibirkštis MRU) eye their first Final Four experience.
Up and up
Every team participating in the Final Four may set a new record. Žabiny Brno finished fourth in 2019.
Piešťanské Čajky and Žabiny Brno qualified for the 2020 Final Four but didn`t played due to the start of pandemic, while Kibirkštis MRU and SBŠ Ostrava enter the Final Four for the first time.
FINAL FOUR 2022
Saturday, March 19, semifinals
16:00 Žabiny Brno – SBŠ Ostrava
18:30 Piešťanské Čajky – Kibirkštis Vilnius
Sunday, March 20, medal games
13:30 Bronze medal game
Final Four history
Rīga 2016: TTT Rīga, Basket 90 Gdynia, Astana Tigers, Tsmoki Minsk
Košice 2017: Good Angels Košice, TTT Rīga, Dynamo Moscow, Basket 90 Gdynia
Rīga 2018: Good Angels Košice, TTT Rīga, Dynamo Moscow, Udominate Basket
Rostov on Don 2019: TTT Rīga, Tsmoki Minsk, Rostov Don SFEDU, Žabiny Brno
Brno 2020: season five cancelled due to pandemic (Žabiny Brno-Tsmoki, Novosibirsk-Pieštany)
Maladziechna 2021: Horizont Minsk, Nika Syktyvkar, TTT Rīga, Prometey Kamianske
A1 – B4, A2 – B3, B2 – A3, B1 – A4
Final Four: March 19-20, 2022
EWBL member countries so far: Belarus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine, Turkey.
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