There`s a lot to play for. Five out of eight teams are eyeing their first Final Four, while Tsmoki Minsk, Rostov Don SFEDU and Žabiny Brno want to repeat.
Local time: Central European Time 17:00 = Brno 17:00 = Ostrava 17:00 = Pieštany 17:00 = Amsterdam 17:00 = Minsk 19:00 = Rostov on Don 19:00 = Syktyvkar 19:00 = Novosibirsk 23:00
Live TV (available shortly before game): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lug8xtYscqI&feature=emb_title
What`s at stake?
Tsmoki Minsk look to secure their third trip to the Final Four. If they qualify, they will join elite company with TTT Rīga as the only teams with three or more Final Fours under their belt.
Nika Syktyvkar haven`t played at the Final Four yet – this is their first year in the EWBL.
Road to the playoffs
Tsmoki are fighting on multiple fronts – Belarus championship, EuroCup Women and EWBL. The Dragons had a strong start and posted six wins in their first six games at Košice, Grodno and Novosibirsk.
Minsk players suffered their only loss at the hands of Dynamo Novosibirsk. It was a good shootout – both teams were hot from the three point line. Tsmoki shot 41% (9-of-22) but were outgunned by the hosts. Novosibirsk hit 16 three pointers on 29 attempts (55%) in a 89-73 win.
Nika Syktyvkar experienced its baptism of fire at Brno. It was a tough 0-2 start against Žabiny Brno and Pieštansky Čajky but Dmitry Shumikhin`s team is 5-0 since then!
Dynamo Moscow, Orange Lions, Liepāja/LSSS, Pinkk Pecsi 424, Horizont Minsk – Nika hasn`t lost since October 5, 2019 and has a 2-0 record at home court.
So far so good. Tsmoki Minsk has a 15-1 record in Belarus. The Dragons are tied with Horizont Minsk but hold +1 advantage in the series (57-71 on the road, 82-67 at home).
Next games: February 6 (at Grodno Olimpia), February 9 (vs Viktoria), February 16 (at Viktoria), February 20 (at Horizont).
Nika Syktyvkar has 22 wins and six losses in Superleague One. They trail only to Rostov Don SFEDU – the Panthers have a 26-2 record.
Superleague One is a difficult competition – tough schedule, lots of traveling. Nika on Monday suffered a 72-81 home loss against UMMC Yekaterinburg junior team.
Next games: February 4 and 5 (at Novgorod the Great), February 8 and 9 (at Spartak Saint Petersburg), February 19 (at Rostov Don SFEDU), February 22 and 23 (at Stavropol). That`s life.
Schedule (local time only)
(A1) Žabiny Brno – SBŠ Ostrava (B4)
Thursday, February 6, Brno, 17:45
Sunday, February 9, Ostrava, 17:00
(A2) Pieštanske Čajky – Rostov Don SFEDU (B3)
Wednesday, February 26, Rostov on Don, 19:00
Saturday, February 29, Pieštany, 17:00
(A3) Nika Syktyvkar – Tsmoki Minsk (B2)
Thursday, January 30, Syktyvkar, 18:30
Wednesday, February 12, Minsk, 17:30
(A4) Orange Lions – Dynamo Novosibirsk (B1)
Wednesday, February 19, Amsterdam, 20:00
Friday, February 21, Amsterdam, 12:00
Žabiny Brno/SBŠ Ostrava – Tsmoki Minsk/Nika Syktyvkar
Dynamo Novosibirsk/Orange Lions – Pieštanske Čajky/Rostov Don SFEDU
THE PLAYOFFS 2019
(A1) Tsmoki Minsk 122-107 Pieštanske Čajky (B4)
(A2) A3 Basket 143-159 Žabiny Brno (B3)
(A3) Rostov Don SFEDU 177-166 Lulea Basket (B2)
(A4) Olimpia Grodno 121-188 TTT Rīga (B1)
THE PLAYOFFS 2018
(A1) Good Angels 151-107 Pieštanske Čajky (B4)
(A2) Al Riyadi 123-144 Dynamo Moscow (B3)
(A3) Lulea Basket 172-173 Udominate (B2)
(A4) Liepājas Papīrs 108-179 TTT Rīga (B1)
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
Final Four experience
Tsmoki Minsk 2016 (first time), 2019
Rostov Don SFEDU 2019 (first time)
Žabiny Brno 2019 (first time)
Playoffs: January 30 – March 1, 2020; best-of-two
A1 – B4, A2 – B3, B2 – A3, B1 – A4
Final Four: March 21-22
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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