Žabiny Brno will face A3 Basket in the Game One of the EWBL quarterfinal series on Saturday, February 2, at Hala Rosnička. Tipoff at 18:00.
Local time: CET 18:00 = Brno 18:00 = Umea 18:00 = Lulea 18:00 = Pieštany 18:00 = Riga 19:00 = Minsk 20:00 = Grodno 20:00 = Rostov Don 20:00
What`s at stake?
Žabiny Brno players are eyeing their first ever Final Four, while A3 Basket will try to qualify for the semifinals for the second time in two years.
Road to the play-offs
Brno has a strong basketball tradition – the Czech Republic`s second largest city hosted the EuroLeague Women Final Four back in 2006 and is a home for two good ŽBL teams.
Žabiny Brno had a strong start, winning all five games in 2018. They were the hosts of the first stage on October 12-14, beating Horizont Minsk (67-59), Kibirkštis Vilnius (79-67) and Pieštanske Čajky (73-39).
The Frogs then jumped across the Slovak border to add two more at Pieštany – a 82-58 success over the Amsterdam Angels and a 80-49 win over Dynamo Moscow.
Brno returned to the home court on January 3, 2019 to suffer a 70-91 loss against the favorites TTT Rīga. The hosts missed three important players back then, including point guard Petra Zaplatova. Finally, Žabiny travelled to Sweden and lost at Lulea Basket 66-75 to finish in the third place.
A3 Basket had a 6-1 record in the regular season for the second year in a row. Fresh of their Final Four debut, they posted three consecutive wins at Grodno, Belarus against Astana Tigers 68-56, Rostov Don SFEDU 82-69 and the hosts Olimpia 91-74.
Two months later the Swedes went to Belarus again, this time to the capital city of Minsk. They lost against the hosts Tsmoki Minsk 60-75 and prevailed over SBŠ Ostrava 96-51 for a 1-1 record.
A3 Basket finished its regular season with two victories at Košice, including wins over PINKK Pecsi 85-42 and the Young Angels 74-65.
The Frogs have a 10-4 record at ŽBL and are eyeing the first Top 3 finish since 2013. Žabiny Brno lost both games against EuroLeague Women club USK Praha, splitted the series with Hradec Kralove (1-1, -12) and suffered a 77-83 loss at Nymburk (second game on February 16).
Žabiny also compete at the Central European Women`s league (six teams from Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany and Austria). They won the Group B with a 4-0 record (two wins against Young Angels Košice and UBI Graz respectively) to qualify for the Final Four (February 23-24 at Brno).
A3 Basket posted a huge 81-71 home win over Lulea Basket on Thursday, January 31. They are in the first place with a perfect 13-0 record. The road game at Lulea Basket is scheduled on March 7.
Petra Zaplatova is the third best scorer of the competition, averaging 19,8 points per game. She also has the seventh best efficiency rating of 19. Zaplatova has registered a 60,8% shooting accuracy inside the three point line – the second highest in the EWBL.
Michaela Vackova is dangerous from the three point line – she has connected 42,4% of her attempts for the fourth place in the standings. Marques Webb leads her team in rebounds, averaging 7,8 per game.
A3 Basket has numerous offensive weapons – four players average 12 and more points per game, including Alyssa Lawrence (15.3), Tiffany Brown (14.7), Ama Degbeon (12.6) and Hollie Mershon (12.0).
Tiffany Brown and Hollie Mershon share the ball a lot, dishing out 4,3 and 4,0 assists respectively. Alyssa Thomas, Abigail Asoro and Ama Degbeon offer strong presence under the basket.
A3 Basket is the third highest scoring team (79.4 points) after TTT (92.0) and Lulea Basket (84.7). Žabiny average 73.8 points. The Swedes are strong rebounders – 44.5 rebounds per game is the second highest score in competition. The Frogs follow with 42.0 rebounds.
Schedule (local time only)
(A1) Tsmoki Minsk – Pieštanske Čajky (B4)
January 23, game one: 55-55
Wednesday, February 13, Minsk, 17:00
(A2) A3 Basket – Žabiny Brno (B3)
Saturday, February 2, Brno, 18:00
Wednesday, February 13, Umea, 18:00
(B2) Lulea Basket – Rostov Don SFEDU (A3)
Sunday, February 10, Rostov Don, 17:00
Thursday, February 21, Lulea, 19:00
(B1) TTT Rīga – Olimpia Grodno (A4)
Wednesday, February 27, Riga, 18:00
Thursday, February 28, Riga, 13:00
Tsmoki Minsk/Pieštanske Čajky – Lulea Basket/Rostov Don SFEDU
A3 Basket/Žabiny Brno – TTT Rīga/Olimpia Grodno
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
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)
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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