Two down, two to go. All eyes are set on Amsterdam – the Orange Lions host one of the best teams from Russia, Dynamo Novosibirsk, on Wednesday, February 19, and Friday, February 21.
This is a unique duel in many ways. The team from Siberia travels a lot and this quarterfinal is no exception. There are 4888 kilometres and six time zones between Amsterdam and the third biggest city in Russia.
Both teams share the best long distance shooting performances in the EWBL history. Dynamo players made 16 three pointers…twice (against Grodno Olimpia and Tsmoki Minsk), while the Orange Lions registered 17 three pointers at Liepāja.
Local time: Central European Time 20:00 = Brno 20:00 = Ostrava 20:00 = Pieštany 20:00 = Amsterdam 20:00 = Minsk 22:00 = Rostov on Don 22:00 = Syktyvkar 22:00 = Novosibirsk 02:00
What`s at stake
Both teams are eyeing the Final Four for the first time. The Orange Lions entered the playoffs on the second try after doubling their win tally, compared to the maiden campaign.
Coach Hakim Salem achieved historic first in the Netherlands when his team reached the quarterfinals of the European club competition for the first time.
Meanwhile, Dynamo Novosibirsk won the Liliana Ronchetti cup – the second best competition in Europe then – back in 1986. Siberian girls also reached the finals of the European Champions cup in 1987 and 1988.
Road to the playoffs
Fast-playing, good-shooting Amsterdam side scored three victories in early October. The Lions prevailed over Horizont Minsk 90-87, outscored PINKK Pecsi 85-69 and Liepāja/LSSS 73-58.
The Orange Lions travelled to the High North then and lost a close encounter against the hosts, Nika Syktyvkar 85-91. They rebounded shortly after with a convincing 90-76 over Russian Premier League side Dynamo Moscow.
The Dutch returned to Liepāja in early January where faced the leaders. This time the Lions lost on both occasions – against the high flying Pieštanske Čajky (63-83) and the far jumping Žabiny Brno 53-72. That`s history now. Opportunity knocks.
Dynamo Novosibirsk posted three double-digit wins at Rostov on Don. Dmitry Donskov`s team destroyed Olimpia Grodno (108-51) and Kibirkštis MRU Vilnius (74-44), followed by a 84-68 success over the hosts.
Novosibirsk did its first six-time-zones leap in early December to the Czech town of Ostrava. Dynamo won the opener against SBŠ Ostrava (86-73) and suffered its only loss at the hands of Zuzana Žirkova and Young Angels Košice.
Dynamo Novosibirsk finished the regular season with two home wins over Astana Tigers (86-48) and Tsmoki Minsk (89:73) to top the Group B.
Orange Lions represent various Dutch teams. Karin Kuijt, Mia Hordijk and Sonja Kuijt play for the Eredivisie leader – Grasshoppers Katwijk (18-3). Benthe Versteeg compete for the Loon Lions.
Some Lions were playing abroad. For example take last season, when Jill Bettonvil and Loyce Bettonvil wore the Herner colors in the German Bundesliga (DBBL).
Dynamo Novosibirsk is fighting for the fourth place in the Premier league standings – the first three positions are reserved for the EuroLeague Women teams like UMMC, Dynamo Kursk and Nadezhda Orenburg.
Jamie Weisner-Scott and Miah Marie Langlois recently helped Canada to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games. The qualifying tournament took place at Ostende, Belgium. The Maple Leafs won all games against Belgium, Sweden and Japan.
Weisner-Scott and Langlois traveled back to Novosibirsk and even further East – to Krasnoyarsk where they suffered a 60-90 at the hands of Enisey on Sunday, February 16. They are looking for a comeback.
Schedule (local time only)
(A1) Žabiny Brno – SBŠ Ostrava (B4)
February 6, game one: 71-47
February 9, game two: 82-45
Brno wins the series: 153-92
(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)
January 30, game one: 69-75
February 12, game two: 59-70
Minsk wins the series: 145-128
(A4) Orange Lions – Dynamo Novosibirsk (B1)
Wednesday, February 19, Amsterdam, 20:00
Friday, February 21, Amsterdam, 12:00
Žabiny Brno – Tsmoki Minsk
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 20 – 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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