Six USA National Team Athletes Heading to EuroLeague Final Four
The 2021 EuroLeague Final Four pairings are set, and Turkish club Fenerbahce, featuring Kayla McBride and Jasmine Thomas, will face Russia powerhouse UMMC Ekaterinburg with Brittney Griner and Breanna Stewart.
The opposite bracket will see Perfumerias Avenida, which lists Tiffany Hayes and Katie Lou Samuelson, against Sopron Basket in the April 16 semifinal games. The EuroLeague champion will be crowned April 18.
The quarterfinals were contested in a best-of-two series, where in case of a split between two teams, the aggregate score between the two teams decided the winner. The closest two-game series came in the Turkish rival series, where Fenerbahce’s 17-point victory in the first game was the deciding factor today.
Fenerbahce 152, Galatasaray 145 (+7)
UMMC Ekaterinburg 174, Dynamo Kursk 126 (+48)
Perfumerias Avenida 145, Spar Girona 131 (+14)
Sopron Basket 156, LDLC Asvel Feminin 141 (+15)
Galatasaray 71, Fenerbahce 61
The two Turkish strongholds, Fenerbahce ad Galatasaray, split the two-game quarterfinals series, but Fener’s 17-point victory on March 17 propelled the club to a seven-point advantage in the series and to the 2021 EuroLeague Final Four. Fener held a 57-50 lead at the end of three quarters, but Gala made a final push, outscoring its foes 21-4 in the fourth quarter for the 10-point, 71-61, victory. It was too little, too late, however and Fener is Final Four bound.
Fener received 10 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals from Kayla McBride, while Jasmine Thomas chipped in seven points.
UMMC Ekaterinburg 94, Dynamo Kursk 59
In its second victory of the series, UMMC Ekaterinburg jumped out to a 32-9 advantage after the first quarter, upped its lead to 55-28 at halftime and sailed through the second half for the 94-59 win over Dynamo Kursk.
Ekat’s Breanna Stewart, who notched 16 points and six boards, and Brittney Griner, who finished with 14 points and four rebounds, helped Ekat to its 13th-straight EuroLeague Final Four (2008-19, 2021), not including the 2020 season, which was cancelled ahead of the quarterfinals.
Kursk and Arike Ogunbowale, who scored 14 points for her side, have bowed out of EuroLeague play and now will focus on the earning the 2021 Russia League crown.
Perfumerias Avenida 71, Spar Girona 65
Perfumerias Avenida won both games in the series, including a 71-65 victory in Game 2 on March 19. Tiffany Hayes paced the Spanish club to victory with 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field, while Katie Lou Samuelson added 11 points.
Chelsea Gray notched eight points, three rebounds and three assists for Girona, which will now turn its sights on the Italian League championship.
LDLC Asvel Femimin 75, Sopron Basket 62
While no members of the 2021 USA National Team compete for either Euro club, 2013-16 USA National Team member Briann January and three-time USA Basketball medalist Megan Walker play for Sopron. January added six points and three assist, and Walker contributed 14 points and four rebounds.
Sopron advanced thanks to its +15 points and will meet Perfumerias Avenida on April 16.