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EuroLeague Women: UMMC Ekaterinburg to face Perfumerias Avenida for 2021 championship

All eyes will be on Russian superteam UMMC Ekaterinburg as it aims for its third-straight EuroLeague Women title. Can Perfumerias Avenida pull off the monumental upset?

Perfumerias Avenida v Sopron Basket: EuroLeague Women Semi Final
Tiffany Hayes (with ball) led Perfumerias Avenida to a semifinals victory over Sopron Basket.
Photo by /BSR Agency/Getty Images

The 2020-21 EuroLeague Women Finals are set. UMMC Ekaterinburg will take on Perfumerias Avenida at 12 p.m. ET on Sunday, Apr. 18, after Fenerbahçe plays Sopron Basket for third place at 8 a.m. ET. Both are single-game series.

Though it’s not exactly a shock to see Ekaterinburg back in the EuroLeague Women Finals, the Russian superteam was given a run for its money by Fenerbahçe in the previous round. Behind valiant efforts from Satou Sabally (20 points) and reigning MVP Alina Iagupova (26 points), Fenerbahçe stayed within striking distance and trailed by just two points with under a minute remaining.

Unfortunately for Fenerbahçe, Ekaterinburg had just one weapon too many, with Allie Quigley icing the game at the free throw line to finish with a game-high 27 points. The 88-84 final final was the closest Ekaterinburg came to defeat in EuroLeague Women play dating back to Nov. 2019, when TTT Riga pulled one of the biggest upsets in competition history. Like that game, 2021’s semifinal between Ekaterinburg and Fenerbahçe will be remembered as a classic.

Fenerbahce Oznur Kablo v UMMC Ekaterinburg - FIBA Euroleague Women’s semi final
With such a star-studded roster, it’s no surprise UMMC Ekaterinburg reached the EuroLeague Women Finals.
Photo by Sebnem Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Elsewhere, Avenida defeated Sopron 72-61 to reach its first EuroLeague Women Finals since the 2010-11 season. Tiffany Hayes and Katie Lou Samuelson — the latter of whom was selected as an All-EuroLeague Women First-Teamer — combined to score 41 points, and Sopron simply did not have enough offense to keep up.

It was, however, the third-consecutive Final Four appearance for Sopron (not including the 2019-20 postseason, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic), so Briann January, Megan Walker, Defensive Player of the Year Gabby Williams and their teammates have nothing to be ashamed of. They’ll get a shot at Fenerbahçe on Sunday and try for third place in the competition.

As for the main event: Does Avenida stand a chance against Ekaterinburg? It’s unlikely, but there’s only one way to find out, and it will be streamed for free on FIBA’s YouTube channel.

Game information

Third-Place Game; Sopron Basket vs. Fenerbahçe

When: Sunday, Apr. 18 at 8 a.m. ET

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Gabby Williams, Briann January, Megan Walker (Sopron Basket); Alina Iagupova, Satou Sabally, Jasmine Thomas, Kayla McBride, Kiah Stokes, Cecilia Zandalasini, Kia Vaughn (Fenerbahçe)

Keys to the matchup: Iagupova is one of the most skilled playmakers in the world, so it will be fun to watch her go against Sopron’s tough defense. Sopron got plenty out of January (6-of-9 shooting, 15 points) in its semifinals loss to Avenida, and she’ll have to keep it rolling against a Fenerbahçe team that has scorers everywhere in its lineup. Look for Sabally to have another big game here.

EuroLeague Women Championship; Perfumerias Avenida vs. UMMC Ekaterinburg

When: Sunday, Apr. 18 at 12 p.m. ET

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Tiffany Hayes, Katie Lou Samuelson, Karlie Samuelson, Bella Alarie, Silvia Dominguez (Perfumerias Avenida); Brittney Griner, Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley, Jonquel Jones, Breanna Stewart, Emma Meesseman, Maria Vadeeva, Alba Torrens (UMMC Ekaterinburg)

Keys to the matchup: It will be all hands on deck for Avenida as it tries for perhaps the biggest upset in EuroLeague Women history. Ekaterinburg’s dominance is well-documented at this point, and its loaded roster means that any opponent has virtually no margin for error. This means hot shooting games from the Samuelson sisters and a big scoring effort from Hayes will be needed for Avenida, as well as defense that makes Ekaterinburg’s stars uncomfortable and gets them out of sync.