Perfumerías Avenida returns to a Euroleague Final Four in search of the fifth Spanish women’s basketball title in the highest continental competition. But they will not be the only Spanish tricks in a new Final Four with three Spanish coaches fighting for the title.
Perfumerías Avenida, Alba Torrens, Laura Nicholls, Miguel Méndez, Víctor Lapeña… Spanish basketball will be very present at the Istanbul event. The Salamanca team represents LF Endesa and could get the first double in the history of Spanish women’s basketball after Valencia BC’s title in the Eurocup Women. But there are more options in the other part of the picture.
Spanish coach, guarantee of success
Again, and it is tradition, three Spanish coaches will be present at the Final Four of the Euroleague. If in 2018 and 2019 it was Miguel Méndez (UMMC Ekaterimburg), Lucas Mondelo (Dynamo Kursk) and Roberto Íñiguez (Sopron Basket), in this 2021 repeat Miguel Mendez in front of the current champion, Roberto Íñiguez (this time before Perfumerías Avenida) and Victor Lapeña (Fenerbahce Oznur), with the national coach in his new Japanese adventure.
And within the technical staff, three vital assistants for the success of their respective teams: Rachel Romo (Perfumerías Avenida), Nacho Martinez (UMMC Ekaterinburg) and Nacho Garcia (Fenerbahce Oznur).
Alba Torrens and Laura Nicholls on the other side of the painting
Perfumerías Avenida will play their place in the final against the Hungarian Sopron Basket, a very powerful team with players like Gabby Williams (ex Uni Girona) or Jelena Brooks (ex perfumer). If they win the semis they will have one of the other two super teams competing for the title in the final, both with Spanish representation.
UMMC Ekaterimburg has won the last two Euroleague titles (2018 and 2019) with Miguel Mendez on the bench and Alba Torrens in the countryside. The Galician coach arrived in Russia in 2018, after having played in the Final Four with Rivas Ecópolis and Familia Schio, and has endowed him with the character of a champion. Alba Torrens arrived at Eka in 2016 with which she has achieved three of the last four Euroleague
The other semi-finalist is the host, Fenerbahce Oznur from Victor Lapeña Y Laura nicholls. It would be the first title in the maximum continental competition for the two, who already won the EuroCup Women in 2019 in the ranks of Nadezhda. The Cantabrian arrived just over a month ago and has only played the quarter-final tie against Galatasaray, where she did not enjoy many minutes.
A Spaniard (at least) has won the title since 2011
Spanish women’s basketball has been a benchmark in Europe in the last decade, either with two club titles (Avenida 2011 and Ros Casares 2012) or with Spanish players on European teams. After the Spanish successes of 2011 and 2012, a player from our country has always lifted the title.
Silvia Dominguez was an important part of the Ekaterimburg in 2013, Alba Torrens and Sancho Lyttle they did the same in 2014 with Galatasaray, Laia Palau in 2015 with the USK Praha, Alba Torrens and Sancho Lyttle at the Ekaterimburg in 2016, Anna Cruz at Lucas Mondelo’s Dynamo Kursk in 2017 and Alba Torrens getting the last titles of the Russian champion in 2018 and 2019.
Alba’s sixth Euroleague or Silvia’s fourth?
The Mallorcan is fighting for her sixth continental title, a record in Spanish basketball that would match her with two historic stars such as Italian Lidia Gorlin and American Diana Taurasi. Although still far from the record of the Soviet Uliana Semenova, with eleven titles achieved in the 70s and 80s. Alba has a title with the Perfumerías Avenida shirt, another with that of Galatasaray and three more with that of UMMC Ekaterimburg.
In that first Euroleague he was also present Silvia Dominguez. The Catalan base won three consecutive Euroleagues with three different teams. The 2011 one from Avenida, the one from 2012 by Ros Casares and the one from 2013 by UMMC Ekaterimburg. This year she could get the fourth, which would equal her to Sancho Lyttle, Ann Wauters or Sue Bird.
And for the rest of the Spanish it would be the first experience lifting a Euroleague title, both for Laura nicholls (Fenerbahce Oznur), as for the Avenida players: Maite Cazorla, Leo Rodríguez, Andrea Vilaró or Umi Diallo.