UMMC Ekaterinburg overcame a 12 point deficit in the second half to win 72-69 in Istanbul to defeat rival Russian squad Nadezhda Orenburg in the 2016 EuroLeague Women championship. The title is UMMC's third overall, and first since 2013.
The game story will focus on Diana Taurasi, who scored 22 points for UMMC and DeWanna Bonner who scored 26 points for Nadezhda, but you can read FIBA's recap for that. For us, however, we only care about Emma Meesseman. How did she do?
She played 20 minutes and contributed seven points, 3 rebounds, an assist, a steal, blocked shots, and countless tips and hustle plays and screens. She was a major factor in the final quarter, and when Head Coach Olaf Lange subbed her back into the game, UMMC was up by one with 15 seconds to play, she helped apply the pressure defense that caused two turnovers for Nadezhda as the game wound down.
Meesseman now comes back to the team this summer a EuroLeague Women's Champion. It also caps off a successful winter for her. Whether she was playing for Sparta&K, the Belgian Cats, or UMMC, Meesseman made a big impact, and it should pay dividends this summer in Washington.
Other notes and quotes
Betty Cebrian, a commentator for the Final game stated that Meesseman will "cut a lot of nets." Hopefully, that includes the WNBA with the Mystics.
Plenty of congratulatory tweets from folks around the Mystics as well:
@EmmaMeesseman congrats Emma!!!!!!!!— stefanie Dolson (@bigmamastef) April 17, 2016
Congrats @EmmaMeesseman— KIA VAUGHN (@KIA_VAUGHN) April 17, 2016
Congrats Emma!!! https://t.co/0KXNkdUcTB— Washington Mystics (@WashMystics) April 17, 2016
Meesseman's parents traveled to watch the game. The tweet below is in Dutch. With context -- not a literal translation -- it says "EuroLeague winner Emma Meesseman with her parents and the trophy":
There were other fans from Ieper, Meesseman's hometown, who made the trip to Istanbul as well. The below tweet is also in Dutch. It says, "Photo of EuroLeague winner Emma Meesseman with loyal supporters from Ieper":
Belgium is also as a French-speaking country. And it just so happens that Meesseman played for ESBVA Lille Métropole, a club in France before her time in Russia. Therefore, she speaks Français as well as Nederlands and English. One ESBVA-LM fan expressed her congratulations:
Finally, here's a pic of the entire UMMC team with the trophy. Basketball's a team sport of course :)
Champions! pic.twitter.com/iCVjmlRDo7— UMMC Fan Page (@ummc_eng) April 17, 2016
A great day indeed for Meesseman. This summer should be exciting indeed.