Imagine the scene. You are sitting in a pub with your friends, taking part in the weekly quiz. Your team is one right answer away from victory. The quiz announcer clears his throat and reads out the following question: “Which female basketball player is the only one to ever win three successive EuroLeague Women's titles with three different clubs?”
Keen fans of women's basketball apart, most people would draw a blank and throw up their hands. The answer, just in case you ever need it, is Silvia Domínguez, the Montgat-born guard who is currently with the Spain national team competing in the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women in Ankara, Turkey.
In fact, Domínguez – known for her solid, efficient but uncomplicated playing style – has been a mainstay of the national team since 2006, when she was called up at the age of 19 to take part in the World Championship in Brazil. Since then, Silvia has played numerous international matches and was an integral part of the squad that was proclaimed European champions in June 2013 after beating France in the final.
However, Domínguez's historic achievement came in club basketball, first in Spain and now in Russia. It was after moving to Salamanca's Perfumerías Avenida in the 2006/07 season that Silvia began to establish herself, eventually becoming team captain. In 2011, in her final season at the club, she won her first EuroLeague title, a feat she repeated the following year with her new club, Ros Casares of Valencia. Then a year later, Domínguez helped yet another new club, Russia's UMMC Ekaterinburg, to the 2013 European title: three clubs, three seasons, three titles.
With the new basketball season soon to begin, Silvia will be hoping to enjoy yet more success with her new club, which swept the board last term, winning not only the EuroLeague in 2013, but also the domestic Russian Premier League and the Russian Cup. UMMC Ekaterinburg begins its 2014/15 EuroLeague campaign with a fixture against ZVVZ USK Praha on November 5 in Prague.
European Cup of women's basketball
The FIBA EuroLeague Women is the highest professional basketball league in Europe for women's clubs. The European Cup For Women's Champions Clubs began in 1959 and was renamed EuroLeague Women in 1997. Since then two Spanish clubs have won the title (Halcón Avenida Salamanca in 2011 and Ros Casares Valencia in 2012). The championship was most recently won by Galatasaray OdeaBank in the 2013/14 season. The club that has won the most titles since the competition's inception is Latvian club, TTT Riga, who have claimed the title 18 times. The championship is organised by FIBA Europe, which is a zone within the International Basketball Federation. FIBA Europe includes the 51 national European basketball federations. FIBA Europe organises three championships for women's clubs: the Euroleague, the Eurocup and the SuperCup.
With so many exceptional young athletes around, there is clearly no shortage of sporting talent in Catalonia. However, Silvia Domínguez deserves special mention for her feat of winning three consecutive European cups with three different clubs, a unique achievement in women's basketball. Yet, at the age of 27 and playing for the star-laden Russian outfit, UMMC Ekaterinburg, there is every reason to expect more great things from the Silvia in the future.
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