3 Jolene Anderson (VENE)
15/01/2019
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Power Rankings: Some huge climbers and fallers ahead of the Round of 16

MUNICH (EuroCup Women) - We're ready to get rolling into the EuroCup Women Round of 16 and it's the perfect time to give you our second set of Power Rankings.

How are the 16 clubs shaping up as they look to take the next step in the tournament?

RANK

CLUB

MOVE 

 

1

Cukurova Basketbol - They are still looking absolutely rampant and showcased their power and potential recently by crushing EuroLeague Women giants Fenerbahce in a Turkish League game. They have made some changes since they signed off in 2018 and have added Kelsey Bone from CCC Polkowice, who will now play in tandem with Astou Ndour. Now they face another domestic opponent in the Round of 16 in the shape of an up and down Besiktas. They are favorites to proceed, although you do still question what the Plan B is, should Alina Iagupova get into foul trouble or worse, pick up an injury.

2

BLMA - The BLMA renaissance has continued and they started off 2019 with an eye-popping win at Le Prado against EuroLeague Women side and French arch rivals, Bourges Basket. However, despite being one of the frontrunners in EuroCup Women and our second ranked team, they do face one of the most difficult ties of the competition with an improving Reyer Venezia standing in their way. That has prevented them stepping past Cukurova and up to the top spot. The addition of Olesia Malashenko mid-season looks to have been a shrewd move and given them an added dimension. 

3

Lyon ASVEL Feminin - Still flying in the LFB and having showed incredible teeth with a blistering first-leg display in Russia against Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje, Lyon look like true contenders. Clarissa Dos Santos is proving a colossus, Julie Allemand is firing on all cylinders and it feels like the best is still to come from Alysha Clark. They will now also fancy their chances against Gorzow and will be looking to punch a ticket for the next phase. They will need to be warned that the Gorzow bench has been a  strong contributor all season and that they are very efficient finishing around the hoop.

4

Spar Citylift Girona - A slight move downwards only due to the upward push by Lyon, rather than any shortcomings of the Spanish side. Their vast experience should help them navigate past MBA Moscow - as well as their extra depth. The warning shot is that MBA completed the famous double against Botas, so they know how to not only beat big-hitters, but show composure in the clutch. Girona are flying in Liga Femenina and will want to crash those offensive boards as usual and make sure they slow down MBA in transition. 

5

KSC Szekszard - A one-spot fall for KSZ Szekszard as well on the basis they have a very tough Round of 16 matchup to come against a dangerous Artego Bydgoszcz outfit. Both clubs are riding high in their domestic leagues and there looks to be little between them on paper. Szekszard made a change during the winter break as they exchanged Ivana Dojkic for Nevena Jovanovic. Their best work is still likely to be nosed on Abby Bishop, Erica McCall, Frida Eldebrink and the ever-improving Agnes Studer. But, they simply have to up their perimeter game as a team - not just via the specialist shooters. 

6

Artego Bydgoszcz - While the first leg in the last phase was hard work at Basketball Nymburk, it was a powerful showing by Artego in the second meeting as they soared into the Round of 16. Now they have  a very exciting meeting with KSC Szekszard and it will be one to watch for sure. In terms of finishing, the Polish team are still brilliant at almost 60%, but they have to somehow figure out how they can slow down Szekszard in the open floor as they average 18.5 points on the fast break. Dragana Stankovic, Julie McBride and the recently arrived Alexis Hornbuckle will need to bring their A game in this tie!

7

InvestInTheWest ENEA Gorzow - It had to be a fall for Gorzow after they were paired with the in-form Lyon who are killing it in France and also flexed their muscles in a big way during the last stage. Yet Gorzow have plenty of talent and ability to take the scalp of Lyon. Not least because the entire starting five are averaging double figures for efficiency and they have regularly prospered from bench contributions. We're looking forward to Belgium teammates Kyara Linskens and Julie Allemad clashing, while Sharnee Zoll will use her experience and years of know-how to try and slow down Lyon.

8

Galatasaray - It is a massive jump into the Top 8 of our rankings for the holders after they showed the heart of a champion team by coming back from a 15-point first-leg deficit against Lointek Gernika Bizkaia. Rumors of their title defense going up in smoke proved premature and with Victoria Macaulay and Farhiya Abdi combining nicely to add something to Moriah Jefferson and Isil Alben in the backcourt, things are looking up. Although they will appreciate DVTK are a dangerous opponent in this Round of 16.

9

Wisla CANPACK - We get it! Wisla did not even play and we have moved them down, so how is that? Well, they now have a very tricky looking tie to come against Nantes Reze who not only won in the last phase rather unexpectedly, they did do it against Polish opposition. Additionally, Briana Day is proving to be a towering presence and put up mind blowing numbers. Wisla need to really get close to her and shut that threat down. It has still not been a great season in the BLK for the Krakow side and so EuroCup Women is a ray of sunshine. But, they simply must pick up in fast break situations and capitalize on more second chance points. Meanwhile Bozica Mujovic has continued to be an impressive under the radar star.

10

Reyer Venezia - It was a disappointing start to the season and the chemistry looked lacking, but now Venezia seem ready to make a big play in this competition after doing the double against Basket Landes. Although now a very different and more powerful French opponent is ready to face them. BLMA will be a huge test and Venezia must look after the ball, since few teams are better than BLMA at punishing errors. The Italians are going strong domestically and with Anete Steinberga and Jolene Anderson in nice form, they will be ready for a monumental battle against BLMA in what is probably the tie of the round!

11

DVTK Miskolc - It will be a fascinating clash between Miskolc and Galatasaray and much could hinge on how the Hungarian side stand up in what will be an intense atmosphere in Istanbul. The addition of Aija Putnina via EuroLeague Women side Perfumerias Avenida should help as she has big game experience and can match up with Victoria Macaulay. The clash of Dora Medgyessy and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough against Isil Alben and Moriah Jefferson should be fun. This looks an unpredictable one on paper. Will DVTK knock out the reigning champions?

12

MBK Ruzomberok - It is a massive jump up for MBK Ruzomberok and before people complain - they deserve it. Knocking out Enisey was a sensational result for one of the lowest seeds of the previous stage and the fact they not only won the first leg but almost won in Siberia too, shows they have teeth. Can they pull off another surprise? Well, you could argue they could have had a worse scenario than facing Tarbes, a side struggling in the French League. With nothing to lose, no big expectations and now everything a bonus, all the pressure is on the French team. MBK Ruzomberok are offering a hard three-pronged attack through Egle Siksniute, Aaryn Ellenberg-Riley and Janeesa Jeffery.

13

MBA Moscow - Even if Botas were without FIBA World Champion Jewell Loyd, that should not detract from the fact MBA did the double against Botas. It should also not detract from the danger they will pose to Spar Citylift Girona. In fact, outside of the three EuroLeague Women clubs in the Russian Premier League. it is MBA who are next in line, so as a top four club in their homeland, quality is not in doubt. Look out for Varvara Psareva who has been in excellent form in these past weeks and was a key reason they saw off Botas. 

14

Nantes Reze - It has been a roller-coaster ride for Nantes this season, since they are still very much at the wrong end of the LFB table, but posted one of the most eye-catching results in EuroCup Women by eliminating Energa Torun. That experience will give them real confidence against Wisla. Indeed when it comes to the numbers, they are out-performing their opponents in so many categories. But it will probably come to matchups and Nantes will need another big couple of games from the dominant Briana Day. Only they can't afford her to have to carry the team again. Who else is going to step up? Probably Shaqwedia Wallace, but they really do need a third scorer to emerge if they want their journey to continue.

15

Tarbes GB - It's a slight rise for Tarbes on the basis that they have saved their best basketball of the season for this competition. A bit like Nantes, the domestic struggle in the LFB  has continued - as evidenced by an absolute hammering at the hands of Lyon recently. Still, they have a brilliant chance of progressing beyond the Round of 16 at the expense of MBK Ruzomberok. The added depth of Tarbes should shine through and with D'Andra Moss now more integrated after signing mid-December, they won't have to rely on Alexis Prince so much. But, the French players need to start making more noise in this tournament. 

16

Besiktas - Our biggest fallers by some distance and can you blame us for pushing the Istanbul side to the bottom of our rankings? They came within a whisker of a shocking elimination after almost blowing a 24-point first-leg lead at Orman Genclik as they lost 80-59. It was a major wake-up call for their big-hitters and also the supporting cast. The reason for their tumble in our rankings is that they must now go up against the mite of Cukurova Basketbol - another two legs against a Turkish side. That looks tough on paper with the sides mismatched in every category except rebounding - although anything is possible with Kelsey Mitchell on your roster.

*The power rankings are entirely subjective and in no way a true, accurate ranking system. All comments are purely those of the author(s).

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