Cristina Ouvina (BOUR)
18/02/2019
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Check out our final Power Rankings of the Regular Season

MUNICH (Germany) - With 13 weeks of action already in the books, we are about to arrive for the last gameday of the EuroLeague Women Regular season.

Here are our Power Rankings heading into Week 14:

RANK

CLUB

MOVE

 

1

UMMC Ekaterinburg - It was a real destruction of a Famila Schio team last week with some big hitters in it like Sandrine Gruda, Allie Quigley and Jantel Lavender and that kind of defense is going to allow UMMC to retain their crown. They now head into this last Regular Season game where they started and where we all expected them to be - in top spot! The scary thing is that so many of their players are not even in their highest gear. They are as much of a certainty as any team has ever been to win in this competition when they sign off against Castors Braine this week. Coach Mendez will be able to play his bench players freely and surely they will end up 13-1.

2

Dynamo Kursk - That was a good response from Dynamo Kursk to their loss the previous week at home to Sopron. They made no mistake against Avenida and interestingly, Sonja Petrovic probably had her best game of an otherwise relatively quiet campaign. Certainly compared to her Regular Season MVP status this time last year. She is surely about to come alive down the business end of the season and Kursk look to be on course for the Final at this rate. Coach Mondelo was happy after the win against his former team and with Hatay this week, they should also finish 13-1. Depth alone will be enough to wear down their opponents.

 

 

ZVVZ USK Praha - While they were not in full flow in the first half against ESBVA-LM, the adjustments made at the break paid dividends and Praha showed their teeth in the second half to deservedly book their place in the Play-Offs. They look like potential Final Four material when they are playing like this and of course, they have done so for much of the campaign - at least outside of their early calendar year wobble. They have an interesting and challenging game to finish with, since it will be a real test against a CCC team whose defense has locked down so many this season. Valeriane Ayayi against Styliani Kaltsidou on the wing looks a big matchup.

4

TTT Riga - They had to dodge a bullet in the last seconds to win in Istanbul, but the mark of how successful the return to the competition this season has been for TTT Riga isn't only measured by the win at Fenerbahce or punching a ticket to the Play-Offs. It is the fact they completed a double against the Turkish powerhouse and not even the most fanatical TTT supporter would surely have seen that coming. They also have a great one to bring the curtain down on this memorable Regular Season as they prepare to face Sopron. If you remember the first meeting at the end of 2018, you will remember it was feisty and so expect more fireworks again. TTT Riga also have to think about nailing down second place in the group. It's Shey Peddy v Yvonne Turner and Kristine Vitola will be one of the players trying to stop Amanda Zahui and Candice Dupree.

 

Bourges Basket - It was a slow opening at home to Castors Braine, but Bourges eventually showed their qualities as they stormed into the Play-Offs with a big victory. Several of their younger players are stepping up now in a big way. Alexia Chartereau was excellent again and teenage ace Iliana Rupert came up with 5 blocks which was an eye-opener. Now they must wrap things up at French rivals ESBVA-LM and may get to deny their opponents a place in the EuroCup Women Quarter-Finals. Bourges can still take second place in the group with a win - should Praha lose.

Sopron Basket - It was not pretty. In fact, it was plain ugly, but getting the win against Hatay after a slow start was all that mattered as Sopron punched that precious ticket to the Play-Offs. They also now have the chance to push for a higher placing when they go to TTT Riga this week. Roberto Iniguez watched the end of the first meeting with the fans after being ejected and there will be an added edge to this one in what could be the game of the week. Sopron will bring the defense and after a quiet week last time out - perhaps Candice Dupree can be the difference-maker, since TTT Riga could struggle to match up with her.

Fenerbahce - To produce such a terrible half and score just 25 points in 20 minutes during such a big game against TTT Riga last week was quite something with such a talented roster. It meant their rivals beat them for a second time and it was also consecutive home losses too. The second half showed there is fight in the team which is a big positive. Now securing second spot is the aim and they will be hoping Carolo Basket don't find the amazing shooting form they have found sometimes at home this season. Fenerbahce will surely focus on shutting down Hailey Peters and Kaleena Lewis. A win could yet see them elevated into second spot in the group - although they are now relying on other results.

CCC Polkowice - After looking surely destined for the EuroCup Women Quarter-Finals, CCC Polkowice pulled off that hugely impressive success at Nadezhda. As usual, the defensive strategy of Coach Kovacik was critical as they held the hosts to just six points in the last period. Stella Kaltsidou added a touch of class with her 20 points and they are one win away from the last eight. However, it will be tricky against ZVVZ USK Praha even with homecourt advantage. But, if they play like they did against UMMC at home earlier this year, they have every opportunity to progress.

Nadezhda -  It was a glorious chance for Nadezhda to seal the deal and punch a ticket for the Play-Offs. But, that last-quarter collapse against CCC Polkowice could now cost them a place in the last eight as it is not solely in their hands any longer. They have a tough matchup to come on the road at Famila Schio this week when they must bounce back or will end up in EuroCup Women. Brionna Jones must counter Sandrine Gruda and Jantel Lavender, while surely Erica Wheeler and Sandra Ygueravide can give them an edge over their opponents' backcourt.

10

Perfumerias Avenida - They lost at Kursk and that ultimately denied them a place in the Play-Offs, but they still move up one place in our rankings as they are safely into the EuroCup Women Quarter-Finals and have a good opportunity to head into their new challenge on a winning note against Olympiacos this week. They have the strength in the paint to dominate on the glass and control the game, so will be favorites and a 7-7 record would be a fair reflection of a roller-coaster Regular Season.

11

Famila Schio - Going to the DIVS Arena in Ekaterinburg where UMMC have not lost all season is always a daunting task. But it was more the manner and margin of their loss at the hands of the champions that will have caused most alarm. It was that old issue of rebounds that came back into the negatives column as they were trashed 57-34, despite having one of the best frontcourts in the competition. Now it is not in their hands and they have been left to sweat on their spot in the last eight of EuroCup Women - a competition which, if they do reach, you could see them actually winning. Now it's complicated. They are facing a Nadezhda team that is tough and even if they get the W, they also need ESBVA-LM  to lose. Perhaps after their rotten start, they would have taken this situation going into this final week. It still feels their home loss against ESBVA-LM last month might be the one that bites them hard where it hurts if they do miss out.

12

Hatay - Hatay got themselves into a good situation at Sopron Basket with some great early work, but then faded badly. The defeat means they must now do what looks to be the near impossible and beat Dynamo Kursk to be sure of advancing to the EuroCup Women Quarter-Finals, although may still progress with another loss - if Carolo Basket also lose against Fenerbahce. Their biggest problem is that foul trouble or anybody going cold in a game, impacts so hard on them with so few choices in such a short rotation. They were also beaten heavily in the Turkish League over the weekend by Fenerbahce so confidence is fragile.

13

ESVBA-LM - So here we are. After a roller-coaster campaign, Fred Dusart and his players are a win away from the EuroCup Women Quarter-Finals - or may even get here if they lose and Schio do the same. Needing to match or better the result of their Italian rivals to advance, they need to take the positives of a good first half at Praha last week - at least rather than the last 15 minutes when they collapsed. Valeriane Ayayi was too hot to handle for them and haunted Villeneuve, while there is an added irony that it is domestic rivals Bourges who could yet deny them their spot this week. They will have to keep an eye on Alexia Chartereau who is still shooting the ball beautifully and ESBVA-LM need to find another game-winner as Magali Mendy can't be expected to be top of their class every week.

14

Olympiacos - It must have been a nice feeling to have doubled their win tally with only a second ever victory as they smashed Carolo Basket in impressive fashion despite being without the influential Anna SpyridopoulouPinelopi Pavlopoulou was impressive again in the backcourt. However, it does all smell a bit like 'too little, too late' and when the pressure to get results has disappeared. You have to accept that 2-11 is harsh against performances, but it is a reality. They could sign off on a real high if they were to go to Avenida and take a historical first ever Regular Season road win. They will have to do a job physically on Angelica Robinson and keep Jewell Loyd under lock and key. 

15

Carolo Basket - What can you say about the dual personality that this Carolo side has had in their first ever campaign? Last week was a horror show at Olympiacos as they were taken apart by their hosts and a glorious opportunity to move towards the EuroCup Women Quarter-Finals went up in smoke as their star players misfired. They also blew their last chance to get a historic first ever road win. They can still make it, but must beat Fenerbahce at home and hope Hatay don't surprise Kursk. Of course they have shown all season they can win at home and slayed the likes of Sopron and TTT Riga for example. But, they may live to regret their Greek tragedy.

16

Castors Braine - When they won their first game, we suspect nobody envisaged the nightmare of then losing their next 13 games. And, that is the unquestionable fate awaiting them as UMMC come to town. They might struggle to sell the season highlights in the club shop. Outclassed and 13 losses in a row is something special and very, very disappointing when you think about the buzz around the national team heading to the FIBA Women's EuroBasket in June - and after what happened last year in Tenerife. As by far the worst team in the competition, it is a season to forget for the club and its supporters - indeed even for us neutrals who have had to watch it. Props to Celeste Trahan-Davis though. She has been very impressive and consistent.


*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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