77 Maria Vadeeva (UMMC)
11/02/2019
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Power Rankings: A new leader for our penultimate chart of the Regular Season

MUNICH (Germany) - There are just two more EuroLeague Women Regular Season games left for each club and for many, the penultimate week will be decisive. 

Here are our Power Rankings heading into Week 13:

RANK

CLUB

MOVE

 

1

UMMC Ekaterinburg - It's back to top spot for UMMC after their nearest rivals Kursk lost at home and Ekaterinburg beat Bourges. While it was not a classic performance by any means, after losing the previous week at Praha, the only thing that mattered was getting back on a winning note again! Brittney Griner continued her nice form and is arguably in Regular Season MVP territory. Expect another tough battle this week as Coach Mendez and Courtney Vandersloot get to go up against his former team in Famila Schio. There is also a return to the DIVS Arena for Sandrine Gruda.

2

Dynamo Kursk - Well, we did not expect that! Not so much the fact that Dynamo Kursk lost against a Sopron team who had lost three in a row, but that having seemingly got out of jail to force overtime after an amazing last 90 seconds of regulation, they allowed the visitors to seize back the momentum. Now the last perfect record has gone, Kursk must focus on Avenida who are unpredictable. It is of course the team that Lucas Mondelo won his other title with and the first meeting between these teams was absorbing. The positives for Kursk are that Epiphanny Prince has hit form and Natasha Howard looks a great acquisition. 

 

 

ZVVZ USK Praha - All but through to the Play-Offs after that big and uncomplicated win on the road at Castors Braine, ZVVZ USK Praha look a lock to seal the deal and make the post-season at home to an ESBVA-LM team they destroyed earlier in the campaign. If they don't take things for granted, they should be 9-4, although will be wary the French side did win in Schio recently. It was good to see Valeriane Ayayi back last week and she will get to go up against her former team where she delivered silverware in the shape of the LFB title. 

 

4

 

Fenerbahce - An impressive and altogether standard looking win for Fenerbahce who are knocking very loudly on the door of the Play-Offs. They were far too good and also too deep for Hatay as they did an eye-catching and professional job in Antakya to stroll on to 8-4. This game against TTT Riga might end up being for second spot in the group and Fenerbahce will want revenge for a tight loss in the Latvian capital. A big defensive effort is needed this week, with Kelsey Plum and Bria Hartley having the task of slowing down Shey Peddy – a week after successfully locking down Riquna Williams.

Nadezhda - It was a comfortable victory for Nadezhda at ESBVA-LM after their scorching start to the contest gave them the foundation to push on and secure an excellent victory. It meant Victor Lapena and his team guaranteed their spot in either the Play-Offs or the EuroCup Women Quarter-Finals. Their destiny could be decided this week when they host CCC Polkowice and they will be thinking about that first game when their opponents held them to just 36 points. Revenge on the menu?

Sopron Basket - The overtime win at Kursk was as impressive as it was surprising. Avoiding four consecutive losses, Sopron have breathed serious life into their Play-Off prospects. They showed amazing heart to come back from the mental blow of inexplicably letting Kursk back into the game which culminated in Prince dropping a triple at the end of regulation. But the recovery was stunning as they showed the heart, application and skill to still win. The reality is that they have been involved in so many close games and could have had an even better record. But 7-6 will be music to their ears if they can defeat Hatay as you would expect. For once they won't feel short-handed as the visitors have no depth. The question will be what tempo Sopron opt to play taking this into account. Candice Dupree and Yvonne Turner will be out to continue their red-hot form!

Bourges Basket - Another loss for Bourges, but they left the DIVS Arena with their heads held high after pushing UMMC all the way. It was not quite the perfect response after the home setback against Schio, but as close as possible without getting back on a winning curve. It was extra impressive as they did not have Elodie Godin for example as she was ruled out, but it gave a chance to young Iliana Rupert who scored 10 points and was excellent. Marine Johannes also handed out 10 assists for the first time. Now they will surely avoid a third straight loss when they host Castors Braine. Nothing can be taken for granted, but surely they will edge that bit nearer to the Play-Offs.

Famila Schio - Fuelled by that win at Le Prado against Bourges, there was a sense of confidence and real purpose about Schio right from the buzzer as they came out and seriously torched CCC Polkowice. They had the visitors on the canvas in minutes and that also served to relieve the pressure of what in essence, was a must-win for Coach Vincent and his players. Still outside of the EuroCup Women Quarter-Finals spots with two games remaining, their chances hang in the balance, but they will not like the fact that it is UMMC next up. Hardly the game you want to try and make it three wins in a row. Coach Mendez could haunt his ex-employers and the Italians will have to turn up the dial on the defense to claim what would be their best win of the season. Can they take care of Courtney Vandersloot who will also potentially haunt them? A big role for Francesca Dotto perhaps.

TTT Riga -  After that shock capitulation at Carolo Basket the previous week, TTT Riga were back at home and wiping out Olympiacos with ease to restore their confidence and also standing as a genuine challenger for the Play-Offs. Ieva Pulvere shot nicely, Shey Peddy regained her mojo and now, heads up for the big one in Istanbul against Fenerbahce. This is the chance for TTT Riga to recover from that last away outing and one last chance to show they can do it on the road against one of the biggest teams, having lost at Kursk and Sopron. The key to their close win against Fenerbahce last time was looking after the ball, with just 11 turnovers. That would help enormously this time as well.

10

CCC Polkowice - They are now looking over their shoulders big time. It was a dreadful start for CCC at Schio and they failed to recover to gift-wrap the Italians an important victory. Now their hopes of making the Play-Offs are in the balance, although a win at Nadezhda would rejuvenate their prospects and they have the knowledge that they might just have the Russian side's number after a big home success. One thing is for absolute certain and that is Polkowice need to pick up their game on the glass. They can't afford to be out-muscled by Nadezhda or it could be a long night. Meanwhile Tiffany Hayes still looks like their best chance of a hero and difference-maker in any game.

11

Perfumerias Avenida - It is only another slight rise in our rankings for Avenida since for the second week running, they won a tight game and probably could and maybe even should have actually lost. Their opponents Carolo Basket threw away a couple of golden opportunities to take a famous and historical win. The way Avenida left the back door open for them to come back into contention having held a double-figure lead was alarming. At least Jewell Loyd got to make her home debut in an entertaining contest and Krisi Givens amassed a season-high score. They will expect a backlash from Kursk who lost last week and it will be a difficult road trip. Loyd will get to go up against her Seattle teammates and fellow WNBA champions, Breanna Stewart and Natasha Howard.

12

Hatay - After pulling off a number of surprise results in these past few weeks against a backdrop of uncertainty, roster changes and other unsettling news, it was back down to earth with a bang for Hatay. The superior depth of Fenerbahce was telling as they stumbled in a big way against their domestic rivals. They are still in the box seat to take sixth place and make the EuroCup Women Quarter-Finals, but it might change after a tough looking clash at Sopron Basket. The home side will be buoyed by their win in Kursk and confidence will be high. Riquna Williams against Yvonne Turner looks like one of the matchups of the week, while Hatay can be happy with the form of Gizem Basaran under the basket after being asked to step up after the departure of Courtney Paris.

13

Carolo Basket - Despite the loss at Avenida, it was tempting to still move up Carolo Basket after they launched that last-quarter revival, eventually going down in overtime at Pabellon Wurzburg. But, we are still tortured by their game management at the end of both regulation and the extra period which was far from smart and cost them what would have been a valuable win. It may yet cost them a place in the EuroCup Women Quarter-Finals. They have the chance to redeem themselves against an Olympiacos team this week who looked to have checked out mentally from the competition. Carolo must make it count and make history with a first ever road win. The other positive is that five players all made it into double digits against Avenida.

14

ESBVA-LM - A horror start to the game against Nadezhda really did cost ESBVA-LM who were chasing for the remainder of the contest and could not get off the back foot. From one week to the next, we wonder if playcaller Fred Dusart even knows which team is going to show up. Now they are under real pressure and in danger of missing out on EuroCup Women. Even more so, since they face a ZVVZ USK Praha team who totally owned them in the first game. Trying to stay in the game for as long as possible will be the number one priority and that will need a top level defensive effort, since the French side don't have the firepower of Praha.

15

Olympiacos - All that promise for much of the season seems to have faded into the distant past for Olympiacos as they were hammered in Riga last week to slump to 1-11. They have one last chance to give the home fans another W to enjoy in their rookie season and it is a good opportunity against fellow strugglers Carolo Basket. At the very least, a strong performance and no blowout is the minimum when signing off on their home floor.

16

Castors Braine - Just two more weeks to go. Then, it will all be over. 

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

FIBA