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Reasons to watch EuroLeague Women 2018
NEWCASTLE (Paul Nilsen’s Women’s Basketball Worldwide) – The start of the EuroLeague Women Regular Season is now only just over a week away and there are plenty of reasons to tune in.
Yakin Dogu Universitesi could be a new powerhouse
They are the EuroCup Women holders and about to embark on their maiden season in EuroLeague Women. They are also about to contest the SuperCup Women Final against reigning EuroLeague Women champions, Dynamo Kursk this week. With a roster thtn is rammed with some of the biggest names in the game such as Ann Wauters, Kayla McBride, Courtney Vandersloot and Jantel Lavender, this is a serious contender - even if it is their first year at this level. Hello to a new powerhouse?
Watch the EuroBasket Women 2017 MVP
I still can't figure out what happened last season as UMMC head coach Olaf Lange did not turn to the outstanding Alba Torrens as his team failed to win another title. The Spanish ace showed her class a couple of months later when crowned EuroBasket Women MVP in Prague. I am confident that if lessons have been learned, UMMC need to utilize Torrens more smartly and get a smile on her face on the floor. When she is enjoying her basketball, she is an absolute joy to watch!
Former EuroBasket Women MVP Dabovic returns
Fenerbahçe'nin yeni transferi Ana Dabovic, İstanbul'da. pic.twitter.com/aVG7vtDouk— HD Spor (@hdsporr) September 24, 2017
There have been many returns down the years in EuroLeague Women, but rarely have I been as excited as this one. It seems staggering that the versatile and free-scoring Serbia guard has somehow dodged playing in this competition for so many years. Fenerbahce have got one of the biggest 'X-Factors' in the women's game. When she gets hot, forget about it - you just have to contain the fire she is breathing, because extinguishing completely isn't an option. It's going to be fun.
Fenerbahce have turned the page
Linked to the point above, the latest quest for Turkish juggernauts Fenerbahce to try and finally land that elusive title rolls on. Only this time they seem to have made a big move to bring in some fresh blood and give their team a new look. It is not an overhaul, but they look like they might play quicker, be more dynamic and pack a greater backcourt punch and on the wings. That is in direct contrast to the frontcourt focus of recent years. Kelsey Plum and Aerial Powers have drawn much attention as they prepare for their respective debuts.
So much has been written already about the explosion of Famila Schio sensation Cecilia Zandalasini during the past year and especially in the last 12 months. So, there is no need to add too much more. Other than to say, we will enjoy this next step on her remarkable and rapid journey towards the top of the women's basketball tree. That highlights reel had better be ready for what is about to hit it!
Every season brings new faces and we are looking forward to a number of debutantes including the likes of Brionna Jones, Kelsey Plum, Aerial Powers, Antonia Delaere and Kim Mestdagh.
Reigning champs Dynamo Kursk could be a truly great team
Having won the first title in their history and having added Sonja Petrovic, as well as retaining more or less the same players who finished top of the pile, this Dynamo Kursk team could be very, very special. Anything is possible with Lucas Mondelo at the helm. The 'basketball alchemist' could deliver again and looking down at the roster, this Kursk team has every chance of not only a repeat, but penciling in its status as one of the best lineups seen for some time!
The last time we will see 'The Greatest - aka Diana Taurasi?
Word has been gathering pace that this really could be the last season of the most successful and dominant player that EuroLeague Women has ever seen. We have heard this before of course, and never say never, but it seems like DT might be ready to finally put an end to her stunning career. How can you not watch one of the best players in women's basketball history in possibly her last campaign at UMMC?
Galatasaray are back
It is never the same when one of the biggest clubs in the European game are not playing in EuroLeague Women. It's a big welcome back to Galatasaray and they will be interesting to watch as Marina Maljkovic makes her debut as a coach in the tournament. Olivia Epoupa, Isil Alben, Alexandria Quigley, Jelena Dubljevic and Gintare Petronyte looks like an exciting core.
The dynamic forward is back after maternity leave and that is incredible news for neutrals - as well as the lucky fans at ZVVZ USK Prague who will get to see her every week. An incredible player who was the star of 2015-16 before starting a family and this late signing just makes the season even more enticing!
All Regular Season games are live and free on YouTube
Go figure. You would be foolish not to push the play button on the cream of women's club basketball in Europe and one of the best two leagues in the world. Go to the FIBA YouTube page! You can also enjoy bonus highlights like the one above as well in the post-season!
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