22 September, 2021
07 April, 2022
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EuroCup Women Power Rankings, Volume 1

MUNICH (Germany) - With the Regular Season and Play-Off Round 1 both in the books, it's time to check out Volume 1 of the EuroCup Women Power Rankings.

Taking into account results, performances, roster changes and the all-important draw for the Round of 16, here's how the first ranking of the campaign is looking.

Cristina Ouvina has every reason to be cheerful as reigning champions Valencia look like favorites to retain the title

1. Valencia Basket Club SAD 

Season Record: 8-0
Unbeaten during 2021 in the competition, riding high in the Spanish Liga Feminina, crowned SuperCup Women champions against Russian powerhouse UMMC and the reigning EuroCup Women champions. Yes, Valencia remain the team to beat. Opals forward Bec Allen is shining again, Cristina Ouvina is a supreme playmaker, Angela Salvadores is having a renaissance, while Celeste Trahan-Davis and Marie Guelich are great anchors inside. However, Orman Genclik will be a potentially dangerous opponent next up as they're excelling in the Turkish League, so Valencia must stay focused. 

2. LDLC ASVEL Feminin 

Season Record: 7-1
It's been quite the turnaround for the French club since the shock of that opening day loss to Movistar Estudiantes. With seven straight wins since, they are looking like challengers and their defense has been exceptional. Julie Allemand and Marine Johannes are a super backcourt combination, Aleksandra Crvendakic has been leading the team so well, with Alexia Chartereau also impressing. Their domestic form in the French LFB remains a concern and shows they are vulnerable at times, so they will have to be at their best against a very capable opponent in Nika Syktyvkar.

Mersin fans thought their team might be eliminated but could they now be about to see them win silverware?

3. CBK Mersin Yenisehir Bld 

Season Record: 7-1
It's been a roller-coaster for one of the pre-season favorites. Having gone unbeaten during the Regular Season, they were battered by 20 points at Lointek Gernika in the first leg of the Play-Off Round 1. Their hopes of even continuing in the competition were left hanging by a thread, but to their credit, they turned the tie around with a huge home win. Able to field five WNBA ballers on court at one time, they are back as a frontrunner for silverware,. Anything is possible with the likes of Tiffany Hayes, Jasmin Thomas, Temi Fagbenle, Shavonte Zellous and Kristine Anigwe.

4. Nesibe Aydin NESI

Season Record: 7-1
Chasing a potential shock domestic title in Turkey having only lost a few games, Nesibe Aydin have shown their teeth in EuroCup Women so far this season. With just one defeat and a special performer in Alaina Coates who has logged a jaw-dropping individual double-double campaign, a deep run is possible if she stays healthy and in this type of form. Jessica Thomas has done great work in the backcourt and Belarusian Katsiaryna Snytsina is rolling back the years on the wing - all of which makes their clash with Olympiacos one of the best ties of the Round on paper!

5. Tango Bourges Basket TBB

Season Record: 7-1
Before losing to London Lions in the Play-Off Round 1 first leg, Bourges had been on fire, unbeaten and pouring in the points. Putting this blip aside and taking into account their subsequent recovery to advance, as well as their good form domestically in the French League, could the 2016 winners be in line for more silverware? A great mix of youth and experience have been getting it done so far, with Elin Eldebrink, Iliana Rupert and Laetitia Guapo all impressing. Zabiny Brno is a challenge, but there is nothing to fear and that means a top five placing in the rankings.

Ariel Atkins has been a big-time leader for the ambitious Prometey so far this season

6. BC Prometey PROM

Season Record: 7-1
It's been quite the season so far for the ambitious Ukrainian side who are the second highest scorers in the competition and also sit in the top five for assists and rebounds. Their offensive firepower is immense on the evidence shown so far, with American duo Joyner Holmes and Ariel Atkins particularly destructive assassins. Importantly, other contributions from the likes of Tetiana Yurkevhicus, who has cleaned up on the glass, have gotten them this far and they will look ahead to their tie with Castors Braine with relish as they seek to maintain their frantic pace. 

7. Villeneuve d'Ascq LM VDA

Season Record: 7-1
It's been a positive year on all fronts for LM who are top four in the French League and have lost just one EuroCup Women game all season. Great on the rebounds and always sharing the ball well, they have utilized the experience and do-it-all skills of Jolene Anderson, while rising star Janelle Salaun is making a noise and Kariata Diaby is somehow still going under the radar despite some brilliant showings. Having racked up some big wins, have they got the edge on Lublin in this next phase?

8. BC Polkowice POLK

Season Record: 6-2
Eying up domestic success in the Polish League after their reboot last season which saw them opt out of playing in European competition, it has been a fruitful return to EuroCup Women so far. It's all to play for against Nadezhda in what could be a finely balanced tie. Polkowice were going to rely heavily on the one-two punch of Steph Mavunga and Feyona Fitzgerald, but has the arrival of Erica Wheeler now given them the extra edge needed? Or is there not enough time to settle before for this big tie?

Will Martins Zibarts and Greek giants Olympiacos have enough to get past the highly fancied Nesibe Aydin?

9. Olympiacos S.F.P OLY

Season Record: 7-1
It's been an excellent campaign for Martins Zibarts and his team who average more than 84 points per game and only three clubs in the competition can better this figure. Latvian forward Kristine Vitola has done amazing work and been so consistent, with nice contributions from Greek duo Anna Stamolamprou, who puts points on the board, and Angeliki Nikolopoulou, who has more than 6 assists per game. The decision to re-enforce with Michelle Plouffe has paid off and while they can collectively rebound better, beating Nesibe Aydin is doable for sure.

10. BC Nadezhda NAD

Season Record: 5-2
There might not be a lot between them and their Round of 16 opponents BC Polkowice, as BC Nadezhda are also struggling a bit in the Russian Premier League. But with Montenegro national team star Markeisha Gatling such a handful inside, the versatility and experience of Nigerian Adaora Elonu so useful, Natisha Hiedeman playing well and veteran shooter Natalia Zhedik still potent from outside, opportunity knocks for the Russian club. They might have even been favorites to progress before Polkowice swooped for their marquee mid-season signing of Wheeler. 

11. Nika Syktyvkar 

Season Record: 5-3
What a first season it's been for the Russian club who might be cursing the fact they have such a difficult Round of 16 tie against LDLC ASVEL Feminin. However, a surprise win is not out of the question since Nika showed their capacity to do good things by beating Roche Vendee in both legs of the Play-Offs Round 1 and occupying a top four spot in both scoring and rebounding. They also have in-form players in Mariia Cherepanova, Raisa Musina, Hind Ben Abdelkader, with the arrival of Azura Stevens giving them an extra does of class. 

12. Flammes FCB

Season Record: 4-4
Flammes have not managed a winning record at 4-4, while they only just scraped past Movistar Estudiantes to make the Round of 16. But remember the club made the Final Four last season, are doing well in the French League and have a powerhouse centerpiece in Evelyn Akhator. Nia Coffey is playing well also. It is all about more players finding better consistency because on their day, they're hard to live with and can go deeper in the tournament. But having thought they would face Lointek Gernika, it's now CBK Mersin Yenisehir Bld in the Round of 16 and that looks tough.

Maxuella Lisowa Mbaka has been brilliant for Castors Braine in recent games

13. Castors Braine 

Season Record: 7-1
Shout it loud and pin this to the locker room wall for motivation Coach Dusart and Co. Yes, Castors Braine are the lowest club in these rankings with this kind of impressive season record. Why is that? Well, they are not shooting that great from downtown, have relied a lot on young Maxuella Lisowa Mbaka of late and might struggle to slow down the free-scoring Prometey. On the flip-side, beating Ramla twice in the Play-Off Round 1 was impressive, so they have every opportunity and motivation to prove this ranking as completely wrong! 

14. Zabiny Brno ZAB

Season Record: 6-2
They might be in with a shout of being called the surprise package of the season as few observers of the competition probably envisaged Zabiny Brno being in with the chance of making the Round of 8. While they have done great, they are still outsiders in this Round of 16 tie with Bourges, although Bria Holmes, Anna Jurcenkova and Petra Zaplatova might be able to pull of a shock if they all keep playing well. Plus, the team has done a great job on the boards so far.

15. AZS UMCS Lublin UMCS

Season Record: 5-3
They're having a nice campaign in the Polish League and while low down in these rankings, you can still envisage Lublin overcoming LM if they play well. The issue is probably that they have all their eggs in the Kamiah Smalls and Natasha Mack basket, who have driven them this far with some excellent play. They just don't seem to score enough points collectively or share the ball enough, ranking below 30 in the competition for both categories. 

16. Orman Genclik 

Season Record: 6-2
Really, anything is possible when you have Teaira McCowan in your lineup. What a baller and what a season she is having. She leads the competition in efficiency and is averaging a mammoth 23.4 points and 14.4 boards per game. Even with a former EuroLeague Women winner pulling the strings in the backcourt like Danielle Robinson and the fact they're chasing down Turkish League leaders Fenerbahce domestically, it's tough to envisage them getting past Valencia in the Round of 16. 

Disclaimer: The power rankings are entirely subjective and is in no way a true, accurate ranking systems. All comments are purely those of the author.

Paul Nilsen

Paul Nilsen

The EuroCup Women Power Rankings are put together by our panel, led by FIBA's women's basketball specialist Paul Nilsen. He eats, sleeps and breathes female hoops and is incredibly passionate about the promotion of the women's game at all levels. Paul uses an extensive network of players, coaches, clubs and Federations to shape his work and opinions.