22 September, 2021
07 April, 2022
Long Read
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Quarter-Finals preview: Who's heading to the Final Four?

MUNICH (Germany) - There's one last critical step to take for the eight clubs who are vying for a place in the EuroCup Women Final Four. 

With each tie set to be played across two legs in a home and away format, the Quarter-Finals include the four best teams of the competition so far, as well as four clubs that transferred from the EuroLeague Women Regular Season. Best of all, it looks like all eight clubs have a serious shot at going all the way to the top of the podium.

Basket Landes v Tango Bourges Basket

Experienced Australian center Marianna Tolo always offers a foundation to build on in the paint for Basket Landes

This is not just a fight to make it to the EuroCup Women Final Four because the added dimension is that this tie is an extension of what has been a gripping race to win the French League. Until LDLC ASVEL Feminin recently rose up, it was Bourges and Landes all year, so the rivalry is intense. Landes jump across from EuroLeague Women after a solid campaign, while Bourges have rode to this point in EuroCup Women with relative ease. They are also former winners of course.

Team Leaders: Marine Fauthoux, Regan Magarity, Marianna Tolo ( Basket Landes) - Laetitia Guapo, Iliana Rupert, Elin Eldebrink (Tango Bourges Basket)

Elin Eldebrink of Bourges will use all of her know-how to try and slow down rising star Marine Fauthoux

Key matchup: Marine Fauthoux and Elin Eldebrink should be a really good battle in the backcourt. The former an emerging talent with club and country, having come off the best campaign of her career to date. And, in Eldebrink, a tough and proven performer at the highest level who will enjoy trying to shut down her opponent with her veteran know-how.

'X-Factor': As fate would dictate, these teams meet in the French league just days before the first leg of the Quarter-Finals and you have to think that this will have a bearing for both teams. Both in terms of confidence and any adjustments that need to come out of it - and how successful they are.

Stats don't lie: Bourges Basket are the leading scorers in EuroCup Women this season with a mammoth 89.8 points per game.

Umana Reyer v Valencia Basket 

Will Bec Allen be able to inspire Valencia Basket at both ends of the floor like usual?

The title defense of current EuroCup Women champions Valencia Basket continues, after they endured a major scare in the last phase, against Polkowice, as they only just squeezed through. In a replay of the last EuroCup Women final, they are facing an Umana Reyer side that has arguably not lived up the the billing and will be eager to underline they have EuroLeague Women quality and can take down their Spanish opponents.

Leaders: Astou Ndour, Yvonne Anderson, Kayla Thornton (Umana Reyer) - Bec Allen, Cristina Ouvina, Marie Guelich (Valencia Basket)

Yvonne Anderson is one of the in-form players in Europe right now - can she stay hot to inspire Umana Reyer to the last eight?

Key matchup: It's going to be a classic playmaker clash between Yvonne Anderson of Umana Reyer who has lit it up in past weeks, both in EuroLeague Women and also for Serbia at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2022 Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade as MVP of Group A. Her creative and scoring ability is such a plus, but Valencia have an outstanding veteran in Cristina Ouvina. Her creative skills and defensive capabilities are huge. Don't take your eyes off this duel for a second!

'X-Factor': It felt like the pressure perhaps got to Valencia BC on their home floor in the Round of 8 when they were so close to being dumped out in front of their own fans by Polkowice. They are going to have to re-assert themselves and at a high level to navigate Umana Reyer and make another Final Four.

Stats don't lie: With 13.6 steals per game, Valencia top this important chart in EuroCup Women this season.

LDLC ASVEL Feminin v CBK Mersin Yenisehir 

Marine Johannes is always high on everybody's watch list when LDLC Feminin are in town

It seems like a long time since LDLC ASVEL Feminin started out with a shock loss at Movistar Estudiantes and CBK Mersin Yenisehir had a flawless group stage. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then. ASVEL recovered and got back on track, while Mersin look highly dangerous and real title candidates- although they could have been eliminated by Lointek Gernika in the Round of 16 after a shocking road loss of more than 20 points. But here they both are and ready to try and take a step towards the Final Four. 

Leaders: Julie Allemand, Marine Johannes, Aleksandra Crvendakic (LDLC ASVEL Feminin) - Temi Fagbenle, Tiffany Hayes, DeWanna Bonner (CBK Mersin Yenisehir Bld)

In-form Great Britain forward Temi Fagbenle could have a big role to play in this tie for CBK Mersin

Key matchup: Temi Fagbenle has been on fire lately for Mersin and was unstoppable in the Round of 8. The task of trying to slow her down may fall on Alexia Chartereau, who herself has the ability to cause problems by taking her opponent to the perimeter and use her extended shooting range. Completely different type of forwards, this will be very interesting to watch!

'X-Factor': The scoring capacity of both teams has been quite different of late. Mersin tend to cut loose and play more openly, whereas ASVEL arguably play with more control and more conservatively. If Mersin are not locked down, then it's tough to see how ASVEL can keep pace if they allow it to become a 'run-and-gun' affair. Controlling the tempo looks key.

Stats don't lie: Nobody has rebounded the ball better this season than ASVEL, with a massive 46.2 boards per game.

KSC Szekszard v Galatasaray 

Tina Krajisnik has been a towering presence in EuroLeague Women for Galatasaray.

Both teams thought their participation in Europe had ended for the season, but each will relish the chance of being handed a second chance by taking advantage of two spots opening up in the EuroCup Women Quarter-Finals. For KSC Szekszard, it could be a real chance to push the reset button after losing all 14 Regular Season games in their rookie EuroLeague Women campaign. As for Galatasaray, they will be looking to land the EuroCup Women title for a third time, so this is familiar territory for the Istanbul giants.

Leaders: Nikolina Milic, Cyesha Goree, Zala Friskovec (KSC Szekszard) - Pelin Bilgic, Tina Krajisnik, Kelsey Plum (Galatasaray)

The return of the physical presence of Nikolina Milic from injury has been a big boost for KSC Szekszard

Key matchup: It's going to be fun to watch Nikolina Milic and Tina Krajisnik going up against each other. Both have represented Serbia and both are walking double-doubles whenever they step onto the floor. It will be an immense tussle, although maybe it will be Cyesha Goree who steps in for Szekszard to try and lock down Krajisnik.

'X-Factor': Confidence. You get the sense that after that 0-14 Regular Season record, the confidence of Szekszard might be fragile, so a positive start will be important. There's a long way to go in these two-leg games, but if they can jump out on Galatasaray and get some confidence and rhythm flowing through their veins, it could be very interesting.

Stats don't lie: Szekszard have endured a big offensive struggle this season and only averaged 62.4 points per game during their EuroLeague Women campaign.