21 September, 2023
10 April, 2024
Finals Preview: Will Besiktas or London Lions be crowned first time winners?
to read

Finals Preview: Will Besiktas or London Lions be crowned first time winners?

MUNICH (Germany) - There's only one guarantee in this season's EuroCup Women Finals and that's a new name being added to the prestigious list of winners as Besiktas and London Lions bid to make history.

Last year, LDLC ASVEL Feminin lifted the precious silverware for the first time to become the 16th different winner and we will soon know who will be the 17th in just 20 EuroCup Women campaigns.

Played over two legs, Besiktas will have home advantage first on Wednesday April 3 at 19:30 CET, with the return game taking place a week later in London on April 10 at 20:00 CET.

Besiktas v London Lions

Form guide: Besiktas have impressed this season with some huge wins on the road at the likes of Spar Girona and Lattes-Montpellier. However, it has been their home form in Istanbul with just one home loss which has been the foundation for their 10-4 record and run to the Finals.

London Lions have that brilliant unbeaten record which is the second best the competition have ever seen. They are a flawless 14-0 and came into the season having fallen short in their two-legged EuroLeague Women Qualifiers against DVTK HUN-Therm.  

Key matchup: The London Lions team this year was built around the sensational summer signing of Temi Fagbenle and now the British club's prospects of a glorious European title rests heavily on her shoulders. That's because there is a monumental duel lying in wait with March MVP winner Yueru Li. 

Temi Fagbenle will need to bring her leadership, experience and skills against in-form Yueru Li

Fagbenle will have to use her quickness, length and mobility to try and counteract the sheer size and power of Chinese national team star Li. The Besiktas center has been largely unstoppable and a walking double-double lately. The longer the season has went on, the more influential she has become. Whoever wins this battle will go a long way to putting their team on the path to being crowned champions. 

X-factor: Will London's three-point shooting prowess and bench depth continue to get the job done? There was no better evidence of why they are the best team in the competition from long-range than when they hit a flurry of triples against Umana Reyer Venice in the third quarter of their Semi-Final second leg to help seal the deal.

Karlie Samuelson is always a huge threat from downtown

If they get close to their near 40 percent production, it will be tough for Besiktas to keep pace. Additionally, while a lot of the spotlight is on the likes of starters and standouts Fagbenle, Megan Gustafson, Karlie Samuelson and Holly Winterburn, London have done a big team job with an eye-catching average of just 23.2 points from the bench compared to 10.2 for Besiktas who's roster is much shorter.

VOTE: Who do you think will be the Finals MVP?

Did you know? Yueri Li will  become the first Asian player to lift the EuroCup Women title if Besiktas are crowned champions.

Besiktas are looking to become the third Turkish winners of EuroCup Women, following on from Yakin Dogu University (2017) and Galatasaray (2009 and 2018).

London Lions are the first British club to step out in a major European Final - while Temi Fagbenle (Umana Reyer Venezia - 2021) and Kat Snytsina (Nadezhda - 2010) have both played in the EuroCup Women Final before.