21 September, 2023
10 April, 2024
28 Yueru Li (BES), 1 Dana Evans (BES)
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Preview: Who is making it to the last four of EuroCup Women?

MUNICH (Germany) - The race for EuroCup Women silverware is intensifying as the last eight teams standing prepare to step out for the Quarter-Finals of the competition.

We'll be bringing you all you need to know about each of the two-legged matchups below, with the full Quarter-Finals games schedule also available, HERE. The higher seeded teams in each tie (listed second below) will play at home in the second-leg games. 

Besiktas vs Lattes-Montpellier

It feels like the momentum could be with Besiktas after beating top seeds Tango Bourges Basket in the last phase and beating EuroCup Women silverware chasers Galatasaray Cagdas Factoring with a 15-point Istanbul derby win in the Turkish league last week. It shows they are a force to be reckoned with. Dana Evans and Jovana Nogic are offensive eruptions in most games, Yueru Li is a power under the hoop and they've strengthened with Kristina Topuzovic. 

Meanwhile, Lattes-Montpellier are arguably more team-orientated with an array of options, including the all-action Alisia Jenkins, French national team duo Romaine Bernies and Mamignan Toure, top scorer Ameryst Alston and center Kyara Linskens - although the latter has been struggling with injury and missed the recent FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament with Belgium. They have also just lost Marieme Badiane to Fenerbahce, too. 

Key Matchup: Jovana Nogic is the player that seems to make Besiktas tick this season and so it's likely that Romane Bernies will be asked to try and close her down for the most part. If Nogic is prevented from shining as she usually does, that could cause a major headache for the Turkish club.

'X-Factor': This is all about the Besiktas big guns bringing it to the table as usual and the 'X-Factor' is likely to be whether there is a Plan B if Nogic, Evans and Li are off color or get into foul trouble. Someone else needs to step up in that scenario.

Stats Don't Lie: These teams are so closely match there is virtually nothing between them in all of the statistical categories and that feeds into the prediction that this could be a seriously tight one. One interesting number is that Besiktas need to fix their struggles on the road as they have lost 3 of 5 on their travels so far. 

Melikgazi Kayseri vs London Lions

The hugely ambitious London Lions were installed as one of the favorites as soon as they missed out on their main target of the EuroLeague Women Regular Season and they remain unbeaten. With their high class frontline duo of Megan Gustafson and Temi Fagbenle, plus Karlie Samuelson dropping triples and the talented guard Holly Winterburn now joined in the backcourt by Shey Peddy, they look like they could be tough to stop.

However, Melikgazi Kayseri have a truly exceptional veteran star to inspire them to an upset with Gintare Petronyte taking January MVP honors. Although it is not only about the center, since the Turkish side have also been able to rely on big contributions from forward Joyner Holmes, leading scorer Claudia Cuic and guard Aaryn Ellenberg-Wiley.

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Key Matchup:
Gustafson and Fagbenle going up against Petronyte and Holmes is going to be quite something and will likely determine the outcome of this tie. These are four high quality frontcourt ballers who are pivotal to their team's prospects. 

'X-Factor': Who else can step up in that fifth spot for Kayseri? They have a clear leading quartet who have done all the damage during the season so far, but they will need more against London who have a fantastic six different players all in double-digits for efficiency. 

Stats Don't Lie: London Lions have been on fire from downtown; shooting a superb 40.9 percent and if they continue this, it will be a big factor. Similarly their depth is precious too, since they average 26.3 points off the bench compared to just 9.6 for Kayseri.

Spar Girona vs Galatasaray Cagdas Factoring

Spar Girona might sense blood in the water when it comes to former frontrunner Galatasaray Cagdas Factoring who have had some indifferent results of late. The Spanish side have huge experience in the recently installed playcaller Roberto Iniguez and vast know-how on the floor with Marianna Tolo, Giedre Labuckiene, Magali Mendy, Rebekah Gardner and Sandra Ygueravide.  Girona will also get nice production from Morgan Bertsch and Regan Magarity, too.

Galatasaray have less depth and experience than their opponents, but a trio of players always in top gear in frontcourt stars Muiha Hines-Allen and Nalyssa Smith, plus Belgian Cats' guard Julie Vanloo. Outside of this leading trio, there has not been many big displays, although Bria Hartley is always capable. But a loss to Gorzow in the last phase at home and a big derby loss to Besiktas led to a change of playcaller last week.  

Key Matchup:
Myisha Hines-Allen has been outstanding all year and it is going to pose a real handful inside for the Girona defense. That is likely to mean some seriously hard physical work from the Marianna Tolo and Giedre Labuckiene combo to keep her in check.

'X-Factor': Tempo basically. The slower and more half-court and controlled it is, the happier that Spar Girona and Coach Iniguez are likely to be about their prospects.

Stats Don't Lie: Galatasaray love to leak out when they can with the likes of Vanloo leading that charge and they average 19.5 fast break points compared to 11.2 for Girona. When it comes to bench scoring, Girona have 27 per game compared to 15.5 for their opponents who rely heavily in their starters.

TTT Riga vs Umana Reyer Venice

Still searching for silverware after multiple Final appearances, is this the year when Reyer can get it done? They have a super centerpiece in the powerful Jessica Shepard who has put up extraordinary numbers, Awak Kuier is an athletic handful for anyone and Lorela Cubaj is growing in stature. The backcourt has the talent of Lisa Berkani and Matilde Villa who can always put on a show and with Francesca Pan and Anna Makurat on the wings, there is a lot to love. 

TTT Riga are perhaps something of a surprise package as they have defied many observers with a super season so far - one that has seen them go a perfect 10 of 10 which is a remarkable effort. Their star baller Kyra Lambert has been on fire for the most part, but the cameos of Ieva Pulvere and Margaux Claveau have underpinned their headliner. 

Key Matchup: Everything TTT Riga do goes through Lambert and therefore she will be top of the Venice scouting report by far. She is leading the way for the famous Latvian club in efficiency, scoring, assists and steals, which shows just how impactful and active she is. It will be interesting to see who Venice task to focus their defensive attention on her, since this is the key matchup. It could be Berkani, or maybe they will look to impose a size advantage on her. 

'X-Factor': The three-point threat of TTT Riga is likely to be the 'X-Factor' in this tie because with Venice having so much muscle under the basket, they will have to probably shoot the lights out from long-range to make the last four. 

Stats Don't Lie: Reyer have a sky-high 56.1 shooting percentage from two-point range this season, much from the hand of Shepard. That has harvested an eye-popping 46 points per game in the paint. That is hard to live with for TTT Riga.

Who do you think will go on to win the title? You can have your say by ranking the favorites, here.