09 October, 2018
14 April, 2019
15 Ieva Pulvere (TTTR)
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Power Rankings: Fenerbahce and Hatay drop, TTT show their teeth on 60th birthday

MUNICH (EuroLeague Women) - As we head into the third week of EuroLeague Women, things are beginning to take shape as we bring you the latest set of Power Rankings.

It includes a sharp rise for TTT Riga, the perfect boost as the Latvian club celebrates its 60th anniversary this week!






UMMC Ekaterinburg -  It was perhaps slightly less convincing than anticipated, but much of that credit should go to CCC Polkowice who did not make life easy for UMMC last week as the champions moved to 2-0. UMMC will now face domestic rivals Nadezhda on the road. That means a battle of the Spanish coaches, with Miguel Mendez pitting his wits against Victor Lapena. 


Dynamo Kursk - It was great to see Sonja Petrovic back in full flight and picking up the slack from Breanna Stewart who had grabbed the headlines during Week 1. Tina Charles completed her debut against Carolo Basket in the win and barring an epic upset at Olympiacos this week, it is looking like Kursk are comfortably on course for a 3-0 start.

ZVVZ USK Prague - Having lost their top three scorers from last season, hats off to Prague who have handled it in style after following up the road win in Orenburg with another at Famila Schio. Big props to the veteran expertise of Natalia Hejkova who has got her team showing real potential. It's still early but new arrivals Alyssa Thomas and Valeriane Ayayi look like they will have a big impact. They finally get to play at home this week when the unbeaten Bourges are in town.

Bourges Basket - Yes, something is going to have to give in the Czech capital when one team will go 3-0 and the other will be left 2-1. Credit to Olivier Lafargue and his players who beat Nadezhda with some fine defense at Le Prado last week. They had lots of steals and it was a real team performance. Their defense will have to be at its best to deny the free-scoring Prague and knock them out of their stride. They will also have to make sure last season's standout Valeriane Ayayi does not haunt them!

TTT Riga - What a tremendous start to the season for TTT Riga, who are just loving being back in EuroLeague Women right now. Having almost shocked Dynamo Kursk in their opener, they certainly pulled off a surprise last week by picking up a terrific road win at Hatay - a place not many teams are likely to prevail. Coach Zibarts has got his side playing with confidence and alongside Shey Peddy who is enjoying some nice early season form, there have been so many nice cameos from multiple players in a true team effort. The fans are likely to give them a great reception back to Riga when they face Avenida this week in one of the most attractive looking matchups.

Sopron Basket - After that opening loss at Carolo Basket, this looked and felt much more like the true face of last year's Finalists as they eased past Olympiacos. However, this week's game at Fenerbahce is undoubtedly huge and likely to be an accurate gauge of their ambitions. The home side are under intense pressure to avoid a 1-2 start and it's an opportunity for Coach Iniguez going back to his old club. Also it will bring memories flooding back from last season where Sopron won in Istanbul in the Quarter-Finals in what was a major part of their journey to the Final Four. 


Perfumerias Avenida - It was another famous and memorable night at Pabellon Wurzburg for Avenida as they recovered from their loss at Hatay to beat another Turkish opponent in the shape of Fenerbahce. It took overtime and coming back from a worrying deficit, but the energy from the crowd and the players showing composure in the big situations helped them get the W.  Maybe it flew under the radar that Avenida had six players in double figures and that emphasized the team concept. As with almost every season, the issue always seems to be playing away from home, so they will be out to prove a point at TTT Riga. 

Hatay - Yes, we admit it. Maybe we went too hot and too big on Hatay in our opening Power Rankings of the season. Have the wheels come off with that home loss to TTT Riga, or is it a one-off? Perhaps people are right when they say that the only time to accurately gauge whether Hatay have true Final Four potential is when they have played some road games. Their first is at Carolo Basket this week.

Carolo Basket -  It was a respectable first road trip for the French side who lost to Dynamo Kursk, but probably did as much as they could against the stacked tournament frontrunners. Now they have this intriguing matchup at home to Hatay and they will have confidence from their home success in Week 1 against Sopron. They will have to step it up in the paint to deny Courtney Paris and might be looking to play up-tempo in this one. There is nice battles all over the court, with the likes of Katsiaryna Snytsina and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis keen to add something from the wings and downtown for their respective teams. 


ESBVA-LM- There can't have been many times in the history of the competition that a team has won a game with the same number of rebounds as points - but that is exactly what happened in the 49-51 derby win at Castors Braine. It wasn't pretty, but that won't matter to ESBVA-LM who showed their durability. They will also smell blood in the water at home to the struggling Schio this week - visitors who have French head coach Pierre Vincent at the helm and French national team powerhouse, Sandrine Gruda. A super opportunity awaits to go 2-1. 


Fenerbahce -  Fenerbahce had victory in their hands at Avenida, but,they blew it. They committed turnovers in crunch time and switched off at the end of regulation, to inexplicably gift the Spanish team an open lay-up. It was good to see Cecilia Zandalasini make some shots and once more, Anastasiya Verameyenka showed her class, but Coach Garnier maybe needs a big win against a quality opponent to convince some doubters. Sopron represents that opportunity this week and it will be interesting to see how things evolve. 


Castors Braine - They came so close to going 2-0 but couldn't quite pull off a comeback win against ESBVA-LM. Then again, does any team deserve to win with just 49 points? A tally that could end up being the lowest of the season. Braine hit an early offensive wall and while their defense almost got them an escape route, it was a game to forget. Next up? A chance to capitalize on the pressure and nervousness CCC Polkowice may be feeling when they host the Belgians this week. Stopping Temi Fagbenle under the hoop will be a priority. 


CCC Polkowice  - Not many teams move up after a loss, but CCC showed great spirit and some nice game at UMMC Ekaterinburg. While they did end up losing by double digits, they made life uncomfortable for their illustrious opponents and even if they are 0-2, Coach Kovacik and his players probably still got that frustrating no-show during Week 1 against Bourges out of their system. After all, will anybody else hold UMMC to less than 70 points at the DIVS Arena? Probably not. However, it is bizarre to think that on the flip-side, the home fixture against Castors Braine feels like a must-win game even at this early stage of the season! 0-3 is unthinkable. 



Famila Schio- It has been a nightmare 0-2 start for Schio as they crashed at home to Prague. Perhaps the most worrying thing is not the defeat, but the manner of the loss, since it was quite ugly stuff to watch. With few positives to take, the next game is a difficult one to try and predict at ESBVA-LM. More production needs to come from the wings in particular - but from anywhere will do actually. They have shot a combined 18.5% in their opening two games. Enough to make your eyes water - even as a neutral. Surely this is going to be one of those things where the offense clicks and they give someone some real difficulties. But, of course, easier said than done.


Nadezhda - It had looked promising at Le Prado against Bourges, but Nadezhda couldn't look after the ball well enough. The mixture of unforced errors and Bourges pressure was too much and a big factor in the Russian club going 0-2 as they were made to pay for their errors. It was a familiar story with Brionna Jones solid again, but if you can't even score 60 points, you will always be in trouble in any game in this competition. Especially away from home. Now they are staring down a very realistic barrel of a 0-3 start with UMMC in town next. 


Olympiacos -  It was a familiar story for Olympiacos at Sopron who started positively, but as the game wore on, their lack of depth was exposed and the impressive fighting spirit was not enough. They have Dynamo Kursk next at home and you have to have some sympathy that in their first-ever EuroLeague Women season, they have to play two Final Four teams in their first three games - plus Istanbul giants, Fenerbahce. 

*The power rankings are entirely subjective and in no way a true, accurate ranking system. All comments are purely those of the author(s).