25 September, 2019
19 April, 2020
24 Cecilia Zandalasini (FENE)
to read

Everything you need to know for the EuroLeague Women Quarter-Finals

MUNICH (Germany) - The scramble to make Final Four is in its last stage as we prepare to enjoy the EuroLeague Women Quarter-Finals and what looks to be some seriously exciting series.

Here's our guide, with you need to many of the key things you need to know:

History is happening

Both BLMA and LDLC ASVEL Feminin have reached the post-season for the first time in their history. The French duo are about to put their toes in new waters, although you sense that the it might be BLMA who get bitten as they have the daunting task of facing defending champions UMMC Ekaterinburg. Meanwhile ASVEL will play the other Russian representative Nadezhda.

Big backcourt stars still waiting for Final Four

Even if you only take LDLC ASVEL Feminin and Fenerbahce Oznur Kablo for example, on those two teams there are four major global stars all searching for their first-ever Final Four appearance. Julie Allemand and Marine Johannes of Lyon, plus Cecilia Zandalasini and Alina Iagupova of Fenerbahce. 

Will we get any series deciders?

Last year, all four series ended up a 2-0 sweep and for the first time in recent memory, there were no deciders. Will we make a return to some ties going down to the wire and see a decisive third game in 2020? Does LDLC ASVEL Feminin against Nadezhda appear to be the most well-balanced tie on paper?

Five nations and a major boost for French basketball

There are five different nations represented this year, with UMMC and Nadezhda from Russia, Fenerbahce Oznur Kablo from Turkey, Famila Schio from Italy, ZVVZ USK Praha from Czech and no fewer than three French representatives. That is unprecedented in the competition and a real boost for French basketball. It is the first time the French have had more teams than any other nation in the last eight of the tournament.

Watch out for a shot-blocking legend

As you would expect, the Quarter-Finals are littered with the biggest stars of the women's game worldwide, but watch out in particular for Anastasiya Verameyenka. She recently became the EuroLeague Women All-Time shot blocker and if Nadezhda are to make Final Four by beating LDLC Asvel Feminin, it will be her defense that could be the biggest influence on the tie.

The Chicago Sky Connection

When UMMC Ekaterinburg face BLMA in their tie, there will be a Chicago Sky reunion of epic proportions. In terms of playing personnel, there will be Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley for UMMC, with Gabby Williams of BLMA joined by recent signing Cheyenne Parker. Then, you can also factor in the added dimension of James Wade, the UMMC Assistant Coach and Sky head coach, going up against his wife and General Manager of BLMA, Edwige Lawson-Wade! 

Will Famila Schio and Bourges Basket end losing streaks?

Both clubs have not exactly got a shining recent record at the Quarter-Finals stage, with Schio having basically not won at this stage in a Final Four season format - ever. They went 0-2 in 2018, 2017, 2016 when they made it this far. And, were 0-3 at Final Eight in 2013, last winning a game in 2012 at Final Eight.  Can they change the tide against ZVVZ USK Praha?

Similarly, Bourges Basket head into their tie against Fenerbahce Oznur Kablo having lost their last seven games at this stage. They went 0-2 in 2019, 2018, 2017 (didn't make it in 2016) and lost their last game in 2015 as they went down 2-1. So it is five years since they actually won a Quarter-Finals game. 

Last surviving trio of last UMMC loss

Current EuroLeague Women holders UMMC have won their last seven Quarter-Final games which sums up the scale of the task facing BLMA. The last defeat came back in 2016 when UMMC were beaten by Galatasaray. The Russians still went on to win the title that year, with Emma Meesseman, Alba Torrens and Brittney Griner those only three current UMMC players who know what it is like to slip-up in a Quarter-Finals game.

Regular Season Stat Stars set to shine

We are going to be spoiled for choice in these Quarter-Finals since we will be watching a multitude of players who have absolutely ripped it up during the Regular Season and topped the stats charts. For example, we will be able to see four of the top five scorers (Alina Iagupova, Alyssa Thomas, Brittney Griner, Cecilia Zandalasini), four of the top five players for field goal shooting (Emma Meesseman, Brittney Griner, Maria Vadeeva, Alyssa Thomas) and also five of the top six for steals (Alyssa Thomas, Erica Wheeler, Gabby Wiliams, Sarah Michel, Cristina Ouvina).