25 September, 2019
19 April, 2020
to read

Power Rankings: All to play for in the last EuroLeague Women line-up of the season

MUNICH (Germany) - It's our last set of Power Rankings for the 2020 campaign as we enter the last weeks of the Regular Season with so much still to be determined. 

There are still some Quarter-Finals tickets to be taken, plus four tickets to EuroCup Women for the teams that land in spots 5 and 6 in each group. 

Let us know if you agree using #EuroLeagueWomen across social media channels.






Gelecek Koleji Cukurova - Let's tell it like it is. The Turkish side are just two games away from ending a forgettable season and being able to focus on saving their skin domestically to remain in the KBSL. The only club with 10 EuroLeague Women losses to date, they might feel they can finish on a high at least in front of their own fans against Castors Braine. But that last fixture? UMMC on the road. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.


Castors Braine - After being ripped apart against Bourges at Le Prado, the nail-biting loss at home to Reyer Venezia was a real sucker punch. It could yet cost them a place in EuroCup Women. Although all is not lost. With a very winnable game at Cukurova this week, they could get 4 in the W column. But that might be all, since they finish with ZVVZ USK Praha. It has been a little frustrating  as they promised a better return, but the loss of Celeste Trahan-Davis was a hammer blow. There is no denying that. 


Arka Gdynia - You have to feel for Gundars Vetra and his team, particularly Barbora Balintova and Bec Allen who  have both been excellent. It's because they could and probably should have won in Girona but lost a heart-breaker. They are bottom of Group B with a 3-9 record and yet most fans would agree they have been unfortunate and things could have been so different - even with a little more luck. Maybe sometimes the table does lie. Their last chance of squeezing into EuroCup Women comes with games, and required wins, against Lyon and Kursk.


TTT Riga - The dream of extending the season beyond the next fortnight with a place in EuroCup Women is still alive. A competitive display against UMMC came alongside that crushing success against Cukurova. They finish with two difficult match-ups against Nadezhda at home and Reyer Venezia in Italy. Marina Mabrey has really been a great pick up, while another key performer in Binta Drammeh must pick herself up mentally from the disappointment of missing out on Tokyo 2020 in the recent Qualifiers. Can they match-up in the paint against two very big teams? Or play more quickly to offer a different threat?



Spar Citylift Girona - The flood that cascaded through Girona's arena before their last game against Arka Gdynia was horrific. But they showed super resilience to not only move the game, but then dig out a thrilling victory. The addition of Abby Bishop gave them extra options and it was fellow center Naignouma Coulibaly who produced that sensational showing. However, that momentum evaporated with a disappointing loss in Kursk. It just feels like the season that never really got started. All is not lost and while it is perhaps an outside shot, they can still make EuroCup Women if they can be successful against Schio and BLMA. That is two tough match-ups and the first meeting this season with BLMA was a thriller if you recall!


Reyer Venezia - Could the Italians be thinking of what might have been this season? They suffered an agonizing loss at home to Nadezhda, otherwise they would have benefited from a super double after squeezing past Castors Braine. They are now 4-8 but still have Braine and also TTT Riga breathing down their necks. With ZVVZ USK Praha next, you have to think that will be difficult. It could all end up boiling down to a winner-takes-all last day clash against TTT for a spot in EuroCup Women. Still the worst team from downtown, now would be a good time to turn up the dial.  Also too much continues to rest on the leading trio of Anete Steinberga, Gintare Petronyte and Jolene Anderson. The supporting cast must step up.


Dynamo Kursk - It's looking like now or never for Kursk who have had some horror shows but also shown some green shoots of recovery. However, will it be a case of too little, too late? They have a great chance to salvage a basket-case of a season with wins against Sopron and Gdynia now. At least Astou Ndour returned, which is massive. and with top level players like Angel McCoughtry and Epiphanny Prince, they can do major damage to anyone. The problem is still convincing all of us there is any chemistry or a team ethic in place that can hold firm. The lack of rebounding is also still something that needs addressed. At 5-7, they must perform.

Famila Schio - They have been on a win, lose, win, lose run for a while and that lack of consistency could be costly. You would not back against another win-lose situation in the last couple of weeks with Girona and Sopron to face. Currently 7-5, the power ranking position of 9th is probably very harsh. But since scoring has been an issue and all the eggs are in the Sandrine Gruda basket, we have concerns. She is on absolute fire by the way and was amazing in the FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament. But if she misfires or gets into foul trouble, what is Plan B, because nice defense will only get a team so far?

LDLC ASVEL Feminin - It has been such an up and down first season. With two games to go, all scenarios look possible with Lyon now 6-6 after that sluggish show in Sopron, when they were soundly beaten, and scraping past BLMA. The two games they have left are absolute crunch against Arka Gdynia and Fenerbahce. This is the time when leading players like Marine Johannes need to really take it up a gear. Not making the Quarter-Finals would be a disappointment against pre-season expectations. Oh and remember that Gdynia went to Lyon and won the first meeting by 16! So, payback will need to be an added motivation.



BLMA - We could see this coming after that foot injury to Steph Mavunga couldn't we? We anticipated potential issues, since any team in a competition as brutal and relentless as this would suffer from losing their main star. BLMA were flying but crashed at home to Schio by double digits and were pipped at Lyon. They can recover and have at least integrated Shey Peddy who is a class performer. They don't get it much easier though, because Fener are next in line on the road and Girona at home. Things are finely balanced and maybe BLMA would settle for 1-1 in this last phase, so they would finish 8-6 - still very impressive.


Sopron Basket - Nobody has had a more roller-coaster campaign than Sopron Basket. They say basketball itself is a game of runs. Well, the entire Regular Season campaign has been just that and they are on an upward curve right now. Their big win against ASVEL and then a big win at Arka Gdynia has got them flying. In the past  few years they have made Final Four and nobody (perhaps even their own fans) expected another tilt towards glory. Could they really do it? They have two tricky match-ups to finish at home to Kursk and in Italy against Schio. But confidence is high and the good news is that Aleksandra Crvendakic, who missed the recent FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifiers due to illness, should be back on board.


Nadezhda - It feels like Nadezhda have not really been on the radar much this season compared to others, but here they are, with a very smart looking 7-5 record in Group A that has helped them lock down a Quarter-Finals ticket. Are they the Final Four dark horses? They have a seriously hard edge with Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe and Anastasiya Verameyenka in the paint, while Yvonne Turner and Erica Wheeler are a handful. The Russian core must now step up too. The loss to Praha was a big margin and destroys the notion of them making it to Final Four, but we wouldn't rule them out completely. They have two good tests to sign off the Regular Season at TTT and at home to Bourges. So, 9-5 is not beyond them!


Bourges - Can you remember it when Bourges were 16th, yes 16th in our first rankings? What a job they have done to turn it around and they sit in a great position at 8-4, meaning after those tow opening losses they have won six of eight; which is outstanding. The only issue is that Natalie Achonwa has been immense and her short-term deal is over. Ana Maria Filip comes from CCC Polkowice to try and help fill the spot - albeit a different style of player. Bourges need to stay strong because they have a tough finish with Russian duo UMMC and Nadezhda. It's good that Alexia Chartereau and Ana Dabovic continue to shine so impressively. 


ZVVZ USK Praha - Yes, it's a slight fall, but they are still on our Power Rankings podium! We had to reflect a big loss at UMMC, but with Reyer Venezia and Castors Braine remaining, they look like a lock to finish 12-2 which would be wonderful. It is not a surprise because the extended rotation have all been excellent and it's difficult for opponents to shut down the long list of leaders. Talking of which, has any player had a better first two seasons in EuroLeague Women than Alyssa Thomas?  What a baller!


Fenerbahce Oznur Kablo - Having missed out on the Final Four in the past couple of seasons, what a great position Fener find themselves in as Victor Lapena continues to do a stellar job in his rookie Istanbul season. They are sitting pretty at 10-2 but can't be complacent as they have BLMA and Lyon, so will want to go into the Quarter-Finals with momentum, not on a low note. They're shooting the ball great, Alina Iagupova is frontrunner for Regular Season MVP, while Cecilia Zandalasini, Elizabeth Williams and Kiah Stokes have done the business nicely.


UMMC Ekaterinburg - They're back on top of the heap again and at just the right time as the Regular Season prepares to come to and end. When you are the champs, this always means important final preparations for crunch time - aka the Play-Offs. Still the team to beat, they showed their teeth in that success against ZVVZ USK Praha. They will surely be the top seed in Group A and whoever finishes fourth in Group B will be needing a minor miracle. But first, it's finishing the scheduled games against Bourges on the road (which could be a decent test) before a likely one-sided contest against Cukurova. You have to love pretty much everything about UMMC and their game at this stage. Oh yeah, and they just signed Breanna Stewart. Go figure.

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

Paul Nilsen

Paul Nilsen

The EuroLeague Women Power Rankings are put together by our panel, led by FIBA's women's basketball specialist Paul Nilsen. He eats, sleeps and breathes female hoops and is incredibly passionate about the promotion of the women's game at all levels. Paul uses an extensive network of players, coaches, clubs and Federations to shape his work and opinions.