Game of the Week: Who will be smiling after the big Spanish derby?
GIRONA (Spain) - Few teams know each other as well as Spanish rivals Spar Girona and Perfumerias Avenida, which makes this Game of the Week a guaranteed intense derby matchup.
Known as 'El Classico' in Spanish women's basketball circles, this game has big history and most recently, there have been plenty of crossovers with personnel too.
Avenida head coach Roberto Iniguez has held the reins at Girona, while recent Avenida signing Michaela Onyenwere returns to her old club, as does Julia Reisingerova.
You can watch the live broadcast of the game between Spar Girona and Perfumerias Avenida on the EuroLeague Women YouTube channel on Wednesday, December 21 at 19:00 CET.
Form guide: Spar Girona have a 3-3 record in Group B and having lost their last two games, are out to avoid what would be a worrying third straight defeat. Domestically, they lead the way in top spot with a 9-3 record and beat EuroCup Women side IDK Euskotren 68-53 last weekend.
Perfumerias Avenida have a 5-1 record and are joint top of the group, with their only loss coming at co-leaders Beretta Famila Schio. In the Spanish league, there have been more ups and downs and they are currently in fourth position with eight wins and four losses, having beaten Barca CBS 67-54 last time out.
Last meeting: The sides last met in EuroLeague Women during last season's Quarter-Finals when it was Avenida that won the series 2-1 to advance to the Final Four in Istanbul. However, the clubs have met multiple times in domestic action and less than two weeks ago, Girona posted a 76-72 home victory in Liga Femenina.
Center Marianna Tolo is Girona's leading scorer so far this season
Key matchup: Marianna Tolo has been the model of consistency this season for Girona and is the only baller averaging double-digits in scoring alongside Rebekah Gardner. The imposing Australian shot 70 percent from the floor in the last meeting between the teams in the Spanish league. How she does against the rotation of Avenida pair Julia Reisingerova and Maria Fasoula will be important. Girona need her to continue that good form, working the high and low post, as well as being a defensive anchor in the paint.
'X-factor': Can Spar Girona control the tempo, keep the game slightly more on the ugly side and look to hold it to around 70 points, or preferably less? They don't have the same depth or scoring punch as Avenida. In fact, they average just 62.8 points per game compared to 77.7 for their opponents. One reason for that is Avenida shooting 40 percent from downtown which is the best in EuroLeague Women this season.
Tuesday, December 20
Olympiacos SFP v Valencia Basket Club - 16:30 CET
Sopron Basket v Beretta Famila Schio - 18:00 CET
Wednesday, December 21
Fenerbahce Alagoz Holding v Tango Bourges Basket - 17:00 CET
BC Polkowice v Atomeromu KSC Szekszard - 19:00 CET
Virtus Segafredo Bologna v ZVVZ USK Praha - 20:30 CET
DVTK Hun-Therm v Basket Landes - 18:00 CET
Thursday, December 22
Kangoeroes Mechelen v CBK Mersin Yenisehir Bld - 17:00 CET