20 September, 2023
14 April, 2024
EuroLeague Women Power Rankings, Volume 1
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EuroLeague Women Power Rankings: Volume 1

MUNICH (Germany) - A new EuroLeague Women campaign wouldn't be a new EuroLeague Women campaign without the first edition of the Power Rankings. With the competition set to tip off later this week, it's the perfect time to unveil the much-anticipated classification of the clubs.

Considering the early-season performances in domestic leagues, the team rosters, and, of course, the crucial competition system and group draws, here's the initial set of rankings.

1. Fenerbahce Alagoz Holding 

It's never boring is it? A first title but now no Marina Maljkovic, Courtney Vandersloot,  Alina Iagupova, Satou Sabally and radio silence (unless we missed something) on Breanna Stewart. But with Emma Meesseman and K-Mac, a new leader in Yvonne Anderson, the firepower of Kitija Laksa and SuperCup Women MVP Napheesa Collier, they're still favorites. That historic silverware might also be a launch-pad for Valerie Garnier on her return, but she will know that only another EuroLeague Women title will count as true success.

Defending champions Fenerbahce Alagoz Holding enter the new season as the team to beat

2. Cukurova Basketbol Mersin 

Making that historic first Final was superb last year, but they just struggled at the last moment. Like a proud marathon runner who posts the run of their life, but involves a wobbly-legged approach to the finish line. There's no more Chelsea Gray, Tiffany Hayes or Aleksandra Crvendakic, but Marina Mabrey, Alina Iagupova, Agnes Studer and Virag Kiss will keep the flame burning bright. Roberto Iniguez is retained and with him still navigating, it would be unthinkable not to make back to back Final Fours - at the very least.

3. Virtus Segafredo Bologna   

It's possibly a super generous ranking, but there's a first Italian SuperCup already in the cupboard. Pierre Vincent's arrival divided some opinions, but is substance over style simply addressing the lack of resilience which was the missing ingredient last year? You have to love Ivana Dojkic and Cecilia Zanadalasini's ability to take games away from opponents with their offensive skills, Haley Peters and Lauren Cox are rocks, Iliana Rupert can get even better and that Italian core will do a nice job. First Final Four incoming? Maybe.

4. LDLC ASVEL Feminin 

Our ASVEL glass is half-full despite that brutal loss in the SuperCup Women Final last week. M is the letter. M is for mitigating factors, M is for missing players. M for making Final Four with a full roster. M for Marine! Yes, when Johannes is back alongside the brilliant Gabby Williams and Belgian Cats' star Julie Allemand , that is three starting five ballers able to supercharge their campaign. Plus there's young gun Juste Jocyte as well. M is also for memo. Ours says you must watch the sunshine come from behind those clouds. 

5. ZVVZ USK Praha USK 

Is this going to be like Destiny's Child trying to replace Beyonce? Well, there's no doubt that Praha will struggle to make the same sweet basketball music without Alyssa Thomas. She really did everything and it feels like a re-set for legendary head coach Natalia Hejkova. The change is not in terms of numbers as Teja Oblak, Maria Conde, Valeriane Vukosavljevic will keep them rolling strong. It's how Maite Cazorla and Ezi Magbegor do in their first season. But AJ's shoes are really big ones to fill - for the whole roster. 

Valeriane Vukusavljevic will be one of the ballers tasked with making up for the departure of Alyssa Thomas

6. Beretta Famila Schio SCHI 

What a fairytale and memorable ride to that first Final Four last season! Another post-season looks likely, but there's real pressure on the three main arrivals to produce. Arella Guirantes must replicate that amazing rookie season at DVTK, Julia Reisingerova must avoid the injuries that have sidelined her sometimes in recent years and Dorka Juhasz must impress in her first season.  Despite some very solid returnees, especially the Italian contingent, there's a lot of intangibles with newcomers so, it's a case of let's wait and see. 

7. Valencia Basket Club 

You could have every team ranked 3-8 in any one of those positions - in any order. Valencia could easily make a first Final Four. So why is our glass half empty and not half full like ASVEL? Well, as amazing as Alba Torrens and Cristina Ouvina are, they seem vulnerable to more injuries and that's a concern. Younger players like Raquel Carrera and Elena Buenavida will rise up, but summer recruitment was solid and not spectacular. We've looked deep inside our basketball soul and the 'clutch' options just don't seem as slick as other teams.

8. Perfumerias Avenida AVEN

It's no anti-Spanish campaign so please cut and paste from above in respect of places 3-8. Maybe it's the harshest ranking and we can only imagine the deafening whistles from the 'Blue Tide' in Salamanca if eighth place was announced live at a game (although in that scenario we would be so shallow and no doubt have them placed higher). The mix of arrivals is nice with Laura Gil, Olcay Caikur Turgut, Sika Kone and Antonia Delaere -  almost a starting five in themselves.  But, it feels like it might take time to build momentum. 

9. KGHM BC Polkowice 

Don't worry, we're not stuck in some kind of time tunnel from last year when they just missed the Play-Offs. Yes, this might be one of the most generous rankings as they came via the Qualifiers but they have some nice experience with Nika Baric, Dragana Stankovic and Brianna Fraser to replace those who left. There's optimism Charli Collier is great summer pick up and most importantly if Steph Mavunga makes a full recovery from the injury that sidelined her much last year, this will feel like a stellar new signing too. 

The experience and poise of Nika Baric will be vital if Polkowice want to impress like last season

10. Basket Landes BLAN

Trying to predict for Basket Landes used to be a lot easier. They would struggle, but pick up a few wins along the way. Now predicting makes the head hurt. They keep winning domestic silverware and recruitment-wise, they've went bold. Especially Angela Salvadores who could thrive as a bigger basketball fish in a smaller pond. Two thirds of the roster is new, but Alexis Peterson, Luisa Geiselsoder and Samantha Fuehring should shine. Chemistry might be an issue, but a worthwhile challenge if they ultimately pack a bigger punch.

11. Villeneuve d'Ascq 

Fresh from their exploits of making last season's EuroCup Women Semi-Finals, can they keep up that level? Playcaller Rachid Meziane masterminded that brilliant first FIBA Women's EuroBasket title for Belgium this past summer and so they have a top level coach in situ. While Hind Ben Abdelkader has gone, around half the roster has stayed, including the likes of rising star Janelle Salaun, plus the talented American duo Kennedy Burke and Kamiah Smalls. They'll be well drilled and could be a really tough opponent on French soil.

12. Casademont Zaragoza 

Another newcomer, Zaragoza have been on the rise up. A nice home crowd, a deep run in EuroCup Women last time and still having German standout Leonie Fiebich are three reasons to keep a close eye on them. But will the upward curve, now plateau? On paper they don't have any huge EuroLeague Women know-how, but will have energy and be dynamic. It's going to be a roller-coaster ride. Aleksa Gulbe makes the short-ish move from Salamanca and if she does the business, it will be a huge boost for her new employers. 

13. Serco UNI Gyor  

With Sopron Basket absent, there is an intriguing battle to be the top Hungarian team in this competition. Can Gyor edge out DVTK? Possibly and both games will be so important. Diamond Miller looks like she could be a big difference-maker, Destiny Slocum has got skills and the physical presence of Krstine Anigwe will be significant alongside Cyesha Goree. But maybe it is the in-form Hungarian ballers that will be the unsung heroes, with the likes of Debora Dubei, Dora Ruff-Nagy and Reka Dombai all needing to contribute.

Cyesha Goree had a productive FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2023 and will surely star for Gyor this season

14. DVTK HUN-Therm 

Will the sequel live up to the original? Last year's first Regular Season journey was epic as they almost made the Play-Offs. They caught more established teams off guard and recently beat an ambitious London Lions with some stellar names. Backed by their amazing fans, noise levels will be high and it will be one of the best atmospheres in the tournament. Kaila Charles, Reka Lelik, Darcee Garbin and Milica Jovanovic will get it done, but the whole team must step up to match those superb six wins they racked up in their rookie year. 

15. Polski Cukier AZS UMCS Lublin 

A spectacular Polish Championship success opened the door to EuroLeague Women, but having lost the inspirational Natasha Mack and more than half the team, it's all change in Lublin. History will be made and it will be something wonderful to celebrate, but until we've seen the likes of marquee signings Channon Fluker and Shyla Heal produce in their first seasons, it's difficult to assess. However, a Polish SuperCup success last weekend against Polkowice was a great way to bounce into EuroLeague Women!

16. ACS Sepsi-SIC  

After multiple attempts to break new ground, it finally happened. But the elation of a breakthrough first ever Regular Season might evaporate with this huge task ahead. Coach Zoran Mikes has been building an impressive legacy but this could be like climbing a basketball Everest. The depth is just not there, although new arrivals Morgan Green and Masa Jankovic, plus FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2023 winner Bethy Mununga and the free-scoring Borislava Hristova probably give them a shot at getting some wins.

Disclaimer: 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 expert 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.