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Final Preview: Will Fenerbahce or Villeneuve make more history?
13/04/2024
Preview
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Who will make history in the Final: Fenerbahce or Villeneuve d'Ascq?

MERSIN (Türkiye) - History will happen in Sunday's Final when either holders Fenerbahce Alagoz Holding become the first Turkish club to lift the silverware twice or Villeneuve d'Ascq LM take a first title.

The end-of-season showpiece game will tip off at 18:00 CET and will be streamed on the EuroLeague Women YouTube channel.


Fenerbahce will compete in their sixth Final, having lost in 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2022, before famously winning last year in the Czech capital. Now they can set the record of being the first Turkish team to win the famous competition twice and also do it back-to-back.

Meanwhile, Villeneuve d'Ascq LM already have several chunks of history on their resume having made the Play-Offs for the first time, reaching Final Four for the first time and now a first-ever Final. Indeed, they are also the first French team to participate in the title game for 20 years. Could they also become first-time winners too?

Here are three reasons for each club explaining why they can feel confident of finishing top of the podium.

FENER

MVP material like McBride and Meesseman



While you can also probably throw Napheesa Collier into this mix and argue for a three-pronged assault on MVP, there is no doubt that Kayla McBride is feeling it right now. She was on absolute fire in the Semi-Final against Cukurova and was the difference-maker with a massive performance valuation of 33. Plus, what is there left to say about Emma Meesseman who has seen and done it all before? Surely it would be a shock if one of those did not come up huge in the title game?

Because the numbers say so

While anything can happen in a one-off game, all the numbers are heavily stacked in the favor of a Fenerbahce victory. Mostly, games go with the numbers and while you just never know, the Turkish giants are the leading scorers in the competition, shoot the ball better, are the best from two-point range, have the most assists. They are also second in three-point shooting and showed that strength in the win over Cukurova.

Fenerbahce fans could make it feel like a home game

It will be interesting to see what happens, but even in Mersin itself, there is a huge number of Fenerbahce fans ready and looking to come to the arena to watch their team lift the famous silverware. Those who attended Friday's Semi-Final already played their part in creating a great atmosphere with the similarly superb Cukurova fans. More of the same from those in Fenerbahce colors and it could be party-time!

VDA

There's no pressure at all

All athletes and elite level coaches will put some level of pressure on themselves, but Villeneuve can seriously continue to just love this underdog role. With their opponents as massive favorites, that Cinderella status suits them brilliantly. They have a 'free-hit' to some extent when they can just get out there and do their thing. All the pressure and a massive amount of it are all on Fenerbahce shoulders. 

Defense is what gets it done

During the first half of their Semi-Finals success against ZVVZ USK Praha, there was no doubt that they played too 'soft' or maybe too passive. An adjustment was made by head coach Rachid Meziane at the interval and it made a world of difference after the break and was the foundation for victory. If they can have this hard-nosed approach from the jump ball, they have enough to disrupt and make life tough for Fenerbahce's long list of star names. 

Fairytales have happened before

Yes, just ask Fenerbahce. Two years ago they seemed absolutely destined to win the title on Turkish soil, on their home court and in front of a record-breaking crowd. But Sopron Basket had other ideas, tore up the script and pulled off the fairytale with their first-ever title. Deja vu anyone?

FIBA