05 October, 2016
12 April, 2017
89 Isis Arrondo (Nantes Reze) (Photo: Xavier Lecointe)
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EuroCup Women Preview: Group E

MUNICH (EuroCup Women 2017) – Our next destination on our tour around the EuroCup Women 2017 Regular Season is Group E.

Nantes Reze are preparing to embark on their seventh straight season in the competition after coming through the EuroCup Women 2017 Qualifiers against Amsterdam Angels. Nantes have many of the same players from last year's campaign, but are learning to cope with the loss of Queralt Casas who was their driving force. The slack is being picked up by Canada's Katherine Plouffe, who is back on the roster and having a great start to the campaign alongside her Rio Olympic team-mate and fellow returnee, Shona Thorburn.

Good day for a photoshoot! #squaaad #2k16/17 🌊 t-6 days until the open! 👊👊

A photo posted by Katherine Plouffe (@kplouffe21) on

The all-important continuity is fuelled further by long-serving Ukrainian Yuliya Andreyeva, while Isis Arrondo is adept at calling the plays from backcourt. The French side has also made a couple of significant additions in German national team player Margret Skuballa, who is back for a second spell and also the all-action Quianna Chaney.

Another well-established club in the Group are Namur of Belgium, who are getting ready to take to the hardwood for an astonishing 27th consecutive campaign in European club competition. That is something which means they have one of the richest traditions of any club on the Continent. Whether their results will live up to that kind of star billing remains to be seen as they juggle major roster surgery with their perennial challenge for domestic silverware with Castors Braine, alongside yet another European adventure.

Getting ready for tournament in Mondeville! 💪💯👌🏀

A photo posted by Dita Rozenberga (@ditarozenberga) on

Highly rated teenager Kyara Linskens has moved from their main rivals to give them a boost under the hoop and she will line-up with Sofie Hendrickx, who recently played at Lulea BKK. The frontcourt is further bolstered by Latvia’s Dita Rosenberga, while the backcourt will see Spanish guard Anna Gomez combine with Sarah Deneil - one of the few players to have re-signed.

EuroCup Women newcomers Virtus Eirene Ragusa have high hopes of posting a winning season on their debut – even if they suffered a recent setback domestically against the other Italian representative Reyer Venezia. However, there’s still strong evidence that Ragusa will be capable of making a strong play to top Group D after putting two Olympic Finalists together in the shape of Laura Nicholls and Astou Ndour. The Spanish pair will provide a super foundation to build around in the paint and there is also an opportunity for center Alessandra Formica to impress after the Italian moved to the club in the summer.

Belgian national team guard Julie Vanloo has made waves in this competition previously with Lulea BKK after averaging double-digits in 2015-16 and she is operating alongside an Italian homegrown set of guards and wings with international experience in the likes of Chiara Consolini, Laura Spreafico and Gaia Gorini.

Droppin' dimes @ practice 🏀

A video posted by Julie Vanloo 🏀 (@julie35vanloo) on

Basketball Nymburk have an eclectic mix of players on their roster as they prepare for a second season in the tournament. Last year the Czech club won six of their first eight games and will be hoping they can post a similarly impressive record this time around. It will be challenging without the veteran playmaking skills of Veronika Bortelova or power of Jessica Kuster who inspired last year’s success, but they will be hoping their new-look side can still produce.

Romania national team duo Elisabeth Pavel and Sonia Ursu are looking to impress, while still having the towering presence of the two metre plus frame of Ukraine’s Aleksandra Khomenchuk is a bonus. Lenka Bartakova is likely to take on added responsibilities in the backcourt, with the vastly experienced Katerina Krizova bringing know-how in the wake of her summer move from Hradec Kralove as she comes back to Nymburk for a second time.