05 October, 2016
12 April, 2017
Rutronik Stars Keltern (Photo: David Titz)
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EuroCup Women Preview: Group F

MUNICH (EuroCup Women 2017) – We take a ride to the next stop on our preview of the EuroCup Women 2017 Regular Season by looking at the challengers in Group F.

There's arguably no more fitting starting place than with German newcomers Rutronik Stars Keltern, who were one of the sensations of the EuroCup Women 2017 Qualfiiers as they booked their maiden Regular Season place at the first time of asking. They also did it in considerable style, with a couple of eye-catching displays against KP Brno. Keltern have certainly issued a warning that they are not in the competition to merely make up the numbers.

American guard Jasmine Thomas has shown that she can be a force with some nice displays and when she is not scoring herself, she is looking for what is a highly effective Serbian collaboration inside between Marina Markovic and Maja Vucurovic. Both forwards have made a series of power plays early in the competition and they will also be found by Belgian Emmanuella Mayombo, who is another great guard option. The home flag in Keltern is waved high by Germany national team player, Stephanie Wagner, who provides much needed ‘glue’ at key moments.

Group F contains a EuroCup Women 2015 Finalist in Castors Braine, who should be well prepared under the expert eye of Belgium national team play-caller, Philip Mestdagh. Repeating their exploits of two years ago will be difficult, although their first taste of EuroLeague Women quality in 2015-16 should give them an added steel for their re-entry to the second tier. There are some very important returnees down the spine of the team, including Belgian young gun and now WNBA draftee Julie Allemand, who is always ready to offer footage for any highlights reel.

Estonian legend Merike Anderson continues to utilise her experience, while Celeste Trahan-Davis remains the anchor in the paint and is joined this season by Kahleah Cooper of the Washington Mystics. This WNBA quality could be a real difference maker.

24.&.5 #AintNoJetLagBihhhhh #HeatinUpp

A photo posted by Kahleah Copper (@_klc215) on

There's also a dose of EuroLeague and EuroCup Women experience from point guard Maja Miljkovic, who moves from arch rivals Namur with Antonia Delaere.

Another former EuroLeague Women side and one that battled with Castors Braine last year are Spar Citylift Girona, who are actually making their first foray into EuroCup Women. They have a new coach in Eric Suris and he will be looking to some of his big guns to turn up the heat in the Group. They are led by the returning Greek forward Artemis Spanou, who is capable of putting up some seriously big numbers and she will work in tandem with Haley Peters, who has been a leading Liga Femenina player in recent seasons.

Ify Ibekwe and Kristina Alminate are back to add further muscle inside, along with Portugal national team center Sofia Silva. Meanwhile the driving force and heartbeat of the team remains fans’ favourite Noemi Jordana. Her scoring and creative ability will be priceless and especially as she now has a rapport with the incoming Rio 2016 Olympian Leonor Rodriguez who offers a big three-point threat.

Tinc la nova samarreta de l'@unigirona!!! Privilegis de ser la capitana i fer la campanya d'abonaments. 8 dies...

A photo posted by Uni Girona CB (@unigirona) on

This time last year, Portuguese champions Clube Uniao Sportiva were waiting patiently to play their first EuroCup Women game as rookies. Fast forward 12 months and everyone will be watching them much more cautiously after they rocked the boat with a brilliant four victories in a row at the start of their maiden 2015-16 voyage. Located in the Atlantic Ocean in the Azores, the Islanders will be particularly hopeful of recording a good home record again, led by Tamara Milovac who is the highest profile player to remain as the club waves goodbye to five of its top six scorers last year.

The incoming contingent is led by American duo Jasmine Crew and Tiffany Jones who should lead in points and on the glass. Ines Faustino will direct traffic from point guard after joining from Sporting and there are some interesting young players looking to evolve in the competition, including Maryam Chermiti who has been part of some successful Portuguese youth teams in recent times.