11 October, 2016
16 April, 2017
7 Birsel Vardarli Demirmen (Fenerbahce)
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EuroLeague Women Review: Week 4

MUNICH (EuroLeague Women) - Our women's basketball specialist Paul Nilsen gives us his take on Week 4 of EuroLeague Women action.


Who will make this year's Final Four? I thought it was something apt to review now that we have seen every team four times and yet we have learned nothing new. That's not a bad thing by the way, it just means that UMMC Ekaterinburg, Fenerbahce, Nadezhda, Dynamo Kursk and ZVVZ USK Prague have all started the season well. Even if UMMC and Fenerbahce now have an early defeat to their name, both were against tough opposition and they will both get better.

Maybe the only questions answered were whether Kursk could deliver against expectation and they have done that after beating Fenerbahce on the road. Meanwhile after major roster surgery, any doubts over Nadezhda seem to have evaporated and perhaps that is not surprising either, with such a good EuroLeague Women navigator still at the helm in Roberto Iniguez.

Those five teams won't go into four of course and at least one will miss out - even if they all have some seriously great players.

💪🏀 #UMMC #UGMK #Basketball #Baloncesto #Ekaterinburg #Ekaterimburgo #nike #nikebasketball #RussianLeague #LigaRusa

A photo posted by Alba Torrens (@albatorrensoficial) on

The most powerful intrigue is whether a Perfumerias Avenida, Beretta Famila Schio or maybe a French team can make a sustained run and cause an upset.

It's very early days, but at this juncture it's hard to look outside the big guns and we are about where I expected us to be a month into the new season.


I am a big supporter of Maros Kovacik and vividly remember that first season in EuroLeague Women when he took Good Angels Kosice to an historic Semi-Final place at the Final Eight in Ekaterinburg during 2013. Out of the game for too long after parting ways with Kosice last season, I am delighted to see he is back on the EuroLeague Women beat with CCC Polkowice. He heads into a difficult situation as something is not right at the Polish side who are onto their fourth play-caller and it's only the second day of December. That fact alone epitomises the scale of the task.

A winless 0-4 in the competition, it is the 4-5 record in the Polish League which is most galling. It's a ridiculous record for that group of players to have, who individually have real talent and I like many of their team a lot. I just hope that the senior players in particular ensure that Coach Kovacik will have the support needed inside the locker room to be a success.

On paper at least, if the players trust in him, they can enjoy the rest of the season. Something which is surely more enjoyable than continuing to be beaten. At the moment their combined 4-9 record reflects just as much on the players themselves as it does on the previous coaches. It would be embarrassing if they continue to lose as they are doing and especially in the Polish League, because I believe the talent is definitely there. They should all now come together and sort out the current mess.


Team Performance of the Week: I have to hand the gong to Lucas Mondelo and Dynamo Kursk. Yes, they are stacked with talent and are a favourite, but anybody winning against a similarly stacked Fenerbahce team in Istanbul deserves high praise. It was exciting and their 72-69 success gets the nod from me.

Individual Performance of the Week: She couldn't quite inspire a win for her team and yet on one of the hardest courts to play on at the DIVS Arena, I thought Miljana Bojovic was terrific for Tango Bourges Basket. She had 16 points from some smart shooting and added a fine 9 assists, as well as 5 rebounds.

Unsung Hero: While Angel McCoughtry stole the show for Dynamo Kursk with a fine all-round line and Anna Cruz handed out 10 assists, what about Maria Vadeeva? 26 minutes of court time, no turnovers, 12 points from 6-of-8 shooting, 4 rebounds, 3 blocked shots and a steal. Oh and she is still only 18-years-old!


- BLMA forward Geraldine Robert matched the season-high tournament tally of six steals in a game during the loss at ZVVZ USK Prague.

- Three of the four players to have handed out 10 or more assists in an individual game this season are Spanish. Sandra Ygueravide of Wisla Can-Pack and Anna Cruz of Dynamo Kursk reached the milestone against Gyor and Fenerbahce respectively.

- Gintare Petronyte of Mersin became only the second player this season to sink 10 or more foul shots in a game when she went 10-of-10 in the defeat to Famila Schio.


- Well done Wisla Can-Pack who got their first win of the season at the fourth attempt and they did it in style with the second-highest score of the season and the second best shooting percentage of the campaign as they knocked over Gyor 91-61 on the road.

- Heads up Hatay BSB and Mersin who are 0-4 and yet seem to push for that elusive historic maiden win and always come up short. They look to have the talent but the fact they play in a strong Turkish League and are a combined 0-8 shows how brutal and competitive EuroLeague Women actually is.

You can follow Paul @basketmedia365