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25 Laura Macchi (Famila Schio) (photo: Paolo Marcato)
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EuroLeague Women Review: Week 6

MUNICH (EuroLeague Women) - Our women's basketball specialist Paul Nilsen gives us his take on Week 6 of EuroLeague Women action.


It was the statement of the season so far as UMMC arrived in Orenburg and dismantled the previously unbeaten Nadezhda in brutal and clinical fashion. The opening quarter from the defending champions was breathtaking as they recorded a 31-6 lead, en-route to an eventual 88-59 victory.

A repeat of the 2016 EuroLeague Women Final, it was a hugely interesting marker for both teams for the rest of the season. It would be unrealistic for any coach to expect his players to hit those peaks every game, but UMMC and Olaf Lange have shown how high they can raise the bar when they click into top gear. It’s hard to see many teams living with that kind of level if they can replicate it down the season stretch.

Most fascinating will be the response of Nadezhda. It was a spectacular way to sustain their first loss, but perhaps came at the right time. They go into the winter break able to take a mental break from this lapse and with time to come back rejuvenated and go hard again.

Roberto Iniguez and his team still have a magnificent 5-1 record and nothing much has changed after that result – other than some individual and collective learning. They are more than half-way to reaching the last eight and still have reasonable chance of making it to back to Final Four, because they have an abundance of qualities to them. I look forward to seeing how they bounce back from this setback in 2017.


It was a fourth straight loss for Bourges as they were shut down 63-50 at Perfumerias Avenida. Amidst the gathering clouds, I was thrilled to see Alexia Chartereau showcase her potential. She top scored for her team with 13 points which was her first double-digit scoring return of her fledgling career in the competition.

To make five-of-seven from the field in such a tough situation and environment like Pabellon Wurzburg, shows her temperament and mental fortitude - as well as her skills. She’s still only 18-years-old and having taken France to the FIBA U18 Women's European Championship earlier in the year where she was MVP, the forward is beginning to make a mark and I am absolutely delighted for her.

If she keeps working hard and learns from the people around her, she can carry the flag for club and country with the likes of her team-mate Marine Johannes.

Game day #Tango

A photo posted by Alexia Chartereau (@alexia_chartereau) on

It could be a fascinating Olympic cycle for Chartereau and Tokyo 2020 needs to be her aim, although we may see her at a major tournament with Les Bleus before that!


Team Performance of the Week: Apologies to UMMC in particular for this, but I am handing it to a team that actually lost – as controversial as that might be. I thought Beretta Famila Schio were outstanding in almost beating the flawless Dynamo Kursk without a number of key players in their team and not least the hugely influential Nuria Martinez and Isabelle Yacoubou. It was such a great effort and they played really well before just running out of gas. 

Individual Performance of the Week: - The 37 points scored by Alina Iagupova for ESBVA-LM against CCC Polkowice was the highest individual tally by any player so far this season and so it’s hard to look past the Ukrainian ace.

Unsung Hero: It's congratulations to Hatay for getting their first-ever home win in the competition via their 74-66 success against Uniqa Sopron. Behind the headline contributions of Courtney Paris, Bahar Ozturk and Katsiaryna Snytsina, I think praise is due to Jovana Popovic for her 13 points from 55 percent shooting, four assists, two steals and not a single turnover.


- Dynamo Kursk posted the best three-point display of the season as they made 60% from the arc after dropping 9-of-15 from long-range against Schio.

- Russian rising star Raisa Musina became only the second player this season to pull down more than 20 rebounds in a game when she grabbed 21 for CCC Polkowice in their defeat at ESBVA-LM.

Raisa Musina is continuing her development in the competition with CCC Polkowice and competing against Olympians like Valeriane Ayayi.

- This contributed to Polkowice pulling down 53 rebounds in the contest, which was the highest number by any club this season.

- Yvonne Turner drew a blank from the field for Sopron in their loss at Hatay, but had a fine 11 assists which is the second highest in any game this season. She also became the first player to reach double-digits twice which is impressive, since few people ever beat Laia Palau to that!


- It was good to see Fenerbahce head coach George Dikeoulakos apologise to his Assistant Theodosios 'Sakis' Paralikas for throwing a coaching play-board, which caught his colleague in the face. I watched it happen live and in the heat of battle, such things can happen during time-outs. By the way, it was a terrific comeback win for the Fenerbahce coaches and their players against ZVVZ USK Prague.

- I will finish with my almost weekly note on Mersin, who really did have to take their medicine at Wisla Can-Pack. I genuinely felt sorry for Gintare Petronyte against her ex-employers as she was penalised for an offensive foul off the ball on the last possession - just as the rookies looked to force overtime or even collect their first win. Instead they are now 0-6 and all the more galling that they headed into that game having shown the potential I have been continually talking about having beaten Fenerbahce in the Turkish League.

You can follow Paul @basketmedia365