2010 FIBA Europe EuroLeague Women
eighth-final preview


 Good Angels looking in  © Olivier Martin

The EuroLeague Women competition organised by FIBA Europe is split into distinct phases:

1. Mini League: Twenty-four teams are split into four groups of six teams. The teams then participate in a round robin competition playing each other twice.

The top four teams from each group qualify for the next phase of the competition while the remaining teams are eliminated.

2. Elimination Series: This stage of the competition is often referred to as the play-off or knock-out stage of the competition. The teams are put into brackets according to the ranking system from the Mini League.

The first two rounds are played according to the rules of best-of-three games.

The semi-final and final are played in the format of a final four in a single location.

A lot of teams have modified their rosters since the start of the competition. As a consequence comparing teams' achievements become less important.


EuroLeague Women: Upper brackets

 Spartak Moscow Region looking for title number 4 © FIBA Europe Spartak Moscow Region are the defending champions. They have held the title since 2007 and are unbeaten so far this season. This is the first time in the club's history that they have completed the group phase unbeaten.

Sue Bird who missed the early part of the season is the only addition to the roster since the start of the season.

Spartak Moscow Region's opponent is Polish club side Lotos Gdynia. The two teams were in the same group during the EuroLeague Group phase.

The Polish side has changed a lot of players during the course of the competition and this week signed Roneeka Hodges.

Two seasons ago Lotos Gdynia, playing at home, beat Spartak Moscow Region on the back of an inspired performance by Chamique Holdsclaw.

On paper Spartak Moscow Region is the stronger of the two teams and are expected to win. However Lotos have a history of playing well at home when not under pressure.

 Fenerbahce looking to the future © FIBA Europe Fenerbahce have one of the most experienced rosters in this competition with Penny Taylor, Nicole Powell and Turkish super star Nevriye Yilmaz.

Cras Basket have had a roller coaster ride so far and depend a lot on Rebekkah Brunson who leads her team in points and rebounds. Kathy Wambe is fully fit and back in her element. She brings other players into the game when Brunson is tied up.

This is a match-up between two teams of opposing styles: Fenerbahce's collective style and home advantage should give them the edge over the more individual playing systems of Cras Basket.

 Ros Casares 2009-2010 © Ciudad Ros CasaresRos Casares have not had everybody 100% healthy this season. They will have to do without Elisa Aguilar in their series against ZVVZ USK Prague.

However they have Becky Hammon in their team. Based on her recent performances she is ready for the challenge as well as the rejuvenated Almaya Valdemero.

ZVVZ USK Prague have signed Charde Houston on a medical replacement deal. She is likely to provide the physical presence in the paint that her side lacked in recent EuroLeague games.

Both teams have excellent three-point shooters and perimeter players. So the series is very likely to go to the team that controls the rebounds.

Halcon Avenida went all the way to the final last year and are planning to return again. They have an interesting mix of veterans and youth that makes them exciting to watch.

Bourges Basket ready to play EuroLeague Women basketball © Olivier Martin Bourges Basket have had another slow start to the season and did not impress during the group phase. They will be without Essence Carson whose three-month medical replacement contract expired last Sunday.

Yet Pierre Vincent knows how to get the best out of his players when it comes to the big occasions.

It should be a balanced contest. However the key factor in this match will be the contest between Sancho Lyttle and Emméline Ndongue and whoever wins will give their side the advantage.


EuroLeague Women: Lower brackets

Rivas Ecópolis started the season with 7 wins and everybody got excited. But once qualification was secured they failed to win another game.

 Hana Horakova © Carlos Novoty They face Frisco Sika Brno who have some of the most experienced players in the EuroLeague Women competition.

Rivas have had to lately rely on the work of Crystal Langhorne. But when they were winning it was Anna Cruz that supplied the spark.

Frisco Sika Brno have been hit by injuries this season. Hence they have never been able to get into the flow. All the same with Hana Horakova (left) firing on all cylinders they have the one player that can get them through this series.

 Fenerbahce looking to the future © Stepien Leszek Wisla Can-Pack have been the team of the competition so far with Marta Fernandez and Janell Burse dominating match after match. Liron Cohen holds everything together with her point guard play.

Their opponents MiZo Pécs 2010 may not have the depth in numbers. Yet with Anna Vajda and Nicole Ohlde they have two players who love the challenge in EuroLeague Women basketball.

MiZo Pécs tend to play without urgency which helps them overcome tough situations. So the winner of this series will be the team that handles the rebounds better.

The series between Beretta-Famila Schio and Good Angels Kosice has all the ingredients of being the game of the round.

The partnership of Candice Dupree and Angel McCoughtry for Good Angels is the talking point in all the basketball news. These two players score more than 50% of the team's points.

 Laura Macchi © FIBA Europe Beretta-Famila Schio have a roster of who is who in European basketball with the likes of Laura Macchi, Bernadette (Mudju) Ngoyisa, Audrey Sauret-Gillespie, Nicole Antibe and Raffaella Masciadri.

The Italian side has the inside presence to neutralise the dynamic duo. However they must avoid turning the ball over.

Laura Macchi's (left) performance over the series is likely to determine the outcome.

 Candace Parker © Basket UGMK UMMC Ekaterinburg played Galatasaray twice this season and came on top on both occasions.

UMMC have all the injured players back. With Candace Parker (right) settling into the European style of basketball, they have become more difficult to beat.

Galatasaray have made some changes to their squad and added Tamika Catchings. Her presence will change the make-up of the team. If Yelena Leuchanka returns from injury fully fit then maybe Galatasaray can scare UMMC.


Euroleague Women pairing set

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picture credits:

FIBA Europe
Ciudad Ros Casares
Olivier Martin
Carlos Novoty
Stepien Leszek
Basket UGMK

Date created: 02 February 2010


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