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Preview: Nadezhda, BLMA face off in first leg of EuroCup Women Finals with WNBA players key to the series

Brionna Jones, Sami Whitcomb and Gabby Williams will play big roles in the EuroCup Women Finals starting Wednesday, with an early tip (Eastern Time).

WNBA Finals - Game One
Sami Whitcomb and BLMA will look to win their first EuroCup Women title as they face Russian side Nadezhda.
Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The first game of the 2018-19 EuroCup Women Finals tips off Wednesday, April 3, at 10 a.m. ET.

After a long season of juggling domestic and continental league commitments, Russian team Nadezdha and French team BLMA have a chance to win a continental title, with noteworthy WNBA players leading their teams’ quests.

Here is what’s in store for Game 1:

Nadezhda (Russia) vs. BLMA (France)


  • Game 1 — Wednesday, April 3, at 10 a.m. ET
  • Game 2 — Wednesday, April 10, at 2 p.m. ET

Notable WNBA players: Nadezhda has Brionna Jones (Sun) and Erica Wheeler (Fever). BLMA has Sami Whitcomb (Storm) and Endy Miyem (Lynx).

How to Watch: All games can be streamed for free on FIBA’s YouTube channel.

What to watch

This year’s Finals matchup is between two teams looking for their first EuroCup Women championship. It is also a battle between BLMA’s high-powered three-point shooting against Nadezhda’s perimeter defense. This year’s Finals also provides WNBA fans an opportunity to see younger players shine in major roles before the 2019 WNBA season begins in May.

For example, Brionna Jones is averaging 16.5 points and 11.3 rebounds and Erica Wheeler is averaging 14 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists in EuroCup Women play for Nadezhda. Expect both players to continue these performances for the rest of their time overseas. It will also help them once they are back in the States.

For BLMA, Sami Whitcomb has continued to put up big numbers. She is averaging 18.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game in EuroCup Women play. However, she has been streaky since the quarterfinals against tougher competition. If Whitcomb can put together two strong games in the Finals, the EuroCup Women championship bid could be a good case for Whitcomb to have more consistent playing time for the Seattle, come May. Though she played 31 regular-season games in the 2018 WNBA season, Whitcomb averaged just 8.6 minutes per game.