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EuroLeague Women: Çukurova adds Brittney Sykes ahead of matchup with Alyssa Thomas, Praha

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Gelecek Koleji Çukurova’s first infusion of WNBA talent hasn’t translated into wins. The team has given that another try, signing Brittney Sykes and LaToya Sanders. The additions come right before a match against one of the top teams in EuroLeague Women: ZVVZ USK Praha.

Brittney Sykes seen in action during the 7days EuroCup group...
After spending the last few months with Spar CityLift Girona, Brittney Sykes will now play EuroLeague ball for Gelecek Koleji Çukurova.
Photo by Grzegorz Jedrzejewski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Brittney Sykes will now be playing her EuroLeague ball for Gelecek Koleji Çukurova, the team announced last week. It also appears that LaToya Sanders (known in Turkey as Lara Sanders) is ready to join the team.

This is important news for Çukurova, which has now lost five consecutive games in a row and ranks last in EuroLeague Women in both scoring (58.8) and rebounding (33.1). The team added Alex Bentley and Morgan Tuck a few weeks into the season, but that hasn’t yielded results; the Turkish club is currently tied with TTT Riga at the bottom of Group A, and has a cumulative point differential of -196, which is by far the worst in the competition.

Elsewhere, ZVVZ USK Praha (Çukurova’s opponent this week) continues rolling behind the force that is Alyssa Thomas. She’s currently averaging 19.6 points, 12.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 3.7 steals for Praha, which enters the week tied with UMMC Ekateringburg atop Group A.

It might look like a mismatch on paper, but if both Sykes and Sanders play, Çukurova will get enough of a boost to at least be a nuisance. You’ll be able to watch them and plenty more of your favorite WNBA players on FIBA’s YouTube channel.

Wednesday, January 15

UMMC Ekaterinburg (8-1) vs. Reyer Venezia (3-6)

When: 7:00 a.m. ET

Where: DIVS Sport Hall, Ekaterinburg

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Matchup details: Ekaterinburg has had things on autopilot for several weeks now, and the latest team standing in the powerhouse’s path is Reyer Venezia. Ekaterinburg won the Week 3 meeting between the two teams handily, and not much has changed on either end since then (other than Ekaterinburg adding Jonquel Jones, of course), so a similar result this week would not be surprising.

Gelecek Koleji Çukurova (2-7) vs. ZVVZ USK Praha (8-1)

When: 8:00 a.m. ET

Where: Servet Tazegül Spor Salonu, Mersin

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Matchup details: Çukurova was on the wrong side of EuroLeague Women history the last time these two teams met, managing just 28 points in the game. While Praha should still be heavily favored, expect this game to be a lot closer, especially if Sykes and Sanders are ready to go.

Dynamo Kursk (4-5) vs. BLMA (6-3)

When: 9:00 a.m. ET

Where: Sport Concert Complex, Kursk

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Matchup details: Is Kursk in trouble again? The Russian club made big waves when it added Angel McCoughtry to an already-formidable core of WNBA talent, but fell flat last week, scoring just 53 points. Kursk will need to rebound — both literally and figuratively — against BLMA and reigning Top Performer Stephanie Mavunga.

Arka Gdynia (3-6) vs. Fenerbahçe Öznur Kablo (7-2)

When: 10:00 a.m. ET

Where: Gdynia Arena, Gdynia

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Matchup details: Winners of three straight games, Fenerbahçe is the hottest — and best — team in Group B. Gdynia, meanwhile, has lost three straight, despite the hot shooting of Rebecca Allen (14.4 points per game, 45.5 percent from long range). Allen and company will have to find a way to slow down Alina Iagupova and keep Elizabeth Williams and Kiah Stokes off the glass if they’re going to pull off the upset.

Bourges Basket (5-4) vs. TTT Riga (2-7)

When: 12:00 p.m. ET

Where: Palais Des Sports Du Prado, Bourges

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Matchup details: Riga finally proved it was more than a one-trick pony last week, picking up its second EuroLeague Women win to keep the bottom of Group A somewhat competitive. Meanwhile, Bourges was the latest to fall to the Praha machine; the French club could use this game to make noise as a “best of the rest” team in the top-heavy Group A.

Castors Braine (3-6) vs. Nadezhda (5-4)

When: 12:15 p.m. ET

Where: Spiroudome, Charleroi

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Matchup details: Castors Braine has now lost three straight games and needs to get back on track quickly. A rematch against Nadezhda — who Castors Braine narrowly lost to in Week 3 — represents a decent opportunity. Yvonne Turner has been playing well for Nadezhda; she’s scored in double figures in six straight games and is currently averaging 15.4 points.

Thursday, January 16

Sopron Basket (3-6) vs. Spar CityLift Girona (3-6)

When: 10:00 a.m. ET

Where: Novomatic Arèna, Sopron

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Matchup details: Sopron welcomed Candice Dupree back to its roster last week, but it didn’t matter much in an 18-point loss to Fenerbahçe. Perhaps Dupree will have an easier time getting going this week against a Girona team that has dropped two in a row and just lost Sykes to a EuroLeague Women rival.

LDLC ASVEL Féminin (4-5) vs. Familia Schio (6-3)

When: 12:00 p.m. ET

Where: Gymnase Mado Bonnet, Lyon

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Matchup details: Schio’s Week 9 win over Kursk was especially impressive considering that Diamond DeShields has left the team. We don’t yet know if the team will replace her with another American, but it will no doubt continue to lean on a low-scoring, grind-it-out style of play. We’ll see how that works out against LDLC ASVEL Féminin, which was held to just 59 points the last time these teams met.