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EuroLeague Women: Brittney Griner, Ekaterinburg face Alyssa Thomas, Praha in rematch between top two teams

The titans meet again. Both UMMC Ekaterinburg and ZVVZ USK Praha are 9-1 in EuroLeague Women play and go head-to-head on Wednesday in a match with huge postseason implications.

EuroLeague Women Final Four 2019
Brittney Griner leads a stacked UMMC Ekaterinburg team against ZVVZ USK Praha in what should be a tremendous game.
Photo by Andrea Kareth /SEPA.Media /Getty Images

Take a look at the EuroLeague Women standings and then the schedule. The game of the week should be fairly obvious: It’s UMMC Ekaterinburg vs. ZVVZ USK Praha on Wednesday, both sitting atop Group A with 9-1 records.

While Ekaterinburg’s path to dominance has been cited plenty already — the team employs an immense amount of WNBA talent in Brittney Griner, Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley, Maria Vadeeva, Jonquel Jones, Emma Meesseman and Jamierra Faulkner — Praha has remained every bit the Russian team’s equal so far. The team leads all of EuroLeague Women with a cumulative point differential of +301, and Alyssa Thomas has been nothing short of amazing, averaging 19.3 points, 11.8 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.6 steals per game.

Both teams have also clinched spots in the EuroLeague quarterfinals, but there’s still plenty of time to fight for position. With both Ekaterinburg and Praha being overwhelming favorites against any other opponent, today’s match will be absolutely critical in determining postseason seeding.

This is truly a must-watch game, and as always, you can catch it live and for free on FIBA’s YouTube channel. Afterwards, stick around for some of these other games:

Wednesday, January 22

UMMC Ekaterinburg (9-1) vs. ZVVZ USK Praha (9-1)

When: 7:00 a.m. ET

Where: DIVS Sport Hall, Ekaterinburg

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Matchup details: What more can be said? It’s No. 1 vs... well, No. 1. Ekaterinburg did get the better of Praha back in Week 4, and that was before Jones was in the fold, so the Russian club is probably favored slightly here. Praha does lead the competition in rebounding (50.4), and as any WNBA fan will tell you, Thomas in transition is bad news for the opponent. We’ll see if Praha can make life tough enough on Ekaterinburg’s all-world frontcourt rotation to pull out the victory.

Fenerbahçe Öznur Kablo (8-2) vs. Dynamo Kursk (4-6)

When: 9:30 a.m. ET

Where: Metro Energy Sports Hall, Istanbul

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Matchup details: This game will have its fair share of WNBA stars as well. Kursk, in particular, recently brought Angel McCoughtry aboard to join DeWanna Bonner, Glory Johnson, Jessica Breland and Epiphanny Prince. But as its record shows, individual talent doesn’t always lead to wins. That hasn’t been as much of a problem for Fenerbahçe, which is still cruising atop Group B.

TTT Riga (2-8) vs. Gelecek Koleji Çukurova (2-8)

When: 10:00 a.m. ET

Where: Olympic Sports Centre, Riga

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Matchup details: Çukurova has been on quite the slide, losers of six straight and owning the worst scoring and rebounding averages in the competition. Riga hasn’t been much better, and Çukurova did take the Week 4 match between the two teams. Morgan Tuck and Alex Bentley will need to play better than they have been if their team is to repeat that result.

Sopron Basket (4-6) vs. LDLC ASVEL Féminin (5-5)

When: 10:00 a.m. ET

Where: Novomatic Aréna, Sopron

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Matchup details: LDLC ASVEL Féminin is finally back to .500 after winning its third straight game. Alysha Clark (16.5 points) has played well in her two games with the club and seems to have been the boost it needed. On the other end, Sopron still hasn’t been able to get Candice Dupree going, but beat Girona last week regardless.

Reyer Venezia (3-7) vs. Nadezhda (6-4)

When: 11:30 a.m. ET

Where: Palasport Taliercio, Venice

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Matchup details: Both Nadezhda and Venezia continue their up-and-down seasons; in the past five weeks, neither team has won nor lost consecutive games. In spite of this, Nadezhda is probably the favorite here; Venezia has had trouble scoring the ball (63.1 points per game) and doesn’t have the star power to match that of Nadezhda (Yvonne Turner, Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe, Erica Wheeler).

Bourges Basket (6-4) vs. Castors Braine (3-7)

When: 12:00 p.m. ET

Where: Palais Des Sports Du Prado, Bourges

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Matchup details: It’s hard to believe Castors Braine was once more of the competitive teams in Group A. The club has now lost four straight, and things don’t get any easier this week; Bourges Basket has somewhat quietly risen into the upper half of the group behind the strong play of Marissa Coleman (12 points per game, 52.3 percent shooting).

BLMA (7-3) vs. Familia Schio (6-4)

When: 12:00 p.m. ET

Where: Palais des Sports de Lattes, Lattes

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Matchup details: After a convincing win over Kursk (including a masterpiece of a game by Gabby Williams), there’s little doubt that BLMA is the second-best team in Group B. Familia Schio is hot on its heels in the standings, but with Diamond DeShields no longer with the club, it will be an uphill battle against the hot BLMA, which has won three straight.

Thursday, January 23

Spar CityLift Girona (3-7) vs. Arka Gdynia (3-7)

When: 12:15 p.m. ET

Where: Pavelló Fontajau, Girona

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Matchup details: This game falls into the category of “well, somebody has to win.” Girona has suffered three straight losses while Gdynia has dropped four straight, with both teams sitting in the basement of Group B. There’s still a bit of WNBA appeal here, especially for Gdynia; the play of Rebecca Allen (13.7 points, 46.8 percent 3-point shooting) has been a silver lining.