clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

EuroLeague Women: Gabby Williams and Marine Johannès are back for ASVEL ahead of Week 6

French club LDLC ASVEL Féminin is off to a rough start in EuroLeague Women group play. Reinforcements have arrived, though; Gabby Williams, Marine Johannès and Stefanie Dolson are all expected to play for ASVEL in Week 6.

LDLC Asvel Villeurbanne v Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz - Turkish Airlines EuroLeague
Marine Johannès will make her long-awaited EuroLeague Women season debut this week for LDLC ASVEL Féminin.
Photo by Cyril Lestage/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

It’s safe to say the 2023-24 EuroLeague Women season hasn’t gone as planned for French club LDLC ASVEL Féminin, but things soon should be looking up.

ASVEL (0-5) has been without its best offensive player, Marine Johannès, for the first five weeks of the competition, while Gabby Williams remained out as she recovered from a stress fracture she suffered during the 2023 WNBA season. Without Johannès’ scoring and Williams’ athleticism and defensive playmaking, ASVEL struggled mightily, ranking 15th of 16 EuroLeague Women teams in both points scored (59.4) and points allowed per game (78.8).

Fortunately for ASVEL, Johannès and Williams are finally back in action. Over the weekend, ASVEL defeated fellow EuroLeague Women club Basket Landes in the French Ligue Féminine, a game in which Johannès and Williams played 39 minutes each and combined to score 49 points. Stefanie Dolson also made her debut for ASVEL and should be playing for the club in EuroLeague Women this week.

There’s been a bit of roster movement elsewhere, too, with KGHM BC Polkowice releasing Charli Collier with Stephanie Mavunga and Çukurova Basketbol Mersin adding veteran point guard Olivia Epoupa. It’s common to see moves made during the early-November “national team break,” and there remains a possibility that more players will be signed throughout the rest of group play.

As always, all EuroLeague Women games can be streamed live and for free on FIBA’s EuroLeague Women YouTube channel. Let’s take a look at what’s on the docket for Week 6.

Wednesday, November 22

ACS Sepsi-SIC (0-5) vs. Fenerbahçe Alagöz Holding (5-0)

When: 11 a.m. ET

Where: Metro Energy Sports Hall in Istanbul, Turkey

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Bethy Mununga, Borislava Hristova, Morgan Green, Ellen Nystrom (ACS Sepsi-SIC); Natasha Howard, Kayla McBride, Emma Meesseman, Yvonne Anderson, Kitija Laksa, Nikolina Milic (Fenerbahçe Alagöz Holding)

Matchup details: How about a massive mismatch to begin this week’s slate of games? Fenerbahçe is leading EuroLeague Women in most offensive categories, including points per game (90.2), field goal percentage (52.1 percent) and assist/turnover ratio (3.0), and there aren’t many conceivable ways that Sepsi-SIC can match that kind of firepower. The Romanian club does have a couple of players at the top of the statistical leaderboards—Mununga leads the competition in rebounding (11.8) and Green ranks third in assists (5.9)—but Sepsi-SIC will need a whole lot more than that to challenge the reigning champions.

SERCO UNI Győr (1-4) vs. Çukurova Basketbol Mersin (4-1)

When: 11:30 a.m. ET

Where: Servet Tazegül Spor Salonu in Mersin, Turkey

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Diamond Miller, Kristine Anigwe, Cyesha Goree, Destiny Slocum (SERCO UNI Győr); Alina Iagupova, Marina Mabrey, Elizabeth Williams, Olivia Epoupa (Çukurova Basketbol Mersin)

Matchup details: Mersin comes out of the break on a roll, having won its last four games thanks in large part to its backcourt. Mabrey (19.3) and Iagupova (19) rank first and second in EuroLeague Women in scoring, and it’s going to be a challenge for Győr (83.8 points allowed per game) to contain them. It’s a matchup that Győr would love to have Miller healthy for, but the club has not yet announced when she’ll return from the knee injury she suffered last month. Győr does still have Anigwe, who is averaging 18.4 points and 10 rebounds per game (both rank third in the competition); we’ll see if the interior defense of Williams can neutralize her.

Valencia Basket Club (3-2) vs. DVTK HUN-Therm (5-0)

When: 12 p.m. ET

Where: DVTK Aréna in Miskolc, Hungary

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Rebecca Allen, Marie Gülich, Alba Torrens, Leticia Romero, Clauda Contell (Valencia Basket Club); Kaila Charles, Darcee Garbin (DVTK HUN-Therm)

Matchup details: Valencia played subpar basketball in its last game before the break, scoring just 47 points in a loss to Zaragoza. That’s a performance it can ill-afford to repeat against DVTK, which is currently allowing the fewest points per game (57.4) of any club in EuroLeague Women. Valencia certainly has the offensive versatility to get going, though the main reason DVTK remains undefeated is its ability to make games slow and ugly—not the type of club one likes to face when trying to establish momentum.

Beretta Famila Schio (3-2) vs. Casademont Zaragoza (3-2)

When: 2 p.m. ET

Where: Pabellón Príncipe Felipe in Zaragoza, Spain

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Dorka Juhász, Arella Guirantes, Robyn Parks, Jasmine Keys (Beretta Famila Schio); Tanaya Atkinson, Leonie Fiebich, Aleksa Gulbe (Casademont Zaragoza)

Matchup details: We may only be midway through group play, but this could end up being an important game in the grand scheme of things. Schio and Zaragoza are two of five Group A teams with records over .500, and it already seems a foregone conclusion that one of those five playoff-worthy clubs will miss the postseason. Schio profiles as the better club for now, putting up better rebounding, assisting and defensive playmaking numbers, though Zaragoza has a slight edge in both scoring and scoring defense. Statistically, this game projects to be the closest one of the week.

Polski Cukier AZS UMCS Lublin (1-4) vs. LDLC ASVEL Féminin (0-5)

When: 2 p.m. ET

Where: Astroballe in Lyon, France

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Shyla Heal, Channon Fluker, Elin Gustavsson (Polski Cukier AZS UMCS Lublin); Gabby Williams, Marine Johannès, Stefanie Dolson, Julie Allemand, Sandrine Gruda, Marine Fauthoux (LDLC ASVEL Féminin)

Matchup details: The time is now for ASVEL to start winning, and this week is the perfect opportunity to do so. Lublin’s offense has been the worst in the competition by a fair margin (53 points per game). With Williams back in the fold, ASVEL now has a player who can truly lock down on the defensive end. While the matchup between Heal and Johannès has the potential to create some fireworks, the overall level of individual talent is firmly in ASVEL’s favor—not something we’ve been able to say often before this week.

Basket Landes (1-4) vs. Villeneuve d’Ascq LM (2-3)

When: 2 p.m. ET

Where: Palacium in Villeneuve d’Ascq, France

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Alexis Peterson, Sam Fuehring, Luisa Geiselsöder (Basket Landes); Kennedy Burke, Kamiah Smalls, Shavonte Zellous, Maia Hirsch (Villeneuve d’Ascq LM)

Matchup details: Neither Villeneuve d’Ascq nor Landes has been particularly impressive to this point, though the clubs’ familiarity with each other from the French Ligue Féminine makes this an interesting matchup on its own. Despite lukewarm offensive numbers, Landes has stood out at the free throw line, leading EuroLeague Women in both free throw attempts per game (20.2) and free throw percentage (83.2). Villeneuve d’Ascq plays aggressive defense, ranking second in the competition in steals per game (9.2) but also fouling 19.4 times per game. So there’s an opportunity for Landes to make up for disadvantages elsewhere at the free throw line.

ZVVZ USK Praha (4-1) vs. Virtus Segafredo Bologna (3-2)

When: 2:30 p.m. ET

Where: PalaDozza in Bologna, Italy

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Ezi Magbegor, Nyara Sabally, Maite Cazorla, Maria Conde, Valériane Vukosavljević (ZVVZ USK Praha); Lauren Cox, Iliana Rupert, Cecilia Zandalasini, Ivana Dojkić, Haley Peters (Virtus Segafredo Bologna)

Matchup details: Bologna opened the season looking like the team to beat in Group B, winning its first three games before dropping the next two. Even so, the amount of shooting on the Italian club’s roster shouldn’t be underestimated. Its ball movement also could pose a real threat to Praha’s defensive-minded, paint-heavy approach. That’s easier said than done, though, especially when Magbegor is on the floor; through five games, she’s averaging 18.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and a competition-high 3.6 blocks per game while shooting better than 60 percent from the field. Getting Magbegor and Sabally out of the paint should be top priority for Bologna.

KGHM BC Polkowice (3-2) vs. Perfumerias Avenida (2-3)

When: 2:30 p.m. ET

Where: Pabellón Municipal Würzburg in Salamanca, Spain

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Brittney Sykes, Stephanie Mavunga, Brianna Fraser (KGHM BC Polkowice); Bria Hartley, Sika Koné, Alexis Prince, Silvia Dominguez (Perfumerias Avenida)

Matchup details: The Polkowice club of today looks a lot different than the one that started the season. With Mavunga replacing Charli Collier in the frontcourt and Sykes bringing her usual explosive play in the backcourt, Polkowice’s ceiling has risen considerably. The same can’t be said for Avenida; the Spanish club has lost three-straight games—scoring just 48 in its most recent loss—and is down to 15th of the competition’s 16 teams in rebounding (33 per game). It’ll be an uphill battle for the Spanish club against an opponent primed to finish the rest of the calendar year strong.