We’re halfway through the EuroLeague group phase and some things have changed since last week. First of all, only one team remains unbeaten. What’s more important though is that every team has won at least one contest.
And then there was one. In the game between the only two unbeaten teams in the competition, Fenerbahçe won against DVTK, solidifying its status as the favorites to win the whole EuroLeague this season. DVTK were at home in Miskolc, Hungary and, with the crowd behind them, they were able to keep the score close... in the first quarter. Then, Fenerbahçe presented its usual array of fast-paced ball, with precise passing and excellent shooting. DVTK’s guard duo of Nina Aho and Kaila Charles played particularly well. Aho had 17 points on 50 percent shooting, while Charles put up 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. But when Fenerbahçe are at their best, they’re unstoppable. While Kayla McBride had some problems establishing a shooting rhythm, going 2-for-8, she played tough D, grabbed 12 rebounds and had two steals. The rest of the team was there on the other end of the floor, with Natasha Howard scoring 22, Yvonne Anderson 17, and Emma Meesseman 16.
The other streak that ended yesterday was Sepsi’s six-straight losses. The team won its first game in the EuroLeague in dramatic circumstances. Playing in Romania against ASVEL, Sepsi were down one point with six seconds to go. That’s when the best player of the game—Borislava Hristova—raced towards the opposing basket with the ball in her hands. Meeting resistance from two defenders, she fired a turnaround fadeaway jumper at the buzzer and scored. Immediately, she was flooded by her teammates. The last two of her overall 27 points that night proved to be the most important of her career—at least so far.
Fenerbahçe Alagöz Holding 81, DVTK HUN-Therm 64
ACS Sepsi-SIC 86, LDLC ASVEL Féminin 85
Beretta Famila Schio 77, Valencia Basket Club 72
Casademont Zaragoza 64, Polski Cukier AZS UMCS Lublin 42
Last week, we skipped over Group B games, as there simply was too much going on in Group A. Now it’s time to make up for it. And what better team to do it with than with Praha, who secured their sixth victory in seven games. This time, they won in large part thanks to German standout Nyara Sabally, who had 19 points and 10 rebounds—all while coming off the bench. Marina Mabrey, whose 19.3 points per game average makes her the scoring leader of this season’s competition, scored 19 points for Turkish Çukurova, but her team still lost 71-67 to the Czech champions. Both teams entered the competition 5-1, and both still are the two squads to watch in Group B.
Polkowice won at home against Villeneuve 77-61, thanks to Brianna Fraser and Brittney Sykes. Sykes made just 35 percent of her field goals, but her impact on the game was felt thanks to her eight rebounds, five assists, two steals and overall intensity. Fraser scored 19 points on 61.5 percent shooting. Stephanie Mavunga came off the bench and focused primarily on defense. Thanks to the win, Polkowice moved in front of Villeneuve in Group B.
Perfumerias Avenida 81, Serco UNI Győr 65
ZVVZ USK Praha 71, Çukurova Basketbol Mersin 67
KGHM BC Polkowice 77, Villeneuve d’Ascq LM 61
Basket Landes 70, Virtus Segafredo Bologna 68