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EuroLeague Women: Lublin makes big roster changes by adding Veronica Burton and Bria Goss

Polski Cukier AZS UMCS Lublin has gotten off to a poor start in its first-ever EuroLeague Women season, but the club recently added a good amount of imported talent, highlighted by WNBA guard Veronica Burton.

2023 WNBA Playoffs - Las Vegas Aces vs Dallas Wings
Dallas Wings guard Veronica Burton got her first taste of EuroLeague Women action last week.
Photo by Cooper Neill/NBAE via Getty Images

It’s been a rough EuroLeague Women season for Polish club Polski Cukier AZS UMCS Lublin, with a 1-7 record in group play and the worst scoring offense (55.8 points per game) lowlighting the club’s debut in the competition. Lublin recently made some changes, however, signing guards Veronica Burton and Bria Goss to replace Shyla Heal, who left the club in early December.

Goss hasn’t suited up for EuroLeague Women play yet, but Burton made her debut last week, and her impact was immediate. Though Lublin’s comeback attempt against Beretta Famila Schio came up short, Burton stuffed the stat sheet, recording 18 points, seven rebounds, nine assists and two steals. It was good enough to earn her Player of the Week honors, as voted by fans.

It just goes to show how much of a difference a shakeup of imported talent can make in EuroLeague Women. It’s highly unlikely that Lublin’s recent additions will be enough to propel the club into the playoffs, but it’s much more poised to finish its first season in the competition on a high note than it was before.

You can watch Burton, Goss and Lublin—along with all other EuroLeague Women clubs—live and for free on FIBA’s EuroLeague Women YouTube channel. Here’s everything you need to know heading into Week 9.

Tuesday, December 12

Fenerbahçe Alagöz Holding (8-0) vs. LDLC ASVEL Féminin (1-7)

When: 2 p.m. ET

Where: Astroballe in in Villeurbanne, France

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Natasha Howard, Kayla McBride, Emma Meesseman, Yvonne Anderson, Kitija Laksa, Nikolina Milic (Fenerbahçe Alagöz Holding); Gabby Williams, Marine Johannès, Stefanie Dolson, Julie Allemand, Sandrine Gruda, Marine Fauthoux (LDLC ASVEL Féminin)

Matchup details: Another week, another mismatch for Fenerbahçe. In another time, this would have been one of the more appealing clashes of star-level international talent, but ASVEL has failed to meet expectations since getting its full roster back, with a last-second win over Lublin its only win of the season. The defending champs, meanwhile, just keep rolling. And while their rematch against ASVEL will probably be closer than the 49-point blowout back in Week 2, everything we’ve seen lately predicts yet another Fenerbahçe victory.

Wednesday, December 13

KGHM BC Polkowice (5-3) vs. ZVVZ USK Praha (7-1)

When: 1 p.m. ET

Where: Královka Arena in Prague, Czech Republic

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Brittney Sykes, Stephanie Mavunga, Brianna Fraser (KGHM BC Polkowice); Ezi Magbegor, Nyara Sabally, Maite Cazorla, Maria Conde, Valériane Ayayi (ZVVZ USK Praha)

Matchup details: Is Polkowice the only team in Group B that can unseat Praha? Week 2 was, after all, the last time Praha lost, and it was to a Polkowice club that wasn’t as strong as it is now. Polkowice still has a negative cumulative point differential (-8.0), but that mark does not speak to how well the Polish club has played lately (two-straight wins) or its third-ranked offense (74.8.). Ayayi will need to slow down Sykes—an unenviable task—as Magbegor and Sabally outduel Fraser and Mavunga in the paint in order for Praha to keep its winning streak alive.

Çukurova Basketbol Mersin (5-3) vs. Basket Landes (2-6)

When: 1:30 p.m. ET

Where: Espace François-Mitterrand in Mont-de-Marsan, France

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Alina Iagupova, Marina Mabrey, Elizabeth Williams, Olivia Epoupa (Çukurova Basketbol Mersin); Alexis Peterson, Cierra Burdick, Sam Fuehring, Luisa Geiselsöder (Basket Landes)

Matchup details: Mersin has been shaky since the mid-November break, scoring just 56 points in its recent loss to Avenida and falling into a three-way tie for second place in Group B. That loss to Avenida showed what can happen if Mersin’s guards aren’t playing well; Iagupova and Mabrey combined to shoot 4-for-25 from the field, and Mersin couldn’t overcome that. Landes, meanwhile, does have a couple of upset victories to its name, with wins over Avenida and Bologna. The French club is not to be taken lightly, despite its record. It should go without saying that Mersin’s backcourt needs to have a bounce-back game; if the Turkish club can get another double-double from Williams (15 points and 11 rebounds last week), that would be a bonus.

Valencia Basket Club (3-5) vs. Polski Cukier AZS UMCS Lublin (1-7)

When: 2 p.m. ET

Where: Globus Arena in Lublin, Poland

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Rebecca Allen, Marie Gülich, Alba Torrens, Leticia Romero, Raquel Carrera, Clauda Contell (Valencia Basket Club); Veronica Burton, Kylee Shook, Bria Goss, Elin Gustavsson (Polski Cukier AZS UMCS Lublin)

Matchup details: Neither Valencia nor Lublin have won since October (incidentally, both of those victories came against Sepsi-SIC), so something’s got to give this week. When the two clubs met in Week 2, it was an easy Valencia victory and one of the three times this season Lublin failed to score 50 points. That was before Lublin had Burton, Shook and Goss, though. Still, the Polish club is by no means a world-beater. But with the way Valencia has been playing lately, this game could be a lot closer than some think.

ACS Sepsi-SIC (1-7) vs. Beretta Famila Schio (5-3)

When: 2 p.m. ET

Where: Palazzetto Livio Romare in Schio, Italy

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Bethy Mununga, Borislava Hristova, Morgan Green, Courtney Range, Ellen Nystrom (ACS Sepsi-SIC); Dorka Juhász, Arella Guirantes, Robyn Parks, Jasmine Keys (Beretta Famila Schio)

Matchup details: After a bit of a rocky start, Schio has looked more like the veteran club fans have become used to seeing compete for EuroLeague Women championships. Schio is still getting good production from Parks (11 points per game) and Guirantes (14.6 points per game) and has taken over the lead in team rebounding (40.8). The latter figure will be one to watch against Sepsi-SIC, which ranks 15th in the competition in rebounding (33.7) and has been without Mununga (11.8 rebounds per game) since Week 5 due to a concussion. This is a game Schio needs to win in order to keep pace with DVTK and Zaragoza, and the matchup is a favorable one for the Italian club.

DVTK HUN-Therm (7-1) vs. Casademont Zaragoza (6-2)

When: 2 p.m. ET

Where: Pabellón Príncipe Felipe in Zaragoza, Spain

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Kaila Charles, Darcee Garbin, Réka Lelik, Nina Aho (DVTK HUN-Therm); Tanaya Atkinson, Leonie Fiebich, Mikayla Pivec, Aleksa Gulbe (Casademont Zaragoza)

Matchup details: While it’s clear that Fenerbahçe is the team to beat in Group A, whichever club is next-best is still up for debate. DVTK and Zaragoza are in second and third place, respectively, so this game is a big one for both clubs. Statistically, they’re pretty evenly-matched, especially judging by their first meeting—a 66-63 DVTK victory. DVTK and Zaragoza are allowing the fewest (58.6) and second-fewest points per game (61) in the competition, so this will likely be another slow-paced defensive battle—one that young stars like Charles and Fiebich will be well-equipped to take over.

Perfumerias Avenida (5-3) vs. Villeneuve d’Ascq LM (4-4)

When: 2 p.m. ET

Where: Palacium in Villeneuve-d’Ascq, France

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Bria Hartley, Sika Koné, Alexis Prince, Silvia Dominguez (Perfumerias Avenida); Kennedy Burke, Kamiah Smalls, Shavonte Zellous, Maia Hirsch (Villeneuve d’Ascq LM)

Matchup details: Avenida has come roaring back after a subpar start to the season, winning its first three games after the mid-November break and jumping to second place in the Group B standings. The Spanish club’s latest win, a double-digit victory over Mersin, further highlighted the development of Koné, who is averaging 19.3 points and 8.3 rebounds during the winning streak. Koné will have a tough assignment against Villeneuve d’Ascq’s Kariata Diaby, who is one of the competition’s most efficient frontcourt players (60.9 percent shooting). Recent history is on Avenida’s sid. In their previous meeting, Avenida won by double digits and held Villeneuve d’Ascq to 38.3 percent shooting from the field.

Serco UNI Győr (1-7) vs. Virtus Segafredo Bologna (3-5)

When: 2:30 p.m. ET

Where: Segafredo Arena in Bologna, Italy

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Bridget Carleton, Kristine Anigwe, Cyesha Goree, Destiny Slocum (Serco UNI Győr); Lauren Cox, Iliana Rupert, Cecilia Zandalasini, Ivana Dojkić, Haley Peters (Virtus Segafredo Bologna)

Matchup details: Both Győr and Bologna have been in free fall for a while now, though only Győr was expected to have a tough time this season. Bologna has now lost five-straight games after starting the season at 3-0. While the postseason is still far from out of reach for the Italian club, it needs to start picking up steam again soon. Somehow, Bologna still ranks fourth in the competition in scoring (74.5 points per game), which looks favorable against Győr’s defense (83 points allowed per game). Should Anigwe play, that would even things up a bit—she’s currently leading EuroLeague Women in both scoring (18.4) and rebounding (10)—but she’s sat out Győr’s last three games due to injury and the club hasn’t given a definitive statement on when she’ll be back.