With four games to go in the EuroLeague group stage, we already know the first team to qualify for the Quarter-Finals: Fenerbahçe. But, there are still seven slots to fill.
Zaragoza showed a lot of character, but, in the end, they just couldn’t overpower Fenerbahçe, who prevailed 71-65. The defending champions were playing without their head coach Valérie Garnier, who left the team to attend her father’s funeral. For the first two quarters, Fener seemed unaffected by her absence, with Kayla McBride leading the charge with 20 points scored in the first half alone and Fenerbahçe up by 14. In the second half, McBride scored just three points and the reigning champs got a bit too relaxed. While their lead was still significant, it got down to six points with a minute left to play. Zaragoza regained possession with 37.7 seconds on the clock, but, while passing the ball and looking for the best shooting opportunity, they committed a serious turnover. That put an end to a heroic effort by the Spaniards, one that would probably end with a W against any other team.
In a game that followed a similar patter, DVTK were able to hold off Schio’s second-half surge. The Italians continued to fight despite being down by 13 points at the half. Schio had just eight assists throughout the whole game, while Hungarian point guard Nina Aho had eight dimes on her own. DVTK also took better care of the ball, losing the ball 10 times while the Italians lost it 16 times. DVTK owed their win in large part to Milica Jovanović, who scored 17 points off the bench. The game wasn’t as close as the score suggests, as with less than a minute to go DVTK were leading 72-62. Down the stretch, the Hungarians made only one free throw, while Ariella Guirantes went 4-for-4 from the line for the Italians. A missed a 3 from DVTK followed by Schio’s Costanza Verona making her first long-distance shot of the game with seven second remaining set the final score at 73-69. DVTK are pretty much in the next round, while the Italians, despite two-win advantage over Valencia, remain uncertain about their place in the Quarter-Finals.
Fenerbahce Alagoz Holding 71, Casademont Zaragoza 65
ACS Sepsi-SIC 88, Polski Cukier AZS UMCS Lublin 58
DVTK HUN-Therm 73, Beretta Famila Schio 69
LDLC ASVEL Féminin 90, Valencia Basket Club 71
When one player scores close to half of her team’s total points, chances are that the team did not play particularly well. That was the case with CBK Mersin, who finished the game against Villeneuve D’Ascq LM with 54 points—26 of which were scored by Marina Mabrey. She went 10-for-19 from the floor; the rest of the team had just 12 makes on 43 tries. In their 70-54 victory, the French were led by Kennedy Burke, who dominated on both sides of the floor, ending the game with 19 points, seven rebounds and six steals. The 2019 second-round WNBA draft pick had also three assists and one block. 6-foot-2 French forward Janelle Salaün had 12 points and 10 rebounds, exceeding her EuroLeague averages of 9.6 points and 4.7 rebounds. With more games like the one against Mersin, chances are her 2024 WNBA Draft stock will continue to rise. Her team can finish from second to sixth in the group, which will make for a lot of excitement during the next couple of weeks.
Villeneuve d’Ascq 70, Çukurova Basketbol Mersin 54
KGHM BC Polkowice 88, Basket Landes 72
ZVVZ USK Praha 75, Serco UNI Győr 71
Virtus Segafredo Bologna 62, Perfumerias Avenida 58