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EuroLeague Women: Second leg of group play begins in Week 8

We’re halfway through group play in EuroLeague Women, which means it’s time for rematches to begin. Each Week 8 game will be a rematch of a game played in Week 1, so let’s look at what’s changed—and what hasn’t—since October.

CBK Mersin v Serco UNI Gyor - EuroLeague Women
Çukurova Basketbol Mersin didn’t have Elizabeth Williams in its Week 1 loss to Perfumerias Avenida. She and Marina Mabrey will both be available for Mersin in their rematch.
Photo by Mustafa Unal Uysal/Anadolu via Getty Images

We’re entering Week 8 of EuroLeague Women group play, which can be referred to as the “halfway point” of the competition. Every club has now played every opponent in its respective group once, which means that they now get to do it all over again; in other words, each Week 8 game will be a rematch of a game played in Week 1.

Some things have changed for this second go-around. French club LDLC ASVEL Féminin, for instance, got a significant influx of talent, with Gabby Williams, Marine Johannès and Stefanie Dolson joining its roster. ZVVZ USK Praha welcomed Nyara Sabally aboard, while KGHM BC Polkowice added Brittney Sykes.

Some other things haven’t changed. Defending champion Fenerbahçe Alagöz Holding started the competition with a stacked roster and has retained that talent, looking like the team to beat once again with a spotless 7-0 record.

Can Fenerbahçe run the table through Group A once again? Will DVTK HUN-Therm or Casademont Zaragoza continue to outplay their more experience in-group rivals? And is Praha truly the team to beat in Group B? Or, will Mersin hang around long enough to get another shot near the end of the season?

All these questions will be answered in due time. For now, let’s turn to the full Week 8 slate. Every game will be streamed live and for free on FIBA’s EuroLeague Women YouTube channel; here’s what you should be watching for.

Tuesday, December 5

Fenerbahçe Alagöz Holding (7-0) vs. Valencia Basket Club (3-4)

When: 1:15 p.m. ET

Where: Pabellón Fuente de San Luis in Valencia, Spain

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Natasha Howard, Kayla McBride, Emma Meesseman, Yvonne Anderson, Kitija Laksa, Nikolina Milic (Fenerbahçe Alagöz Holding); Rebecca Allen, Marie Gülich, Alba Torrens, Leticia Romero, Raquel Carrera, Clauda Contell (Valencia Basket Club)

Matchup details: Valencia needs a win badly, having fallen behind Schio in the Group A standings after a third-straight loss, but Fenerbahçe presents a massive challenge. The defending champs just keep rolling and remain without peer on offense, averaging 91.7 points and 27.1 assists per game. Valencia’s own offense (63.3 points per game) is not nearly as potent, so the Spanish club will need to junk things up in order to stay competitive; Allen’s defense will be crucial against McBride (17.1 points and 3.4 3-pointers per game), while Gülich and Torrens will need to, at the very least, play Meesseman and Howard to a draw on the interior.

Wednesday, December 6

LDLC ASVEL Féminin (1-6) vs. DVTK HUN-Therm (6-1)

When: 12 p.m. ET

Where: DVTK Aréna in Miskolc, Hungary

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Gabby Williams, Marine Johannès, Stefanie Dolson, Julie Allemand, Sandrine Gruda, Marine Fauthoux (LDLC ASVEL Féminin); Kaila Charles, Darcee Garbin, Réka Lelik, Nina Aho (DVTK HUN-Therm)

Matchup details: ASVEL dropped a close one last week against Sepsi-SIC and has an even point differential since integrating Williams, Johannès and Dolson into the lineup, which is disappointing, to say the least, for a club expected to go on a big run in the second half of group play. Things won’t get any easier for ASVEL against DVTK, which lost its first game of the season last week against Fenerbahçe and will be eager to get back into the win column. DVTK is currently allowing the second-fewest points per game (60.6) in EuroLeague Women; how effective ASVEL’s backcourt of Johannès and Allemand is in attacking this defense will be of the utmost importance.

Casademont Zaragoza (5-2) vs. ACS Sepsi-SIC (1-6)

When: 12 p.m. ET

Where: Sepsi Aréna in Sfântu Gheorghe, Romania

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Tanaya Atkinson, Leonie Fiebich, Mikayla Pivec, Aleksa Gulbe (Casademont Zaragoza); Bethy Mununga, Borislava Hristova, Morgan Green, Ellen Nystrom (ACS Sepsi-SIC)

Matchup details: Sepsi-SIC finally got its first win of the season last week in an upset over ASVEL, one in which the Romanian club also scored more than 70 points (86, to be exact) for the first time. We’ll see if Sepsi-SIC can keep it going against a Zaragoza club that won by 28 in their last meeting and has proven to have one of the toughest rosters in Group A since then. Zaragoza has held its last three opponents to 51 points or fewer, so this may be a problematic matchup for Sepsi-SIC unless Hristova repeats her performance from last week: 27 points and four 3-pointers.

Villeneuve d’Ascq LM (3-4) vs. Serco UNI Győr (1-6)

When: 12 p.m. ET

Where: University Hall of Györ in Győr, Hungary

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Kennedy Burke, Kamiah Smalls, Shavonte Zellous, Maia Hirsch (Villeneuve d’Ascq LM); Bridget Carleton, Kristine Anigwe, Cyesha Goree, Destiny Slocum (Serco UNI Győr)

Matchup details: Villeneuve d’Ascq hasn’t exactly been a pillar of consistency this season, having never won or lost back-to-back games. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the French club get back to .500 yet again against Győr. Győr has been hurting both literally and figuratively, currently missing both Anigwe (18.4 points and 10 rebounds per game) and Diamond Miller due to injury and ranking last in Group B. The Hungarian club also hasn’t had much luck stopping the opposition; the first time these two clubs met in Week 1, Villeneuve d’Ascq LM eked out a 93-92 victory, so expect another high-scoring affair this week.

Virtus Segafredo Bologna (3-4) vs. KGHM BC Polkowice (4-3)

When: 1 p.m. ET

Where: City Sports Hall in Polkowice, Poland

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Lauren Cox, Iliana Rupert, Cecilia Zandalasini, Ivana Dojkić, Haley Peters (Virtus Segafredo Bologna); Brittney Sykes, Stephanie Mavunga, Brianna Fraser (KGHM BC Polkowice)

Matchup details: Bologna’s hot start to the season seems like a distant memory. The Italian club, which began group play 3-0, has now lost four-straight, and it’s set Polkowice up for some major payback. Bolonga cruised to a 90-69 victory over Polkowice in Week 1, but things obviously look quite a bit different now; the wheels have more or less fallen off for Bologna while Polkowice has added two of the competition’s premier athletes in Sykes and Mavunga. Bologna has still been scoring the ball efficiently (45.9 percent shooting) but has run cold on 3-pointers; suffice to say Dojkić (1-for-8 from long range last week) and Zandalasini (1-for-3) will need to find their strokes again if Bologna is to change course.

ZVVZ USK Praha (6-1) vs. Basket Landes (2-5)

When: 1:30 p.m. ET

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

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Ezi Magbegor, Nyara Sabally, Maite Cazorla, Maria Conde, Valériane Ayayi (ZVVZ USK Praha); Alexis Peterson, Sam Fuehring, Luisa Geiselsöder (Basket Landes)

Matchup details: Praha has to be feeling awfully good about its chances in Group B at the moment, once again sitting atop the standings after a victory over Mersin. The addition of Sabally (19 points and 10 rebounds last week) to a frontcourt already featuring an MVP candidate in Magbegor has given the Czech club a full 40 minutes of terrific post play, which will certainly come in handy against Landes, a club that ranks last in Group B in scoring (68.4 points per game). To the French club’s credit, it’s won two of its last three games, and certainly isn’t out of the playoff picture just yet; Praha defeated Landes handily back in Week 1, though, and will rightfully be favored in this rematch.

Beretta Famila Schio (4-3) vs. Polski Cukier AZS UMCS Lublin (1-6)

When: 2 p.m. ET

Where: Hala Mosir in Lublin, Poland

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Dorka Juhász, Arella Guirantes, Robyn Parks, Jasmine Keys (Beretta Famila Schio); Shyla Heal, Channon Fluker, Elin Gustavsson (Polski Cukier AZS UMCS Lublin)

Matchup details: Lublin’s lone victory back in mid-October is looking more and more like a flash in the pan, as the Polish club failed to reach 50 points yet again last week against Zaragoza. Schio should be approaching this matchup with a must-win mentality; should it take care of business against Lublin again like it did back in Week 1, the Italian club will put even more distance between itself and Valencia in the Group A standings as they both vie for the fourth and final playoff seed. As for Lublin, nothing’s impossible, but that offense (54.1 points per game) simply must improve, and fast.

Çukurova Basketbol Mersin (5-2) vs. Perfumerias Avenida (4-3)

When: 2:30 p.m. ET

Where: Pabellón Municipal Würzburg in Salamanca, Spain

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Alina Iagupova, Marina Mabrey, Elizabeth Williams, Olivia Epoupa (Çukurova Basketbol Mersin); Bria Hartley, Sika Koné, Alexis Prince, Silvia Dominguez (Perfumerias Avenida)

Matchup details: Avenida has looked like a different team since the mid-November break, reeling off a pair of wins to launch itself back into the playoff picture in Group B. During that span, Koné has truly come into her own, totaling 39 points on 15-of-19 shooting from the floor. We’ll see if Avenida is for real against Mersin and its dynamic backcourt; Mabrey and Iagupova combine to average 38.4 points per game, though Mabrey didn’t play when these two clubs met back in Week 1, which ended in an Avenida victory.