FIBA: Polkowice, Bourges to battle for ultimate Group A postseason seed

There are simply two weeks remaining within the 2022-23 EuroLeague Girls group play section, however there’s nonetheless a lot to be determined earlier than the postseason begins. Three golf equipment — Fenerbahçe Alagöz Holding (Turkey), ZVVZ USK Praha (Czech Republic) and Valencia Basket Membership (Spain) — have all clinched spots within the competitors’s playoffs, with 5 spots nonetheless up for grabs over the subsequent two weeks.

In a manner, the present playoff image is an efficient illustration of this season’s stability of energy. Fenerbahçe, Praha and Valencia are all competing in Group A, leaving BC Polkowice (Poland) and Tango Bourges Basket (France) to struggle over the group’s ultimate playoff seed. In the meantime, nothing is ready in stone but over in Group B; six of the group’s eight golf equipment have information of .500 or higher, with Sopron Basket (Hungary), CBK Mersin Yenişehir Bld (Turkey) and Beretta Famila Schio (Italy) all tied with 8-4 information.

It is sensible, then, that this week’s matchup between Polkowice and Bourges is tabbed as FIBA’s EuroLeague Girls Game of the Week. Polkowice can safe the fourth and ultimate playoff berth in Group A with a win, however the route is a little more complicated for Bourges, which would wish to defeat Polkowice by two or extra factors and depend on assist from Praha and Valencia of their respective video games.

Issues are significantly extra open in Group B. There are two matchups this week that bear heavy playoff implications — DVTK HUN-Therm (Hungary) vs. Perfumerias Avenida (Spain) and Spar Girona (Spain) vs. Mersin — whereas Basket Landes (France) and Kangoeroes Mechelen (Belgium) have the chance to play spoiler regardless of themselves being eradicated from playoff competition way back.

As at all times, you may catch all of the motion dwell and without spending a dime on FIBA’s EuroLeague Women YouTube channel. Right here’s a rundown of every of this week’s matchups, together with which gamers to regulate and the way every group’s playoff possibilities look, based on FIBA’s website.

Wednesday, February 22

Olympiacós SFP (1-11) vs. ZVVZ USK Praha (8-4)

When: 10 a.m. ET

The place: Peace and Friendship Stadium, Piraeus

Find out how to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable gamers: Megan Gustafson, Kylee Shook (Olympiacós SFP); Alyssa Thomas, Brionna Jones, Maria Conde, Temi Fagbenle, Valériane Vukosavljević (ZVVZ USK Praha)

Matchup particulars: There’s not a lot to jot down house about right here. Nearly the one factor Olympiacós will probably be taking part in for is to not end group play with the competitors’s worst report, but when this recreation goes something like Praha’s 32-point victory in Week 6, that could be a tall order. The Greek membership’s struggles have sadly overshadowed an incredible season-long effort from Gustafson, who continues to guide the competitors in scoring (23.2 factors per recreation) by a wholesome margin. Thomas, in the meantime, is likely one of the few gamers in EuroLeague Girls who has put up comparable particular person statistics, averaging 17 factors, 10.8 rebounds, 6.4 assists and a couple of.7 steals for high-octane Praha.

Fenerbahçe Alagöz Holding (10-2) vs. Valencia Basket Membership (8-4)

When: 11 a.m. ET

The place: Metro Vitality Sports activities Corridor, Istanbul

Find out how to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable gamers: Breanna Stewart, Satou Sabally, Emma Meesseman, Kayla McBride, Alina Iagupova, Courtney Vandersloot, Kiah Stokes (Fenerbahçe Alagöz Holding); Lauren Cox, Marie Gülich, Raquel Carrera, Leticia Romero, Alba Torrens, Cierra Burdick (Valencia Basket Membership)

Matchup particulars: If neither Fenerbahçe nor Valencia had already clinched playoff spots, this recreation could be much more engaging, however any alternative to observe maybe the strongest assortment of worldwide expertise ought to nonetheless be taken. Fenerbahçe has gotten stronger and stronger because the season has gone on, including Stewart and Sabally again in January and Vandersloot weeks later. The Turkish membership is the clear favourite to come back away with this season’s EuroLeague Girls championship, so we’ll see if Valencia can preserve issues shut prefer it did again in Week 6, when up-and-coming star Carrera led her group in each scoring and rebounding in an in depth loss. Valencia may even achieve the providers of veteran ahead Cierra Burdick, whose signing was introduced by the membership in early February.

DVTK HUN-Therm (6-6) vs. Perfumerias Avenida (7-5)

When: 12:10 pm. ET

The place: DVTK Aréna, Miskolc

Find out how to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable gamers: Arella Guirantes, Cheridene Inexperienced (DVTK HUN-Therm); Bridget Carleton, Michaela Onyenwere, Maite Cazorla, Alexis Prince (Perfumerias Avenida)

Matchup particulars: DVTK has been defying expectations for a lot of the season, and a playoff look out of Group B would additional add to the younger membership’s Cinderella story. Guirantes is at present main the group in nearly all the things (15.4 factors, eight rebounds and 5.4 assists per recreation), although she and the remainder of DVTK might want to play considerably higher in opposition to Avenida than they did in Week 6, which was a 94-52 blowout in favor of the Spanish membership. Since then, Avenida has fallen again to the center of the pack in Group B, although it did not too long ago add one other perimeter scorer in Prince, who is anticipated to make her EuroLeague Girls debut for the membership this week. In line with, neither DVTK nor Avenida would be capable of clinch a playoff look this week, however a win right here would clearly assist both membership’s probabilities of doing so subsequent week, they usually’ll each be rooting in opposition to Girona later within the day.

BC Polkowice (7-5) vs. Tango Bourges Basket (7-5)

When: 1 p.m. ET

The place: Metropolis Sports activities Corridor, Polkowice

Find out how to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable gamers: Stephanie Mavunga, Erica Wheeler, Artemis Spanou, Weronika Gajda (BC Polkowice); Yvonne Anderson, Kayla Alexander (Tango Bourges Basket)

Matchup particulars: Not solely is that this recreation about as near do or die as doable for each golf equipment, however the groups concerned are additionally very evenly-matched. Again in Week 6, Polkowice and Bourges handled followers to an absolute thriller, with Spanou hitting a game-winning free throw within the waning seconds to clinch a 63-62 win for Polkowice. Polkowice has gone 2-5 since then, nevertheless, opening the door for Bourges to sneak into the playoffs after hanging across the center of the pack in Group A for a lot of the season. The French membership might want to proceed forcing turnovers at a excessive price (9.8 steals per recreation) and maintain down competitors MVP candidate Mavunga (15.5 factors and 12.5 rebounds per recreation) properly sufficient for Anderson and her tried-and-true playmaking to guide the group to a different plucky victory.

Virtus Segafredo Bologna (4-8) vs. Atomerőmű KSC Szekszárd (3-9)

When: 2:30 p.m. ET

The place: Segafredo Enviornment, Bologna

Find out how to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable gamers: Victoria Vivians, Ruthy Hebard, Cyesha Goree, Sydney Wallace (Atomerőmű KSC Szekszárd); Cheyenne Parker, Iliana Rupert, Cecilia Zandalasini, Kitija Laksa (Virtus Segafredo Bologna)

Matchup particulars: Of the eight EuroLeague Girls video games being performed this week, that is the one one which has no playoff implications in any way; each Bologna and Szekszárd have already been eradicated from postseason competition. That doesn’t imply it received’t be an entertaining recreation, although, as Bologna specifically has had a knack for enjoying in high-scoring contests for a lot of this season, and neither membership is especially robust defensively. Szekszárd defeated Bologna 73-64 again in Week 6 regardless of 23 factors from Laksa.

Spar Girona (7-5) vs. CBK Mersin Yenişehir Bld (8-4)

When: 2:45 p.m. ET

The place: Pavelló Fontajau, Girona

Find out how to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable gamers: Brittney Sykes, Rebekah Gardner, Marianna Tolo, Shay Murphy (Spar Girona); Chelsea Grey, DeWanna Bonner, Tiffany Hayes, Elizabeth Williams (CBK Mersin Yenişehir Bld)

Matchup particulars: Girona will probably be trying to avenge a 64-50 loss to Mersin again in Week 6, however it might be an uphill battle for the Spanish membership, which has struggled to attain for a lot of the season (65.7 factors per recreation). Mersin, in the meantime, has received three-straight, thanks largely to Grey, who ranks second in EuroLeague Girls in factors (17.6) and first in assists (7.1) per recreation. If she leads Mersin to a different victory over Girona this week, it could clinch a playoff look for the star-studded Turkish membership, whereas Girona would nonetheless not but qualify for the playoffs even when it was to drag off an upset.

Thursday, February 23

Sopron Basket (8-4) vs. Basket Landes (2-10)

When: 12:30 p.m. ET

The place: Novomatic Arèna, Sopron

Find out how to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable gamers: Ezi Magbegor, Yvonne Turner, Jelena Brooks, Olivia Epoupa (Sopron Basket); Marine Fauthoux, Regan Magarity, Celine Dumerc (Basket Landes)

Matchup particulars: Sopron has misplaced fairly a little bit of firepower since profitable final season’s EuroLeague Girls championship, however a reliance on protection (62.1 factors allowed per recreation) and ball safety has not solely saved the defending champions afloat, however thriving in Group B. When it comes to cumulative level differential, this recreation will probably be a mismatch; Sopron leads Group B at +70, whereas Landes brings up the rear at -115. Landes might probably play spoiler right here and knock Sopron down a spot within the standings, however at this level it appears unlikely that Magbegor and firm will fall out of the playoff image fully; they’ll clinch a spot within the postseason with their subsequent win.

Kangoeroes Mechelen (2-10) vs. Beretta Famila Schio (8-4)

When: 2:30 p.m. ET

The place: Sporthal De Schalk, Willebroek

Find out how to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable gamers: Morgan Bertsch, Lisa Berkani, Ziomara Morrison (Kangoeroes Mechelen); Rhyne Howard, Marina Mabrey, Amanda Zahui B., Astou Ndour-Fall, Kim Mestdagh (Beretta Famila Schio)

Matchup particulars: Schio had a possibility to take the lead in Group B within the final week of group play, however in the end came up short in opposition to Mersin, establishing at this time’s messy three-way tie within the group standings. Mechelen, regardless of its report, is on no account a straightforward opponent, both; the younger Belgian membership performed Schio robust again in Week 6, falling 74-70. Mechelen’s protection, nevertheless, is suspect, permitting a group-high 77.6 factors per recreation, and all Schio must do is win with a view to qualify for the playoffs. The Italian membership is in a very good place to take action.