Women’s Basketball Newsletter
Friday 16th April 2021
Game of the Week: Reyer Venezia 81-82 Valencia Basket Club SAD – EuroCupWomen Final – Hungary
Player of the Week: Raquel Carrera Quintana – Valencia
Summary of Contents:
- European Round-Ups
- EuroCup FinalFour
- EuroLeague FinalFour
Sevenoaks Suns stay perfect as they continue to cram in victories
The Sevenoaks Suns continue to make up their rescheduled games and continue to pick up the wins, with three victories last week as they face what amounts to a WNBA schedule as they now sit atop the table with a perfect 14-0 record, one game in hand on the 14-1 Riders and two in hand on the 14-2 Lions, who they have swept 2-0 in the season series.
Len Busch’s outfit still have a tough road to travel with games against Leicester to potentially settle the league title, assuming they keep up their form during their tough run in.
In the race for the playoff places Oaklands and Cardiff both their games this week keeping them on 8 points each, with Oaklands holding a game in hand of the Welsh Capital club. Newcastle lost in the local derby against Durham who picked up their second win of the season, but the Eagles edged out the Wolves by two points on Sunday to all but secure their spot in the postseason with just a few weeks left to play.
Loughborough beaten, as Ipswich thump Cardiff in WNBL
The Reading Rockets dealt an enormous blow to the Loughborough Riders’ hopes to win the WNBL D1 regular-season crown with their 70-64 victory over the East Midlands outfit. The Rockets, who went perfect this weekend also put a dent in the playoff hopes of the Barking Abbey London Lions as the Berkshire club moved to a 7-7 record and fifth in the standings over Nottingham Trent University.
Ipswich made the most of the Riders’ slip up with a 108-58 road victory over Cardiff Met Archers on Sunday after the Archers had gone to an overtime thriller with Worcester Wolves the afternoon before. Harriet Welham put in a remarkable 41-11-8 effort with 7 assists to clinch WNBL D1 player of the week honours with ease.
The Lions’ winning streak came to an end this weekend but they retain 8th position, tied with Thames Valley Cavaliers in the win column but TVC missed the chance to leapfrog the Lions as they fell to the title hopefuls CoLA Southwark Pride who had a perfect week to go third in the WNBL standings.
The WNBL D1 will go down to the wire, but it will take a lot for Loughborough to come back into the title picture as they’re two games back of Ipswich having played one game more.
Spanish playoff format announced
The Liga Endesa Feminina play-off semi-finals will be an aggregate two-legged affair held between the 21st and 25th of April.
The Final Series will be a three-game series with the opening game taking place on the 29th April, the second game on the 2nd May and should it be needed a third game on the 6th May 2021.
The FEB (Spanish Basketball Federation) announced that all games will be broadcast live through Teledeporte.
As outlined in edition 2 of the Newsletter three of the four semi-finalists have been confirmed, with the second leg of Valencia and Ensio yet to be played.
The winner will face Spar Girona whilst the other semi-final is between Perfumerias Avenida and Lointek Gernika.
Fenerbahce book place in the final, but will be made to wait
Fenerbahce have booked their place in the Turkish Playoff Final as they swept aside Cankaya University 3-0 after winning 46-60 on Wednesday night. Kia Vaughn led the way in scoring with 16 points and 8 rebounds and fellow WNBA star Satou Sabally got 10 points and pulled down 6 boards and dished 5 dimes. Kiah Stokes, also of the WNBA, had a standout defensive night with 4 blocks to go with her 5 rebounds and 6 points.
Avery Warley led the way for Cankaya with 12 points and 17 rebound double-double.
On the other side of the bracket second seed Galatasaray will take on the three Nesibe Aydın in a five-game set that will run between 20th April and 30th April (should all five games be required).
Fenerbahce will now turn its attention to the EuroLeague Women FinalFour which will take place this weekend.
Dynamo Kursk and UMMC sweep their way into the Russian Playoff Final
Dynamo Kursk and UMMC Ekaterinburg will meet in the Russian Playoff Final starting on April 21st after they both swept their semi-final series.
Dynamo Kursk got by Mediterranean-Cup 106-81 in game one and 84-69 in game two to book their place in the final, whilst UMMC dominated Nika 95-72 and 95-45 in their two game set.
Dynamo Kursk struggled in Euroleague group stages this season but was strong in the league with a 14-4 record, but face an uphill battle against Ekaterinburg who topped the table with an 18-0 record.
Ekaterinburg will have their focus on the continental competition this weekend as they look to capture the EuroLeague FinalFour title this weekend.
EuroCup Women Final Four
The EuroCup Women’s Final Four took place this weekend and was a magnificent advert for women’s basketball.
Eventual winners Valencia came through the easier of the two semi-finals with a comfortable victory of Flammes Carolo Basket 68-80 on Friday evening.
The first semi-final was a slugfest between Temi Fagbenle’s Venezia and hosts KSC Szekszard, who impressed on their home floor. Venezia took a nail biter by 5 points, 63-58 in a contest that could have gone either way.
KSC Szekszard won the third-place match on Sunday 68-55 of Flammes and were well worth their victory, led by WNBA great DeWanna Bonner and a 25-3-4 performance.
The final was one for the ages as the top two sides in the competition locked horns on Sunday evening.
Yvonne Anderson, Natasha Howard and Temi Fagbenle led a star-studded Venezia against the Spanish outfit whose 19-year-old Carrera Quintana stole the show.
After a back and forth contest the game was settled in the final seconds. Yvonne Anderson thought she’d won the title for the Italian club with a cut to the basket and a tough made layup with 1.1 seconds left in the game assisted by the excellent Gintare Petronyte, who shone in the semi-final.
With 1.1 seconds left of the game clock, Valencia called time and advanced the ball. On the out of timeout play, eventual FinalFour MVP Queralt Casas found Carrera Quintana open under the basket with a perfect pass, and as her shot went up she was fouled by Anderson to send the youngster to the line to shoot the biggest free throws of her career to date.
With ice in her veins and a very tense Bec Allen behind her, Carrera Quintana netted both shots and secured Valencia and Spain’s first-ever EuroCup Women’s crown.
Carrera Quintana has opted into the WNBA draft to be conducted Thursday 15th April and is a projected third-round pick, but after her incredible weekend against seasoned WNBA veterans, including two champions, her stock may well be on the rise as one of the brightest stars in the world game.
EuroLeague Women FinalFour
This weekend sees the EuroLeague Women’s FinalFour taking place in Istanbul, Turkey. The shining jewel of European basketball, this is the biggest prize in the domestic game as the best players and teams battle it out for European supremacy.
The two semi-finals are the all-conquering UMMC Ekaterinburg, with their All-WNBA star-studded lineups taking on the dominant Fenerbahce who boast the back to back two time EuroLeague MVP Igupova as well as a host of WNBA talent.
In the other semi-final, it is the outside bet of Avendia, who have been magnificent all season with the Samuelson sisters at the helm taking on Hungarian outfit Sopron who has impressed all throughout the competition and took down ASVEL in the quarters.
Ekaterinburg is the most loaded team in world basketball and their dominance is on full display this season as they have swept unbeaten into their domestic playoff final and the EuroLeague Final.
They went a perfect 6-0 in the group stages, coming through a tough set of opponents in TTT Riga (who defeated Ekaterinburg last season), Spar Girona and Familia Schio. In the quarter finals they made light work of Dynamo Kursk, who they met in the Russian final, winning by an overall margin of 48 points in the two legged series (80-67, 94-59).
Their stars to watch for are…too many to mention, but three include Emma Meeseman, Courtney Vandersloot and Breanna Stewart. Meeseman and Vandersloot both made the All-Euroleague women first team and “Sloot” is amongst the best passers in the history of the sport. Stewart is amongst the most dominant players of her and any generation.
Looking to slay the Russian dragon is Turkish giants Fenerbahce who boast the league MVP in Alina Iagupova and All-Euroleague Women Second team star Satou Sabally. Picking a third start on this team is no easy task, but we’ll highlight WNBA star Jasmine Thomas who had 8 points in the first leg quarter final win over rival Galatasaray.
The road to the FinalFour for Fenerbahce has not been flawless. They finished 5-1 top of their group which included ASVEL, USK Praha and Arka Gdynia. It was French icons LDLC ASVEL who took a matchday 3 victory over Fenerbahce 70-84 in Istanbul.
The quarter final saw Fenerbahce overcome their fierce local rival Galatsaray by 7 points over the two legs. After winning the opening tie 91-74 they fell in the second leg 61-71 but had done enough to secure their place in the FinalFour.
They have a shot at beating Ekaterinburg, but they would need to play a near perfect game.
Spanish regular season champs Avenida have been impressive this season in their run through to the EuroLeague Women’s Final Four.
The Spaniards have a perfect 8-0 record so far, sweeping through their group that contained Dynamo Kursk, Nadezhda and Izmit Belediyespor. In the quarter final they bested their domestic rivals Uni Spar Girona by a total of 14 points, taking game one 74-66 and game two 71-65.
The obvious names to watch out for are the sharpshooting duo of Karlie (GB Player) and Katie-Lou Samuelson and will therefore be the team many British fans will be rooting for. A third key player for Avenia is WNBA star Tiffany Hayes who is on a tear this season averaging 15.8 points per game in the competition.
They will fancy their chances against whoever they face and have lost just once all season, by a single point to EuroCup Women’s Champions Valencia.
The final team to round out the Final Four Sopron swept through a tricky looking group which included Galatasaray, Bourges Basket and Basket Landes to top the table with a 6-0 record.
In the quarter final the Hungarians, who are unbeaten in the league and will face KSC Szekszard in the Hungarian playoff finals, overcame LDLC ASVEL in the quarter finals by a final winning margin of 15 points. They dominated game one with a 94-66 victory and looked to take things easier in game two, clinching their semi final berth with a 62-75 loss.
Sopron are headlined by the EuroLeague Defensive Player of the Year Gabby Williams, who had 24-5-1 with 2 steals in their quarter final first leg victory. Other Sopron stars to watch out for are Jelena Brooks who has excelled in the EuroLeague this season averaging 15.3 points and 5.9 rebounds this season along with Serbian star Tina Krajisnik who is averaging 10.9 points and 8 rebounds in EuroLeague competition.
The FinalFour has a lot to live up to given this past weekend’s excitement, but all games are exciting matchups, whoever makes it to Sunday’s final.
Sevenoaks Suns 74-47 Cardiff Met Archers – 6/4/2021 – Guildford
Nottingham Wildcats 72-61 Manchester Met Mystics – 7/4/2021 – Nottingham
Durham Palatinates 47-80 Leicester Riders – 7/4/2021 – Durham
Caledonia Pride 90-96 London Lions – 7/4/2021 – Edinburgh
Oaklands Wolves 60-70 Sevenoaks Suns – 8/4/2021 – Hitchin
Durham Palatinates 75-70 Newcastle Eagles – 10/4/2021 – Durham
Sevenoaks Suns 73-48 Caledonia Pride 10/4/2021 – Guildford
Manchester Met Mystics 90-75 Essex Rebels – 10/4/2021 – Manchester
Essex Rebels 80-96 London Lions – 11/4/2021 – Chelmsford
Newcastle Eagles 91-89 Oaklands Wolves – 11/4/2021 – Newcastle
Leicester Riders 88-50 Nottingham Wildcats – 11/4/2021 – Loughborough
Cardiff Met Archers 49-77 Sevenoaks Suns – 11/4/2021 – Cardiff
Cardiff Met Archers II 49-62 CoLA Southwark Pride – 8/4/2021
Barking Abbey London Lions II 69-81 Nottingham Trent University – 10/4/2021
Thames Valley Cavaliers 45-68 CoLA Southwark Pride – 10/4/2021
Cardiff Met Archers II 76-78 (OT) Worcester Wolves – 10/4/2021
Reading Rockets 70-64 Loughborough Riders – 10/4/2021
Cardiff Met Archers II 58-108 Ipswich – 11/4/2021
Reading Rockets 59-55 Barking Abbey London Lions – 11/4/2021
Venezia 63 – 58 KSC Szekszard – 9/4/2021 – EuroCup Semi-Final – Hungary
Flammes 68 – 80 Valencia – 9/4/2021 – EuroCup Semi-Final – Hungary
KSC Szekszard 68-55 Flammes – 11/4/2021 – EuroCup Third Place – Hungary
Venezia 81-82 Valencia 11-4-2021 EuroCup Final – Hungary