|13 November 2012|
|BLMA have the chance to punch early a ticket to the Eighth-Finals|
A number of EuroCup Women teams head into this week's action knowing they can potentially book their spot in the Eighth-Finals.
In Group A, unbeaten Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration will do exactly that - if they find a fourth successive win when they entertain CSM Satu Mare. The French side is yet to lose in the competition or domestically for that matter, in what is turning out to be a super season so far.
Whilst Chevakata can't quite clinch their place with a road win at SISU, they will still have one foot in the next phase of the tournament should they complete this mission. They actually played fellow EuroCup Women participants Dynamo-GUVD in the Russian League over the weekend but were just edged out 68-65 in a really exciting match-up.
Group B sees the two best-placed clubs go head-to-head with TED Ankara travelling to table-topping Hainaut Basket and looking to avenge their opening night blowout when they were routed 82-51 in the Turkish capital.
If the French hosts manage to do the double over their opponent, then they will punch their ticket to the last sixteen of the competition and that will be some welcome good news in light of their perilous position in the French League which has produced only a solitary win in eight generally miserable games.
They are however the best rebounding team around right now in EuroCup Women and so TED Ankara will have to try and match them on the glass or at least prevent them from getting the near 50 rebounds per game they are currently averaging. And, with Makbule Amachree and Marcedes Walker on board, the visitors may well be capable of doing so.
Lotto Young Cats were mauled last week in France and they must try to bounce back with a victory against Olimpia. Although having already beaten the team from Grodno by a point on opening night, they may be preparing for something of a backlash.
Top Teams To Clash in Group C
The top two teams in Group C also go head-to-head with Tarbes welcoming Mersin whom they beat by twelve points earlier in the campaign. Mersin escaped from Russia with a narrow win against Spartak Noginsk last week, and victory in France would take them level with their rivals on a 3-1 record.
Belfius Namur will be hoping they collect an overdue first win of the season at home to Spartak Noginsk who may not be able to afford a third loss if they want to progress. This makes this game something of a do-or-die in many respects with the hosts no doubt relying heavily on Julie Wojta again since the swingman is averaging a near season double-double of 17.3 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.
Group D has been one of the most entertaining of the season so far and much of the intrigue has centred on whether TSV Wasserburg can split the favourites to progress who remain Nantes and Dynamo-GUVD.
This week, the ambitious German club heads to France knowing defeat would leave them 1-3 and with their hopes hanging by a thread - especially if Dynamo GUVD despatch BBC-Sint-Katleijne-Waver as anticipated.
Nantes beat Hainaut Basket in the French League last Saturday and are looking good with a 6-2 domestic record. Unbeaten so far in the EuroCup Women, Sarah Michel has been particularly impressive, averaging an efficient 9.3 points per game but also conjuring up 5.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game.
Balanced Scenario In Group E
There is no better balanced scenario than in Group E where Telge Basket, Horizont and last years' finallist Kayseri Kaski spor all have one win and one loss to their name. This will all change on Wednesday when Kayseri welcome Horizont, looking to avenge their shock opening week loss to the Belarus club.
|Still undefeated in the Turkish league, Kayseri Kaski spor are looking for their second win in EuroCup Women |
Despite their early season wobble in Minsk, Kayseri are flying in the Turkish League, being the only unbeaten team along with Fenerbahce after a 90-70 win at Besiktas last Sunday took them to a 4-0 record. In-form and free-scoring Evanthia Maltsi and Lara Sanders will probably pose the biggest threat to the visitors.
Another Turkish team in action on home soil are Adana Botas who face Group F leaders and defending EuroCup Women champions Dynamo Kursk. In truth, both clubs will be expected to advance at the expense of outsiders Dunav 8806 Ruse who are 0-2 at the present time.
Group G is developing into a fascinating one with two teams on 2-1 and two teams 1-2, but by the end of this week's action, we could have a four-way tie with everybody levelled up.
Buoyed by their first win of the season last week, VS Prague go up against a Dynamo Moscow team who were less than convincing in victory last time out. This could be a real banana skin for the Russian visitors although they will still be favourites to move to three wins.
Partizan Galenika pushed Dynamo really close in Moscow last week and they will be looking for a similarly competitive display on the road when they grapple with Basket Landes who almost collected a morale-boosting domestic success against EuroLeague Women side Bourges at the weekend but were narrowly beaten 62-60.
Finally in Group H, it's the last chance saloon for MBK Ruzomberok. Defeat at Vilnius Kibirkstis would not only end their chances of progressing, but would also hand the home team and Antakya a passage to the Eighth-Finals.