|30 October 2012|
|Fatimatou Sacko had an impressive double-double last week, leading BLMA to victory at Satu Mare |
The pick of this week's action could come when Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration host Chevakata with both clubs installed as favourites to advance from Group A.
With the experience of Montpellier in the EuroLeague Women last year, and the fact that Chevakata advanced to the EuroCup Women Semi-Finals last season, it promises to be a mouth-watering match-up at both ends of the floor.
The players with the hot hands for each team are Fatimatou Sacko who had a monstrous 30 points and 10 rebounds for the hosts during week one, whilst center Yulia Kiseleva had 17 points in just 17 minutes for the visitors. The only guarantee of course is that one of them will taste defeat for the first time this season.
SISU arguably have their best opportunity of securing what would be only their second ever EuroCup Women win when they host Satu Mare and will be hoping both Camilla Blands and Ida Tryggedsson continue their good form when they meet the Romanian side.
In Group B, Lotto Young Cats started in the best possible way last week with a win in Belarus against Olimpia Grodno. Central to their success was 1994 born Antonia Delaere who had 17 points, six rebounds and three assists, very much representing the exciting talent the Belgian club continue to utilise in the competition.
They will be keen to capitalise on that winning start when they welcome a TED Ankara side possibly low on confidence after a home-court mauling at the hands of Hainaut Basket.
The French side claimed a comprehensive 82-51 victory in the Turkish capital, and will be confident of going 2-0 in the group when they face Olimpia who have still never managed to rack up a EuroCup Women road win and now would certainly be an ideal time to make that little note in the history books.
|Last year's finalists Kayseri Kaski spor suffered an unexpected loss during week one|
Turkish Teams Eager To Bounce Back
Another Turkish team looking to bounce back are Mersin who crashed at home on their debut in Group C against Tarbes and they travel to winless Belfius Namur who were also beaten when they went down in Russia at Spartak Noginsk.
Tarbes were powered by a terrific 18 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks by Angelica Robinson and she will look forward to going up against Anna Tolikova under the basket who also harvested a double-double for Noginsk last week.
TSV Wasserburg head coach Bastian Wernthaler believed his team were the victims of opening night nerves and so with those now firmly out of the way, they should be confident of getting a first Group D win at BBC Sint-Katelijne-Waver.
Nantes were always the team expected to be front-runners although there's little doubt they will have to be at their best when they step out at home against a Dynamo-GUVD team which is stronger than during recent years.
For they have added American forward Sidney Spencer and also playmaker Yvonne Turner who had 11 points, seven assists and two steals on debut, although Nantes coach Emmanuel Coeuret will probably be focusing on stopping the production of Natalia Myasoedova in the paint.
Perhaps the biggest surprises of the opening week came in Group E when last years' finalists Kayseri Kaski spor were shot down in Minsk by Horizont. They must make amends this week and ensure they don't slump to an unthinkable home loss when they entertain Swedish young guns Telge Basket.
One Turkish team who should go into this week's action with renewed confidence are Adana Botas. For whilst they lost 79-64 at defending champions Dynamo Kursk to open up their Group F campaign with a defeat, they claimed the scalp of EuroLeague Women entrants Tarsus Belediye in the Turkish League at the weekend - a perfect boost ahead of a home tie with Bulgarian side Dunav 8806.
|Dajana Butulija stood out for Partizan Galenika in their opening night win |
Partizan Galenika Looking To Confirm Form
Another team that is sitting 0-1 right now but got a pick-me-up from a domestic league fixture are Basket Landes. They were ripped apart in Group G at Partizan Galenika, but bounced back with a comprehensive win against Villeneuve in the French League and they will need to be on song against a stacked Dynamo Moscow team containing a string of seasoned Russian national team players who destroyed VS Prague.
Indeed the VS Prague and Partizan Galenika match-up is an intriguing one with the hosts looking to bury the disappointment of their blowout in Moscow and the visitors trying to prove their blowout of Basket Landes was an indication that they have the ability to emerge from the group.
Group H witnesses the clash of two teams who both found wins last week in the shape of Vilnius Kibirkstis and Antakya. The Lithuanian debutantes grabbed their first ever success in the competition with a super road win at MBK Ruzomberok and Antakya eventually shrugged off a talented Elitzur Ramla team.
The key to this game could be under the basket since the two top performers for each team last week included center Kristina Alminaite who had fantastic four blocked shots for the Lithuanian side, whilst young Ana Turcinovic had a nice double-double for Ramla.
It's been a miserable year for MBK Ruzomberok play-caller Stefan Svitek so far. Fired by Good Angels Kosice to the surprise of many, having taken them to the play-offs and then missing out on EuroBasket Women qualification with Hungary, EuroCup Women didn't bring much sunshine either since he started with that very disappointing home loss.
And, with a tough trip to Elitzur Ramla this week, the chances of Svitek getting a much needed dose of good news look slim - especially with the prolific Shay Doron very much due a big scoring performance for the Israeli club who will be eager to get off the mark with a first victory.