|Valeriya Musina is expected to have her breakthrough EuroLeague Women season for CCC Polkowice|
We take a look at the prospects of the reigning Polish champions as they look to build on their first ever spot at the Final Eight last season.
Last Season: A third place finish in Group C courtesy of a 6-6 record, put CCC Polkowice into the play-offs and they took their opportunity by beating Nadezhda in the play-offs. At the Final Eight they lost to UMMC and Good Angels Kosice, but recorded a fine win against Galatasaray.
Roster Review: Despite losing the hugely influential Palau and Ogwumike, there is lots of continuity for CCC Polkowice with some key players staying on board for the 2013-14 campaign. Polish Championship MVP Valeriya Musina is re-signed and the Russian guard is joined on the wings again by Polish pair Magdalena Skorek and Paulina Misiek, along with Aussie veteran Belinda Snell who will all be trying to pose a perimeter threat. The Polish frontcourt combo of Magdalena Leciejewska and Agnieszka Majewska is still in place, boosted by the arrival of former EuroLeague Women champion and big personality Janel Mc Carville, whilst Martyna Koc and young Agata Szczepanik will step up off the bench. Rising teenage star Dominka Owczarzak made a nice cameo at the Final Eight and followed it up with a Polish senior national team debut in the summer at the playmaking spot and is joined by Slovenian national team ace Teja Oblak. One other significant piece in the jigsaw for Jacek Winnicki could be the arrival of the hugely versatile Ausra Bimbaite, since the Lithuanian can usually be counted upon to contribute in many facets of any game, but she has been suffering from an undisclosed injury which is a big headache. So much so, the club have swooped for Montenegrin veteran point-guard Jelena Skerovic to boost numbers, with the playmaker having played at ZVVZ USK Prague last season. She also brings a decent three-point threat to the table.
Headline Stealer: Valeriya Musina had a nightmare first couple of seasons in EuroLeague Women percentage-wise, but she has come alive during 2013 and she could be the player to shoot CCC into the play-offs if her great form continues. She also brings plenty of intangibles with her feisty approach which may also feature prominently in the various sub-plots whenever her team-mates grab the headlines.
Sliding Onto The Radar: Teja Oblak has never played in EuroCup Women, let alone EuroLeague Women. However, the playmaker is very highly-rated, can put points on the board as well as picking out a pass for her team-mates and therefore could really boost her standing as a player this season.
Scanning The Schedule: It looks to be a very good opening on paper for the Poles, who have Kibirkstis-Vici Vilnius and WBC Novi Zagreb at home in their first three games. This means an opportunity for a potentially good start in Group C where they will also play Perfumerias Avenida, Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje and ZVVZ USK Prague.
In Just Ten Words: Losing two kingpins hurts, but very solid and well coached.