|22 November 2013|
fibeurope.com women's basketball specialist Paul Nilsen takes a look back on the third week of EuroLeague Women action.
|Greece head coach George Dikeoulakos has been suggested as the potential new head coach of Nadezhda|
IT'S GETTING UGLY IN ORENBURG
After a summer of significant investment and high expectations heading into the new season, things have turned quite ugly for Nadezhda - or at least as far as EuroLeague Women is concerned.
The Russian club have lost all three games and are in danger of sinking without a trace if they don't stop the rot.
Rumours are flowing about who the new long-term head-coach might be, with Greek national team head coach George Dikeoulakos touted as a potential favourite to take on his fourth EuroLeague Women club.
Former play-caller Algirdas Paulauskas has hinted at alleged friction in the locker room and if true, there are only two words that describes how the season can be saved (whoever takes the reins).
Those words are defensive unity.
Nadezhda didn't look particularly lacking in intensity against BK Imos Brno, but the defensive cohesion was conspicuous by its absence at key times.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
If Kibirkstis-Vici Vilnius winning at CCC Polkowice on the opening day of the season was both a surprise and impressive, the way the Lithuanian champions picked apart visiting Perfumerias Avenida this week was even more of an eye-opener and a truly fabulous result.
To be sitting 2-0 is a wake-up call and poke in the eye for many of the critics. It also deliciously fuels my suspicion that we have a beautifully unpredictable season ahead of us.
MOMENT OF THE WEEK
When the courageous and inspirational Natasa Kovacevic (who should have been playing EuroLeague Women basketball this season) spoke in such touching fashion at the friendly game between Crvena Zvezda and HAT-AGRO Uni Gyor, played out in Belgrade to mark the Gyor tragedy.
A great young player and a great young person, the women's basketball family should be so very proud of her.
SLIDING ONTO THE RADAR
|Paul Nilsen was impressed by the contribution of Lidija Turcinovic for Lattes Montpellier against Rivas on Wednesday|
'94-born guard Lidija Turcinovic was handed 16 minutes of action for BLMA in their win against Rivas and in only her second game in the competition, this was some serious trust for the teenager. She helped France win silver at the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women off the back of U18 European Championship Women gold in 2012 and is a real fighter and smart player. Tough as nails, she will have loved being part of such a hard-fought game.
It was a difficult night for Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje in Istanbul against Galatasaray odeabank, but you had to be impressed with the EuroLeague Women debut of Daria Namok, who played 19 minutes for the Russian club. The shooting guard played well, was economical for five points, grabbed a couple of steals and never threw the ball away once.
Vanessa Ble also deserves credit for her contribution in what was actually a debut EuroLeague Women season also. Brought in by Galatasaray as a stop-gap measure to help cover the absence of the injured Sancho Lyttle, the Spanish forward only played a minute in each of her first two games, but was handed double-digit court time against Sparta&K and hauled down five rebounds.
BK Imos Brno snapped a seven game losing streak in EuroLeague Women with their victory against Nadezhda and won for the first time in six outings against Russian opponents.
The highest number of blocks in any game during the first couple of weeks was three, but a trio of players all surpassed this number during this week's games. Lina Pikciute (Kibirkstis Vici Vilnius) had four, Krystal Thomas (Perfumerias Avenida) had five and Agnieszka Majewska (CCC Polkowice) had a season-high six.
Avenida became the first team to swat eight shots in a game this season.
Four players have taken at least eight free-throws this season and are still 100% from the line.
Galatasaray odeabank are the only team to average over 50% in floor shooting this season.
Kibirkstis Vici Vilnius became the first team to haul down 20 offensive boards in an individual game.
Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration sneaked another victory, but committed more turnovers than any other team so far in an individual game, with 23 against Rivas.
You can follow Paul @basketmedia365 for women's basketball tweets.