|07 February 2014|
|Anastasiya Verameyenka is now fourth on the list of all-time leading shot blockers in EuroLeague Women|
fibeurope.com women's basketball specialist Paul Nilsen takes a look back on the eleventh week of EuroLeague Women action.
A SUPREME SWAT QUEEN
I have to tip my hat in absolute admiration for Anastasiya Verameyenka becoming only the fourth player in EuroLeague Women history to block more than 150 shots. Fittingly, the center managed to complete the achievement on her old floor at Nadezhda Orenburg and also in another winning performance as Fenerbahce maintained their flawless record in Group B. At 26 years old, and barring injury or a transfer out of the competition, the Belarusian star looks likely to become the supreme swat queen in time. Ironically though, she isn't actually the leading shot-blocker this season - that honour goes to Agnieszka Majewska of CCC Polkowice.
LAST UNBEATEN RECORD
It is well documented that Fenerbahce are the last remaining unbeaten team in EuroLeague Women and without tempting fate, I think it is time to consider whether they can get to the play-offs without tasting defeat - something that hasn't been done by any club in quite some time. They still have three games to go, but should be strong favourites in home games against Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration and BK Imos Brno, either side of a road trip to Rivas Ecopolis. However, if Fenerbahce fans are dreaming of going all the way through the season and right to the top of the podium without losing, that's something which you have to go all the way back to 2009-10 to have witnessed. A time when one of the truly great Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje teams were crowned champions after winning an unbelievable 16 games - including two against Fenerbahce in the quarter-finals!
| Jantel Lavender has been one of the stars of the regular season|
PURPLE PATCH OF LAVENDER
If you can find a player who has performed at a higher level during the first 18 months of their Euroleague Women career than Jantel Lavender, then I would love to know about it. Brilliant for Schio last year, Lavender has filled the gap vacated by Tina Charles at Wisla Can-Pack and is having another wonderful season. Her consistency is tremendous and all power to Jantel for adding another honour added to her list by racking up the best shooting display in the competition so far this season. Her 10-of-11 floor shooting effort against UE Sopron was incredible and her only miss actually came during the last 90 seconds. She's the top scorer in the tournament and is averaging a stellar 64.6% field goal percentage. If Wisla Can-Pack make it to the Final Eight, then she has to be a big contender for player of the season or at least signing of the season!
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
There were lots of contenders as usual, with ZVVZ USK Prague completing the double over Galatasaray odeabank right up there near the top of the list, along with Kibirkstis Vici Vilnius and BLMA both grabbing their first wins since last November to snap lengthy losing streaks. However, I can't look past CCC Polkowice keeping their hopes alive by taking down the red-hot Sparta&K, who arrived in Poland flying high and on a six-game winning run and so they get my seal of approval!
|Gunta Basko-Melnbarde had eight steals against BK IMOS Brno|
BLMA veteran Gunta Basko-Melnbarde equalled the season-high tally of eight steals in a single game previously held solely by Angel McCoughtry of Fenerbahce.
The effort of Basko-Melnbarde helped BLMA take the most steals in any individual game so far, with a mesmerising 21 against BK IMOS Brno.
However, McCoughtry is still stealing the show after bagging another seven this week to make it an eye-popping 15 steals in two games.
McCoughtry didn't stop there and pulled down the ten rebounds she needed against Nadezhda, to reach the distinguished landmark of 500 boards in the competition.
Erlana Larkins showed why she has been brought in to beef up the Beretta Famila Schio frontcourt after becoming the first player this season to secure nine offensive rebounds in a game.
The contribution of the forward also helped Schio to claim more offensive boards in a single game than anyone else so far, with 21.
Her Schio team-mate Laura Macchi also hit a high during the clash with Gyor by scoring the nine points she required to surpass 1,500 Euroleague Women points.
Endene Miyem grabbed seven boards for Tango Bourges against Kayseri Kaski spor to move past 600 EuroLeague Women rebounds.
Eva Viteckova accomplished the same feat for ZVVZ USK Prague against Galatasaray odeabank.
Reigning champions UMMC Ekaterinburg are the queens of the assists, with their 26 against Good Angels Kosice meaning they occupy the top four spots for the highest number dished out during individual games this season.