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Star-studded Fenerbahçe expected to win it all

The 2023 Euroleague Women’s playoffs kick off on Tuesday, with four matchups between the eight best-placed clubs from the competition’s group play stage. The preliminary round (often referred to as the Euroleague Women’s Quarterfinals) will be played in a best-of-three format, and the prevailing club will advance to the Euroleague Women’s Final Four (semifinals). Here are the clubs that will compete:

  • Fenerbahçe Alagoz Holding (Turkey)
  • Sopron Basket (Hungary)
  • CBK Mersin Yanisehir Blvd (Turkey)
  • Tango Borges Basket (France)
  • ZVVZ USK Praha (Czech Republic)
  • Perfumerías Avenida (Spain)
  • Beretta Familla Schio (Italy)
  • Valencia Basket Club (Spain)

As in the previous season, Fenerbahçe will enter the quarterfinals as favorites to win the Euroleague championship, although this time the gap between the Turkish club and the rest of the field is much larger. Fenerbahçe have the most star power of any team in the competition, thanks to the inclusion of players from around the world such as Brianna Stewart, Emma Meesman and Courtney Vandersloot. Statistically, Fenerbahçe had by far the best offense in group play, averaging 86.4 points per game on 47 percent shooting from the field, and leading the competition in steals per game at 11.9. Simply put, it would be a big surprise if Fenerbahçe didn’t advance to at least the semifinals, let alone the championship round.

However, clubs like Praha and Mersin are dangerous in their own right. Alyssa Thomas put up perhaps the most impressive all-around stat line in the contest during group play — 16.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 2.5 steals per game — and is fully capable of steering Praha to victory. Along those same lines, Mersin has the high-end talent — Chelsea Gray and Tiffany Hayes, in particular — to come up big in clutch situations and propel the club deeper into the tournament.

Needless to say, rosters like this are what make the Euroleague Women the greatest collection of international basketball talent in the world, and the post season is when the best of the best really shine. You won’t want to miss the Euroleague Women’s Playoffs, which will be streamed live and for free on FIBA’s Euroleague Women’s YouTube channel. Now, let’s take a look at each upcoming quarterfinal matchup and which players to keep an eye on.

Euroleague Women’s Quarterfinals Schedule

Fenerbahçe Alagöz Holding (12-2) vs Sopron Basket (8-6)

game 1, Tuesday, March 14 at 12 PM ET

game 2, Friday, March 17 at 1PM ET

Game 3: Wednesday, March 22 at 12 noon ET (if necessary)

Notable Players: Breanna Stewart, Satou Sabli, Emma Meisman, Kayla McBride, Alina Igupova, Courtney Vandersloot, Kiah Stokes (Fenerbaki Alagoaz Holding); Izzie Magbegor, Yvonne Turner, Bernadette Hutter, Jelena Brooks, Olivia Epoupa (Sopron Basket)

Matchup Details: Of all the quarterfinal matchups, this is perhaps the most one-sided match. Fenerbahçe has the most talented roster in the competition and enters the season on the back of winning ten-straight games; Sopron, on the other hand, lost three-straight games to finish group play and almost did not qualify for the playoffs at all. Sopron historically plays slow, defensive-minded basketball – the club’s discipline played a large role in securing the Euroleague Women’s Championship last season – but the majority of last year’s Sopron roster is now playing elsewhere, and Fenerbahçe has only strengthened since their disappointing loss that following season. Defense and pace of play will certainly be factors for Sopron against favorites Fenerbahçe, but even if the defending champions play the right basketball on the defensive end of the floor, they don’t have the firepower or depth to overcome the Turkish giants.

CBK Mersin Yanisehir Blood (10-4) vs Tango Borges Basket (8-6)

game 1, Tuesday, March 14 at 12:30 PM ET

game 2, Friday, March 17 at 3PM ET

Game 3: Wednesday, March 22 at 10am ET (if necessary)

Notable Players: Chelsea Grey, Tiffany Hayes, Elizabeth Williams (CBK Mersin Yenisehir Blvd); Yvonne Anderson, Kayla Alexander (Tango Borges Basket)

Matchup Details: At a glance, Mersin’s import core looks like it would make for an elite basketball team, and in a way it does: Mersin has won five-straight games entering the playoffs, becoming Group B’s No. 1 Has got overall priority. The club lost Deanna Bonner before the end of group play, however, significantly reducing the amount of offensive talent and troubling it. Borges relies heavily on Andersen, who may very well not be good enough against Mersin’s defence, but the French club can also defend well, ranking in the top four of the competition in turnovers forced. There’s no denying that Borges is turning the series upside down, even if Mersin is favored to win two out of three.

ZVVZ USK Praha (10-4) vs Perfumerías Avenida (9-5)

game 1, Tuesday, March 14 at 2 PM ET

game 2, Friday, March 17 at 3:30 PM ET

Game 3: Wednesday, March 22 at 2 PM ET (if necessary)

Notable Players: Alyssa Thomas, Breonna Jones, Maria Conde, Tammy Fagbenl, Valerian Vukosavljevic (ZVVZ USK Praha); Bridget Carleton, Michaela Oyenwere, Mite Cazorla, Alexis Prince, Mariela Fasoula (Perfumerías Avenida)

Matchup Details: Avenida had an interesting season, starting group play 5–1, then faltering in the middle of the stage and eventually making the playoffs with four straight wins. That momentum could be crucial against Praha, perhaps the most physically dominant team in the competition; The combination of Thomas and Jones, like last EuroLeague Women’s season, is punishing in the paint and on the boards, and Praha ranks first in group play in assists per game (24.4) as a team. Avenida is also perfectly capable of scoring from the ball, hitting a competition-high 39.7 percent of his 3-pointers, so this series has the potential for at least two exciting, high-scoring games. Although it is difficult to imagine the defeat of a club as big and experienced as Praha.

Beretta Famila Schio (10-4) vs. Valencia Basket Club (9-5)

game 1, Tuesday, March 14 at 3 PM ET

game 2, Friday, March 17 at 2PM ET

Game 3: Wednesday, March 22 at 3PM ET (if necessary)

Notable Players: Raine Howard, Marina Mabrey, Estou Andor-Fall, Kim Mestdag (Beretta Familia Schio); Lauren Cox, Raquel Carrera, Leticia Romero, Alba Torrance, Sierra Burdick (Valencia Basket Club)

Matchup Details: If there’s ever a quarterfinal matchup that doesn’t have a clear favorite, this is probably it. Both Shieo and Valencia have high offensive ceilings, and while Shieo’s talent may be more attractive on paper, Valencia have assembled a balanced squad that didn’t need much fanfare to be among the best in Group A. . Valencia has the edge in 3-point shooting (37.1 percent to 34.4 percent) and steals (10.4 per game), while Shio is the club with the better 2-point shooting (49.9 percent to 45.3 percent) and slightly higher scoring (73.2 points to 71.3 points per game). ) has been playing) in group sports. Schio will garner more attention because of the names on its roster — Howard and Mabrey, in particular — but don’t be surprised if Valencia forces the full three games or even comes away with a series win.

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