With one game played on Tuesday and seven on Wednesday, Gameday 2 of the EuroLeague solidified Fenerbahçe’s position as the favorites to win the competition. Some familiar faces shined during their game against LDLC ASVEL Féminin, but that doesn’t mean that other contests weren’t entertaining.
“Our Home Our Rules” is the slogan that welcomes visiting teams when they take the floor in Istanbul to face the reigning European champions. Truth be told, even when they perform outside of Turkey’s biggest city, Fenerbahçe also feels at home. With the level of play they are showing right now, the rest of the group should feel no shame in fighting for second place. Fenerbahçe’s passing game is a thing of beauty and their team-oriented style may be on the level of 2014 San Antonio Spurs. (Yes, they’re that good!)
On Wednesday, Napheesa Collier dominated the interior with 23 points and eight rebounds, while Kayla McBride delivered another great all-around performance of 22 points, going 5-for-6 from 3. She also had six assists. Emma Meesseman once again showed that she is the best passing big in the game with 19 points, six rebounds and five assists. Alperi Onar was a rocket attacking the basket, with most of her 14 points coming from layups. And she’s 5-foot-7!
Temple fans will be happy to read that former Owl guard Tanya Atkinson continues to be a solid contributor at the highest level. In Zaragoza’s narrow loss, she was one of only two players on her team to score in double figures, finishing the game with 19 points. She’s yet to find her footing in the Spanish league, but in international competition so far she’s been shining.
Group A Scores:
Fenerbahçe Alagöz Holding (Turkey) 106, LDLC ASVEL Féminin (France) 57
Valencia Basket (Spain) 64, AZS UMCS Lublin (Poland) 45
DVTK HUN-Therm (Hungary) 66, Casademont Zaragoza (Spain) 63
Beretta Famila Schio (Italy) 70, ACS Sepsi SIC (Romania) 58
What’s up with these Lynx and EuroLeague? Collier and McBride are playing great for Fenerbahçe, and Diamond Miller enjoyed a solid performance for SERCO UNI Győr of Hungary in her first EuroLeague game. Her team lost to group-favorite Virtus Bologna, but the game was still up for grab in the fourth quarter largely thanks to Miller. Still, her 24 points (4-for-7 from 3), five rebounds and six assists were not enough to lead her team to victory. The Italians, on the other hand, improved to 2-0 after a stellar performance from naturalized Angolan-born center Olbis Andre, who finished the game with 24 points (78 percent from the floor) and six boards.
In Polkowice, fans got to see the most exciting game of the night, with WNBA players starring in leading roles in the nail-biter that saw the Polish vice-champions almost give up their seemingly-safe lead to the Czech champions in the fourth quarter. In her second game for Polkowice—the first being her Polish league debut—Brittney Sykes had 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Praha’s Ezi Magbegor had an even more impressive double-double with 19 points and 17 rebounds in her team’s loss.
Make sure to check out Sykes’ block at the beginning of the above video. It’s great to see her back in the EuroLeague after a three-year absence and we hope she’ll show more of her stellar defensive skills as time progresses.
Group B Scores:
Perfumerias Avenida (Spain) 79, Villeneuve d’Ascq LM (France) 65
Çukurova Basketbol Mersin (Turkey) 79, Basket Landes (France) 75
BC Polkowice (Poland) 75, ZVVZ Usk Praha (Czech Republic) 68
Virtus Segafredo Bologna (Italy) 85, SERCO UNI Győr (Hungary) 74