EuroLeague Updates: Regular Season Groups Set!

When we last checked the 2022-23 EuroLeague season, nothing was set in stone. We only knew the teams that would fight for a place in the EuroLeague and their division into two groups: one of the teams that qualified directly in the regular season and the other of the teams that must play in qualifying tournaments to succeed.

The qualifying draw took place on July 15 in Munich, Germany, and it determined the qualifying tournaments to be played from October 12, just days before the start of the EuroLeague regular season. Here are the results:

  • Qualifying Tournament A: ACS Sepsi-SIC (ROU), Olympiacos SFP (GRE), KKZ Crvena Zvezda (SRB). The winner will be placed in Group A for the regular season.
  • Qualifying Tournament B: DVTK Hun-Therm Miskolc (HUN), Elizur Landco Ramla (ISR), Botas Spor Kulubu (TUR). The winner will be placed in Group B for the regular season.
  • Qualifiers of the playoffs: Villeneuve d’Ascq-LM (FRA) and Spar Girona (ESP) will compete in a two-way qualifying series. The winner will be placed in Group B for the regular season.

Additionally, there was another draw to determine the EuroLeague regular season groups.

According to FIBA, each of the clubs that have already qualified has been assigned a seed ahead of the draw based on their performance in European club competitions over the past three seasons. Additionally, the draw rules state that, for countries with two teams, those teams “shall be drawn into different groups if possible”. For countries with three teams, no more than two teams from the same country can be in the same group.

These were the resulting two regular season groups, with three spots still up for grabs in qualifying:

EuroLeague Women 2022-23 regular season groups. (Graphic credit:
  • Group A: Fenerbahçe (TUR), USK Praha (CZE), Bourges (FRA), Valencia (ESP), KSC Szekszard (HUN), Polkowice (POL), Virtus Bologna (ITA), Winner of Qualifying Tournament A
  • Group B: Sopron (HUN), Avenida (ESP), Famila Schio (ITA), Landes (FRA), Yenisehir (TUR), Mechelen (BEL), Winner of Qualification Tournament B, Winner of qualifying jump-off

Interestingly, the groups couldn’t have been drawn more perfectly in terms of avoiding clubs from the same nation being in the same group. Inevitably, there will be two French teams or two Spanish teams in Group B once Villeneuve or Girona qualify, and there could be two Hungarian or Turkish teams if Miskolc or Kulubu qualify. This is not the case for Group A, as none of the three teams vying for the open slot come from any of the countries already represented in that regular season group.

The followinga 24/7/365 women’s basketball newsroom

The Next: A basketball newsroom presented by The IX. 24/7/365 coverage of women’s basketball, written, edited and photographed by our young and diverse team and dedicated to breaking news, analysis, deep historical dives and projections on the game we love.

Subscribe to ensure that this vital work, creating a pipeline of diverse young media professionals to write, edit and photograph the big game, continues and grows. Subscriptions include exclusive content, but the reason for subscriptions is simple: to ensure that our writers and editors who create women’s basketball coverage 24/7/365 get paid to do so.

After covering the newcomers who have already qualified for the regular season in the last entry of this column, it’s time to review the teams returning for another EuroLeague title race, starting with the three clubs that have been assigned to Group B. We will be tackling Group A teams in the next episode of this series.

Basket Sopron (HUN)

Who better to start than reigning champions Sopron Basket? Sopron had a monster season last year, as is now the tradition among Hungarians. The team has won all the competitions it has participated in, including the domestic league, cup and Euroleague. These victories constituted the 14th domestic title, the 10th cup title and the first EuroLeague title in the history of the Hungarian club.

Some would argue that Sopron weren’t the strongest team in the EuroLeague statistically, but they had Final Four MVP in WNBA import Gabby Williams and played fierce defense and tenacious. However, Sopron had to shuffle his roster this offseason more than he probably wanted to.

For starters, Williams has signed with French side Asvel ahead of the upcoming season abroad. Sopron also lost veteran guard Briann January, who retired from European basketball after winning the championship. He made up for those two losses with the additions of Courtney Vandersloot, Alice Kunek, Dragana Stankovic and Brittney Sykes.

The quality of Sopron’s roster is still undeniable, but many changes could mean a longer than optimal adaptation period. We’ll have to wait and see how the new pieces fit into Sopron’s equation next season.

Perfumeries Avenida (ESP)

Last season, Avenida missed the final for the second consecutive year after losing to Sopron by just five points in the semi-finals. The loss doesn’t leave Avenida too upset, though. Despite being a lifelong contender in continental basketball, Avenida is known for operating on a tight budget, so the club and its fans view any post-season run like last year’s as an accomplishment. .

No one — not even Avenida Brass — knew it at the time, but the signing of future WNBA Finals MVP Kahleah Copper in the spring of 2021 turned out to be a magnificent cheap move by the Spanish club. Although she only appeared in 14 games for Avenida, Copper was so good that she entered the EuroLeague MVP conversation despite being 100-200 minutes behind other contenders.

In addition to Copper, Katie Lou Samuelson and her older sister Karlie Samuelson; WNBA import Bella Alarie; and local talents such as Maite Cazorla, Silvia Dominguez and Leonor Rodriguez laid the foundations that helped Avenida win the Spanish league against Valencia and the domestic cup against Girona last season.

It was a summer of change for the Salamanca-based club, however, with the departure of Copper, the Samuelson sisters, Alarie and Emese Hof. Avenida responded by signing center Julia Reisingerova (a 2018 WNBA rookie) and Minnesota Lynx point guard Moriah Jefferson. Avenida will still be in contention, so it’s just a matter of whether they can make the last-ditch effort to win the EuroLeague trophy.

Beretta Familia Schio (ITA)

Famila Schio will enter next season looking to win an elusive continental trophy. He comes out of an Italian championship after beating promising Virtus Bologna three games to one in the league playoffs. Schio has won 10 of the last 11 Italian Super Cups and seven Italian leagues in the past decade alone, but he hasn’t lifted a European trophy since winning the EuroCup in 2008.

This offseason, Schio lost Kitija Laksa and Sandrine Gruda, and Diamond DeShields, who played for Schio last season, has yet to be confirmed to the squad for 2022-23. But Schio landed 2022 WNBA No. 1 draft pick Rhyne Howard and inked overseas free agents and WNBA imports Amanda Zahui B., Astou Ndour-Fall and Marina Mabrey.

Italy have seen many clubs strengthen their squads this off-season and should have the best domestic league in terms of balanced competition and talent. But Famila Schio has taken the necessary steps to remain a top team domestically, overcome the difficulty of continental competition and qualify for the EuroLeague Final Four next season.

Comments are closed.