Preview: Lone EuroLeague Women game of the day features Billings, Samuelson sisters

Dynamo Kursk v Nadezhda - FIBA EuroLeague Women
Monique Billings (center) and Nadezhda will try to improve to 2-0 in group play when they take on the Samuelson sisters and Perfumerias Avenida. | Photo by Sebnem Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Russian club Nadezhda can improve to a 2-0 record in Group A with a defeat of Perfumerias Avenida, which will be playing its first game of the 2020-21 EuroLeague Women season.

Opening day of the 2020-21 EuroLeague Women season did not disappoint. Among the closer games of the day was a battle between two Russian clubs — Dynamo Kursk and Nadezhda. Nadezhda got the 77-74 win after a big second-half comeback.

Nadezhda is back in action on Wednesday, looking to improve to 2-0 and take a commanding lead in Group A. Such a start would go a long way toward earning the team a playoff spot — for the 2020-21 season, there are only seven days’ worth of regular-season games and the top two teams in each group make the playoffs.

Perfumerias Avenida — just one of two EuroLeague Women teams that did not play on opening day — will debut with Karlie Samuelson, Katie Lou Samuelson and Tiffany Hayes, who sat out the 2020 WNBA season. Avenida is coached by the highly-decorated Roberto Íñiguez, who last led Sopron to the EuroLeague Final Four in 2018-19.

Neither Galatasaray nor Izmit Belediyespor were in action on opening day. Currently dormant due to COVID-19 disruptions, both teams had their December games canceled.

Wednesday, December 2

Nadezhda (1-0) vs. Perfumerias Avenida (0-0)

When: 11:00 a.m. ET

Where: Caferaga Sport Saloon, Istanbul

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Matchup details: Monique Billings may be the lone WNBA star on Nadezhda but it was Elina Dikaioulaku and Anastasia Logunova with 19 points apiece who led the team to its upset over Kursk on Tuesday. Avenida was ranked eighth in FIBA’s preseason power rankings, and the Spanish club will have the advantage of rest over Nadezhda. Yet, with so many teams scheduled to play back-to-back games in the competition, any advantage will be short-lived.