With the league’s expansion over the past few years, it was decided that the name should be changed from the Eastern European Women’s Basketball League simply to European Women’s Basketball League. The teams were divided into two groups with games in this first stage taking place in pods of four teams.
The first games were on Wednesday with four teams playing their games at a neutral site in Daugavpils, Latvia. The powerhouse team in Belarus, Tsmoki-Minsk, welcomed Pecsi of Hungary to the competition, winning 74-69 thanks to Viktoriya Hasper with Ekaterina Karchevskaya opting to return to her home country over continuing her college career. One of the strongest teams in the league in recent years decided to discontinue high level professional ambitions, but the Slovakian powerhouse did opt to field a team as Young Angels Kosice this year. Ostrava of the Czech Republic faced them in their first game, losing 53-51.
The other pod started play on Friday in Grodno, Belarus. Umea of Sweden, which has rookie Ama Degbeon, beat Astana Tigers of Kazakhstan 68-56. Hosts Olimpia welcomed Eleonora Oleynikova and second division Russian side Southern Federal University, based in Rostov-on-Don, losing 88-74 despite good games from Volha Kapylova and Natallia Dashkevich.
October 3, 2018
Tsmoki-Minsk vs. Pecsi 74-69 TSM Hasper 28/9r Stsiapanava 16/9r Karchevskaya 3 PEC Markovic 14 Zsilinszki 10 Cukic 10
Young Angels Kosice vs. Ostrava 53-51 KOS Machalova 15 Logic 12/6r Drobna 11 OST Corda 13/8r Raskova 9
October 5, 2018
Astana Tigers vs. Umea 56-68 AST Kondrakova 12 Vinokurova 12 UME Lawrence 15/6r Brown 13/8r/6s Asoro 13/8r Degbeon 11 Mingo 10
Olimpia Grodno vs. Southern Federal University 74-88 GRO Kapylova 24/14r Dashkevich 23 Nadzezhka 13/9r/6a ROS Oleynikova 21/6a Zaitseva 17 Gunchenko 13 Kartianovich 10/7r Kirina 10