Basketball World Cup
SYDNEY, Australia (FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup) – A series of practice games in the week leading up to the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup provided plenty of fodder for discussion on the eve of the tournament. Here are four key lessons from the various games that have whet the appetite for Thursday’s big game.
Fasten your seatbelts for what may be the finest Women’s Basketball World Cup ever
That’s correct, these Test Events were only practice games, but the intensity and level of Basketball World Cup was spectacular from the start. Last year’s Olympic silver medalists Japan opened with a close 77-73 win against Belgium, recalling memories from that game for the ages when they squeaked past their opponents in the Quarter-Finals at Tokyo 2020. In another exciting match, the Opals defeated Olympic bronze medalists France 92-88.
The Opals edged Belgium 65-61 in a third hard-fought encounter, while Japan had a bit more breathing room in upsetting France 69-59. If that was the warm-up, bring on the main event and the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup! More of this style of appealing ball, and it’ll be crazily fantastic!
The rotation of the Opals’ frontcourt is their key source of strength.
We probably already knew this, but the games demonstrated how much depth of competition in Australia’s frontcourt will provide them with a tremendous instrument to attempt to march to the podium. Ezi Magbegor has received a lot of attention due to her club form, and she was once again excellent with 18 points versus France. However the Basketball World Cup, Cayla George’s near double-double of 12 points and 9 rebounds against Belgium reminded us all that the struggle for minutes is fierce, which will fuel the Opals’ challenge and domination inside the paint.
With Hirashita, Japan is future-proof
The performance of young Aika Hirashita of Japan was perhaps the greatest talking point of the Test Events. She demonstrated her promise against Belgium with a spectacular 18 points in what many considered was an unexpected chance to participate in her debut senior tournament at the Basketball World Cup. And, based on the fact that she made 5 of 5 long-range shots, everyone can deduce that Japan is becoming taller with each passing year, but their shooting abilities remain strong – implying that they are future proof with talent like this!
Badiane demonstrates that France is a resilient squad
They’ve had their share of setbacks since earning Olympic bronze last year at the Basketball World Cup, but this all-new France squad may be ready to hit harder than some believe. There will be some fresh faces as well as some who haven’t participated in big tournaments in a while and are hoping to make up for lost time. Mariemme Badiane is the answer. She scored 17 points against Japan, and although names like her, Ana Tadic, Marie-Eve Paget, and Kendra Chery may not be as widely known as those who came before them, they are here to accomplish good. Yes, France lost both games, but with some fine tuning, they may turn things around, so keep an eye on this.
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