SYDNEY (Australia) – Many people might expect reigning champions USA to defend their title comfortably when they step out at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022, but can anyone seriously push them?
Sure, they will be overwheming favorites to capture their fourth consecutive crown and that is underdtandable with some of the world’s best talents on the roster such as Breanna Stewart and A’Ja Wilson.
On the flip-side, legendary backcourt duo Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi are no longer present and that could potentially make them more vulnerable to a big challenge from a competitor than at previous editions. So, here’s your chance in the fan vote below to decide which other nation has the best chance of pushing them the hardest when the action gets underway in Sydney.
Having made history by getting to the Olympic Final in Tokyo last year and after winning a fifth consecutive FIBA Women’s Asia Cup, surely Japan is still on the rise and well-placed to be a serious contender to push USA hard. They have the scoring punch to hurt anyone, including the champions. With an abundance of long-range firepower from downtown from the likes of Saki Hayashi, they also have inside presence with Maki Takada, Ramu Tokashiki and the ever-improving Stephanie Mawuli. They also work incredibly hard and are super quick, so will cause everybody a big headache.
Even if they have not won even a Continental title for more than a decade and also came up short at the global level in recent times, some are predicting that the time has arrived for China to not only threaten the podium, but to seriously push for a place in the Final itself. They have all the talent they need with twin towers Xu Han and Yueri Li, plus Sijing Huang and Li Meng on the wings. Tough in the paint, able to score from outside and with super fast guards like Liwei Yang, they look ready.
Making it a FIBA Asia region hat-trick, could there be a dream title game involving the host nation? Very possibly and if that was to happen, could the Opals push the USA all the way? They look to have a lot of depth and confidence, the feel good factor is back with a nice mix of experience, not least the returning influence of Lauren Jackson alongside the likes of Cayla George Sami Whitcomb and Marianna Tolo, while Ezi Magbegor is lighting it up and some debutantes are ready to make a splash.
While Belgium will rely heavily on Emma Meesseman as usual, their inspirational leader is capable of helping her team make more history. Even if they have never stood on the podium previously, that is a realistic aim and some feel they are the best European contender now against USA. With Julie Allemand pulling the strings, Hind Ben Abdelkader and Julie Vanloo also in the backcourt, they have good options and the underrated Antonia Delaere and Kyara Linskens are also rocks they can rely on.
Women’s basketball is littered with shock results down the years, so could first-timers Bosnia and Herzegovina, propelled by the phenomenal Jonquel Jones really surprise USA? Is anything possible with a baller like JJ around? Or, will it prove that France has been written off too soon because of key absences and they can still shine with the likes of Marine Johannes, Iliana Rupert and Gabby Williams? Or maybe European champions Serbia still have what it takes to make it to the top?
Copyright FIBA All rights reserved. No portion of FIBA.basketball may be duplicated, redistributed or manipulated in any form.
By accessing FIBA.basketball pages, you agree to abide by FIBA.basketball terms and conditions.
Your suplied Email address ([email protected]) does not seem to be correct