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Five ballers ready to breakout in Sydney – FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2022 – FIBA

SYDNEY (Australia) – As if the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 was not exciting enough, a number of  ballers look potentially ready to post breakout performances for their respective nations on the big stage.
While many have already shown strong glimpses of their talents previously, here are five players about to have their biggest ever tournament performance at senior level for their respective teams?
Iliana Rupert is a superstar on the rise 🌟🇫🇷

She proved to be a key for @FRABasketball in the @FIBAWWC Qualifiers.#EuroBasketWomen x #FIBAWWC
We know that Rupert has already performed solidly on the global stage having picked up that bronze medal at Tokyo 2020 last year, plus a couple of silver medals at the FIBA Women’s EuroBasket, but she now looks ready to do big things. Could this be her breakout tournament for France and a more prominent role, probably rotating with the returning Sandrine Gruda? Rupert’s last 12 months have been incredible. The MVP of the EuroCup Women Final Four when helping Bourges claim the silverware on home soil, she has made a switch to EuroLeague Women and Virtus Segafredo Bologna for the coming campaign. 
The defensive anchor, the play-maker, the finisher, the shooter … is there anything @stephaniemawuli can’t do ⁉️#FIBAWWC x @JAPANBASKETBALL 🇯🇵
There are those that might argue Mawuli already posted a breakout back at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 Qualifying Tournament in Osaka when she was terrific. While that’s true, it was only 2 games and the big questions is whether Japan’s most versatile and dynamic player can sustain the momentum and post the biggest major tournament of her career. Massively successful in 3×3, she is so exciting to watch and because she offers something a little different to those around her, if she does have a breakout in Sydney, it might go a long way to determining whether Japan lands on the podium – or not. She is their ‘X-Factor’ baller for sure.
A post shared by Hind Ben Abdelkader (@hind_bena)

The return of the free-scoring guard to the Belgian lineup after a lengthy hiatus under the reign of previous head coach Philip Mestdagh came last year for the FIBA Women’s EuroBasket 2023 Qualifiers and then continued into the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 Qualifiers. It could not be better timed for current playcaller Valery Demory since he has lost a massive scoring load with the retirement of Kim Mestdagh who was consistently a momentum-shifter, game-winner and top three scorer almost without fail for the Cats. Abdelkader has the scoring touch to fill much of that void, but this will be the first time she plays at a major senior tournament on the global stage and so it will be fascinating to see if she can deliver.

The talented guard has had to be patient for an opportunity having missed out on Serbia’s glorious FIBA Women’s EuroBasket 2021 title success and also their run to the Semi-Finals at Tokyo 2020. Nogic has a potentially huge chance not only to make her major tournament debut for her country, but to make a splash. In many ways, she has to. Serbia are without a long list of leaders this time, with Sonja Vasic and Jelena Brooks having retired, Aleksandra Crvendakic injured and Ana Dabovic unavailable. This could be a huge springboard for her to go onto bigger things and the chance to show why she has been signed by EuroLeague Women powerhouse Perfumerias Avenida for the 2022-23 season. 

As the legendary duo of Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi step back, it’s time for the next generation to start coming through at major tournaments and so it could be a case of all eyes on Ionescu at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup. Injury ruled her out of the Qualifying Tournament earlier this year, but if she remains healthy and is selected, there will be an incredible buzz around her inclusion. You can also mix in the significant probability that if she makes the roster, she is capable of posting a breakout debut at the event.. Seeing her on this kind of stage is something  it seems we have all been waiting for and wanting to see for what feels like an eternity – even if she has already lit it up in 3×3 previously!

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