SYDNEY (Australia) – There were some impressive performances by a number of ballers at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup who all showed they are ready to play bigger roles for their teams in the future.
We take a look at who posted all-important breakout performances in Sydney.
Without four of their starting five from last year’s Olympics in the wake of Jelena Brooks and the legendary Sonja Vasic having retired, Aleksandra Crvendakic injured and Ana Dabovic absent, Nogic had no option but to step up and prove herself as part of a new-look Serbia team. She had only been given limited opportunities and court time previously and this was her first major tournament when she had a significant role. The guard helped propel Serbia to the Quarter-Finals and maybe they could have went further had they not come up against the USA. She finished the competition with a creditable 10.2 points. 4.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.
It was tough on Belgium to lose their marquee player Emma Meesseman to an injury during the competition, but they still rode their way to the Quarter-FInals where they eventually lost to Australia. It was still a generally positive campaign and with a number of younger players gaining valuable experience. The athletic Lisowa-Mbaka logged an eye-catching 18 minutes per game and also shot the ball well, sinking 56 percent from the floor as well as going to work on the glass with 4.2 boards per outing. On this basis, she is possibly going to be a starting five baller for some time with the Cats.
This was a different kind of breakout performance by Fauthoux, who afterall won a silver at the FIBA Women’s EuroBasket last year and also an Olympic bronze medal. This was a breakout in terms of her signalling to everyone that she can be France’s floor general in the backcourt in these next years and can perform and contribute productively at the very top level. She helped push an injury-hit France to the Quarter-Finals and finished second in both scoring for her team with 10.8 points and also assists with 3.5 per outing.
What an excellent debut this was for Puerto Rico as the forward proved to be a driving force in a historical tournament for her adopted country. She helped take the Islanders not only to their first ever FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup win, but also incredibly, the Quarter-Finals. She packed the one-two punch alongside Arella Guirantes and more than anything it was not just her game on the floor, but the enthusiastic way she spoke about her teammates and the team ethos she lapped up. She was terrific and came away having posted some amazing displays, eventually averaging 13 point and 6.2 rebounds per outing.
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