FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup
On the eve of the competition, several test events held in the week before the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup generated a lot of discussion points. Meanwhile, here are the top four lessons learned from the various games, which have reawakened fans’ appetites for Thursday’s big tip-off.
Fasten Your Seatbelts for What Might Be the Best Women’s Basketball World Cup Ever!
Even though these test events were only practice matches, the level of basketball’s intensity and excellence was legendary from the start. The Olympic silver medalists from the previous year, Japan, beat Belgium in a nail-biting game to start the tournament, 77-73, bringing back unforgettable memories of their quarterfinal victory at Tokyo 2020. Likewise, the Opals defeated Olympic bronze medalist France 92–88 in a thrilling battle.
The Opals defeated Belgium 65-61 in the third closely contested match, while Japan defeated France 69-59 with a bit more breathing room. If that was only the appetizer, bring on the main courses and the real FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup! More of this kind of alluring ball would make things unbelievably better.
Opals’ Key Source of Strength
The competitiveness in Australia’s frontcourt will provide them a potent weapon to try to march toward that podium, which we probably already knew, but the games demonstrated just how much. Due to her success at the club level, Ezi Magbegor has received a lot of attention. With 18 points versus France, she once again impressed. However, Cayla George’s close-to-double-double performance of 12 points and 9 rebounds versus Belgium reminded everyone that the battle for playing time is fierce and will only bolster the Opals’ challenge and dominance in the paint.
Japan’s Future Got Assured Thanks to Hirashita
Young Japanese athlete Aika Hirashita’s performance at the Test Events may have grabbed the most attention. She had what many people thought to be an unexpected opportunity to play at her first senior event, and she took full advantage of it by shining against Belgium with an amazing 18 points. The fact that she made 5 of 5 long-range baskets indicates that, despite Japan’s continued growth in height, their shooting prowess remains strong. With skills like these, they appear to be future-proof.
Badiane Demonstrates that France is a Resilient Team
Although they have experienced their fair share of setbacks since taking home the Olympic bronze last year, the France team may be more potent than some belief. There will be a handful of new players who haven’t participated frequently in large events but are now trying to catch up. Mariemme Badiane is the only person to contact. She scored a respectable 17 points against Japan, and while players like Ana Tadic, Kendra Chery, and Marie-Eve Paget may not be as well-known as those who came before them, they are still in the game to make a difference.