NOTE: The Canadian Senior Women’s National Team has qualified for the upcoming FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup taking place from Sept 22 – 30th in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. Leading up to the event, every month there will be a preview on the Canadian team.
TORONTO – The Canadian Senior Women’s National Team is back in action. Today, they kicked off the start of their training camp where the invited players will have a chance to compete for a spot on the World Championship team.
The Canadian team is currently ranked 5th in the world and have a great shot to medal at the upcoming World Championships, so picking the right roster is very important.
I have already discussed in previous months, who I think will make the roster and what the expectations are heading into the World Championships, so for this post, I will take a closer look at the competition for the Canadians.
There are 16 teams that have qualified for the FIBA World Championships and are divided into four groups. In Group A, the Canadians will face off against Korea, Greece and France. France will be the toughest country to battle for the Canadians as they have premier talent in Olivia Époupa and Céline Dumerc. Korea and Greece are still growing their women’s basketball programs and the Canadians should be able to fare well against them in group play.
In Group B, Australia, Turkey, Argentina and Nigeria face off. Australia looks to be the leader as they have a solid roster led by premier talent in Liz Cambage. Australia is a traditional basketball powerhouse and will look to continue their dominance in this group. The hardest competition that Australia will face is against Turkey. Turkey has improved vastly over the years in women’s basketball as they finished fourth in the 2014 world championships. They are led by Işıl Alben and Quanitra Hollingsworth. Look for the Australia vs Turkey games to be competitive.
In Group C, Japan, Puerto Rico, Belgium and Spain face off. Spain will be the leader in this group as they have also improved vastly over the years and were the silver medal winners in the 2016 Olympics. They also came first in last year’s Eurobasket competition. Japan and Puerto Rico are still continuing to improve their women’s national team program. Belgium is starting to be competitive and are led by Emma Messeman. However, Spain has been dominant as of late and should easily win this group.
Finally in the last group which is Group D, Latvia, Senegal, China and the headliner of the field, the United States face off. The clear cut winner of this group is the United States. They have premier talent in Breanna Stewart, Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird, Tina Charles, etc. They should have an easy time winning this group as the rest of the teams in this group have a ways to go before they can compete with the United States.
The Canadians clearly have their work cut out for them. After training camp, they go on to play in exhibition games against Japan (Sept. 7th) and the United States (Sept. 8th) in Webster’s Bank Arena in Connecticut. After the two game exhibition series, the Canadians will travel to France to play in a four game mini tournament against France, Senegal and the US (again) for two days. (Sept 15th- 17th)
The road to the FIBA World Championships countdown is on. There are 22 days left until the competition starts so the Canadians need to be ready to play.