Canadian Senior Women National Team Olympic Qualifying Tournament Preview

nayo raincock-ekunkwe, new york liberty.

The Canadian Senior Women’s National Team is set to face in the final Olympic qualifying tournament which tips off on Thursday afternoon in Ostend, Belgium. Canada will face Belgium, Sweden and Japan in this tournament.

In order to qualify for the Olympics, Canada must finish in the top 2 as Japan has already qualified for the tournament since they are the host nation.

Canada will be tested in this final Olympic qualifying tournament as Belgium, Sweden and Japan are worthy opponents.

Belgium, the host nation is ranked 9th in the world but have never qualified for the Summer Olympics before. They hope to change that led by Washington Mystics forward Emma Messeman who is apart of the reigning WNBA champions. Kim Mestdagh and Ann Wauters are also familiar names that will try to help Belgium make history. They will be a tough team to battle.

Japan, which does not need this tournament to qualify as they have already qualified due to the Olympic host nation, are ranked 10th in the world. They finished in 8th place at the 2016 Olympics. They will still be a tough team to face as they have nothing to lose and are using this tournament as a tune up for the Olympics.

Sweden, who is ranked 22nd in the world, has never qualified for the Olympics just like Belgium. They are led by New York Liberty forward/center Amanda Zahui B. Farhiya Abdi and Elin Eldebrink are familiar names that aim to make history.

Canada will be led by veteran forwards Kim Gaucher and Miranda Ayim and WNBA stars Kia Nurse and Natalie Achonwa. 5 players have played in the 2019 WNBA season (Achonwa, Nurse, Alexander, Carleton, Raincock-Ekunwe) and Jamie Scott has some WNBA experience. 2 players (Amihere and Pellington) are currently playing in college. Canada has tons of experience in this group and to view the final roster, please read the press release Canada Basketball put out today.

Canada faces Belgium on Thursday, February 6th at 2:35 pm EST/11:35 am PST on CBC Network and streaming online at cbc.ca. Canada faces Sweden on Saturday, February 8th at 2:35 pm EST/11:35 am PST on CBC Network and online at cbc.ca. Canada’s final game will be against Japan on Sunday, February 9th at 12:05 pm EST/9:05 am PST and that will also air on CBC Network and online at cbc.ca. To Americans, all three games are available to stream online on ESPN+.

Canada is ranked a program high of 4th place but it has bigger goals in mind as the team prepares for the upcoming Olympic qualifying tournament. It will face tough opponents in this tourney but Canada now has plenty of veteran experience, youth and grittiness within the squad that will help them obtain a top 2 finish and all of Canada will be able to witness it as it is available through CBC.

The 2020 Summer Olympics games will tip off from July 24th to August 9 in Tokyo, Japan.

Canadian Senior National Women’s Basketball Team preview of FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament in Edmonton

kia nurse

The Canadian Senior Women’s National Team gets underway tonight in Edmonton as they host Cuba in the first of three games of the FIBA Olympic qualifying tournaments. This is the second tournament that Team Canada will participate in and there is a final Olympic qualifying tournament in February.

Team Canada has become more and more successful at FIBA Olympic qualifying tournaments and in this particular tournament, they should have no problem winning the tournament. The opponents that they will face are Cuba which tips off  tonight, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. They should have no problem winning all three games. Team Canada has risen and become a much stronger team thanks in large part to their coaches as well as a strong group of players as well. This is a deep Canadian senior women’s national team and it should get even better as the year goes on when Team Canada will face stronger competition down the line. Also of note, certain long time players will get the media attention such as Natalie Achonwa, Kia Nurse, Kim Gaucher, Miranda Ayim, etc but don’t forget about the upcoming future stars such as Aliyah Edwards and Shaina Pellington. Those two have a bright future ahead of them.

As of now,  as mentioned above, they will face Cuba tonight at 7:30 pm local time, Puerto Rico on Saturday at 5:00 pm local time, and Dominican Republic at 4:00 pm local time.

For more details on the Canadian FIBA Qualifying Tournaments and who will play for the national team in this tournament, please read Canada Basketball’s press release.

It should be a fun tournament and I hope the people in Edmonton come out and support these women.

The Canadian Senior Women’s National Team – Road to the FIBA World Cup Part III

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.