Page 29 of 30 FirstFirst ... 1927282930 LastLast
Results 701 to 725 of 740

Thread: Some Random Thoughts On International Basketball

  1. #701
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,626

    Default

    Italy, Russia, Sweden, Great Britain, Latvia, Spain, Belgium, France, Slovenia, Hungary, Montenegro, and Serbia all advanced in the elimination round at Eurobasket Women. Spain, France, Hungary, and Serbia all earned byes into the quarterfinals for winning their groups.

    Thursday will see on July 4 Spain facing Russia, Great Britain taking on Hungary, France battling with Belgium, and Serbia going against Sweden. Semifinals are on Saturday, July 6 with the championship coming Sunday.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  2. #702
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,626

    Default

    Former Canadian international Kim Smith (currently playing at France's USO Mondeville), FIBA's women's basketball expert Paul Nilsen, and FIBA live blogger Igor Curkovic all make their predictions in who will win the FIBA Eurobasket Women 2019 quarterfinals among Great Britain-Hungary, Russia-Spain, France-Belguim, and Serbia-Sweden:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/womenseur...quarter-finals

    The Egyptian women played head and shoulders above all the other FIBA Africa Group Zone 5 competitors Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda as winners in Kampala, Uganda when Team Egypt's Menatalla Awad justifiably becoming the tournament's Most Valuable Player because her individual brilliance and ability to work alongside her teammates and displaying her offensive skills when needed. Egypt secures its third straight African Women's Basketball Championship:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/womensafr...sket-2019-slot
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  3. #703
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,626

    Default

    France's Les Bleues dispatches surprise team Great Britain 63-56 in the first semifinal, making it four Eurobasket Women Finals in a row with its investments and resources into the national women's basketball program in recent years. Quite an accomplishment. Still, greatness for France only comes in gold. New York Liberty newcomer Marine Johannes was unstoppable with a career-high international 20 points versus Team GB! Got another classic basketball MJ here. Great accomplishment for the British women in Olympic qualifying since hosting London 2012. Actually with the England's Lionesses faltering with a sloppy first 20 minutes of the third-place bronze game in Nice, France at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup versus Sweden, it's a disappointing day for British women's sports. Now it's Spain and co-hosts Serbia, clash of two recent Eurobasket Women champions, in the other right now also in Belgrade. Want a scary stat? Spain has won its last 43 FIBA Eurobasket Women games when it's leading by at least 2 points at halftime. Former Miss Universe Spain Sofia Del Prado is in attendance with the small Spanish fan contingent there. So it's going to be a familiar refrain tomorrow with France and whoever comes out of Serbia and Spain. History repeats itself here good and bad alike for France.

    Speaking of Sweden, the Swedes defeat Russia 57-52 in a classification game as among the top 6 European teams going forward in the OQTs, forcing the Russians, despite having some of the best women's basketball talent and one of the best women's basketball leagues everywhere, to go undergo an Olympic qualification drought extension. Along with France, Great Britain, Spain, Serbia, and Sweden, Belgium's Belgian Cats are the other team looking forward to make a trip to Tokyo next year in knocking off Hungary 72-56.

    Tunis, Tunisia will host the upcoming FIBA African Women's Basketball Championship Qualification Zone 1 on July 25 with possibly Algeria and Morocco for the top spot there, if Libya's not included. Tunisia's gotta be the runaway frontrunner unless, say, Algeria recruits lots of French ballers with Algerian heritage on their roster. Zone 3 is TBA. The upcoming championship held in that new Dakar, Senegal arena we talked about in August will feature two wildcards under the 12-team format with a tournament supposedly held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Kenya, according to Wikipedia, already has one of them. Host Ivory Coast, Guinea, DR Congo, and Zimbabwe might be vying for the other one if a tournament is planned.

    Just announced that Dakar will host it:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/womensafr...sketwomen-2019
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  4. #704
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,626

    Default

    In an effort to help make the African Basketball Championship an every four year event instead of every two years but still allow national teams enjoy consistent competition in between editions, FIBA Africa establishes the 12-team Afrocan competition. 4 teams less that the big tournament. A little like with African soccer with the African Nations Cup and the African. This July 19-27, it'll be held in Bamako, Mali at the Palais des Sports Salamatou but open to African-based players to showcase their talents. Teams finishing second and third in their group will head into a qualification round into the quarterfinals. Some nations like Algeria could use some consistent playing national team sessions

    Group A: 1. Mali, 2. Ivory Coast, 3.Algeria
    Group B: 1. Nigeria , 2. DR Congo, 3. Kenya
    Group C: 1. Angola, 2. Morocco, 3. Chad
    Group D: 1. Tunisia, 2. Egypt, 3. Guinea

    http://www.fiba.basketball/afrocan/2...a-afrocan-2019
    http://www.fiba.basketball/afrocan/2019/overview

    Czech Republic (Prague), Estonia (Tallinn), Germany (Cologne for the group stage and Berlin for the final, very likely to be in), Georgia (Tblisi), Hungary (Budapest), Italy (Milan), and Slovenia (Ljublijana) are all bidding for the privilege of being 4 nations co-hosting the 41st edition of Eurobasket coming in 2021. Announcement comes Monday in Munich, Germany:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/news/seve...urobasket-2021

    Speaking of Eurobasket, Eurobasket Women 2019 in Belgrade saw Spain cement its continent-wide dominant status in becoming the first nation in European women's basketball competition since the Soviet Union in 1991 to repeat and defend their crown as champs. Spain beats familiar rivals France again in the final 86-66--started hot and never gave France a foothold toward victory. France continues to settle for silver medals like for the fourth consecutive time. Almaya Valdemoro's record for most points scored by a Spanish player in a Eurobasket Women final of 27 points from 2007 is safe, although Marta Xargay came close with 23 in this game. Silvia Dominguez was also outstanding in this tournament. Meanwhile hosts Serbia ends their campaign as hosts on a high note crushing history-making Great Britain 81-55 to a large and passionate crowd for bronze with Sonja Petrovic producing a double double of 14 points and 13 rebounds. When Spain played them in the semifinal before repeating, the Spanish players restricted the Serbs to just 1 three pointer made in the second half:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/womenseur...own-since-1991
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  5. #705
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,626

    Default

    All seven Eurobasket 2021 candidates submitted impressive bids to be among the four co-hosts. But those four announced today from Munich are Germany, Czech Republic, Georgia, and Italy. So happy for Georgia as the only one among the four that never had prior experience hosting this. Maybe build a newer Tbilisi Sports Palace there? Was a bit disappointed Estonia wasn't included despite Estonians' tremendous appeal towards basketball although that nation's European basketball success has been limited lately but may turn a corner. Like when Team Eesti shockingly upset eventually China-bound Serbia 71-70 in its final Group L home game at home. Tallinn's 10,000-seat Saku Suurhall would be a worthy venue if selected. Would perhaps drop Italy for it. Slovenia? Too close to when hosting this incredibly well back in 2013. With so many competitive nations in basketball across Europe, it would make sense to have co-hosting a more regular trend for Eurobasket in the future with these events being held less frequently now like we had in 2017 and 2019, men and women alike.

    Also, FIBA EuroBasket 2021 will take place in the month of September, which will be the first since it was agreed to take place every four years, rather than two to reflect the changes given to the continental championship alligned with the World Basketball Championships or the FIBA Basketball World Cup. The FIBA EuroBasket 2021 Qualifiers will be played across three windows in February and November 2020 and then February 2021:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/news/germ...urobasket-2021

    In addition to that, FIBA Europe announced the Eurobasket Women 2021 co-hosts. France and Spain, the two finalists in the latest Women's Eurobaskets, simply just can't stay away from each other when it comes to European women's basketball. Not even in co-hosting. Spain just hosted the Women's World Basketball Championship in 2018 but on the Gran Canaria islands. Lyon (Palais des Sports de Gerland) and Valencia (Pavelló Fuente de Sant Lluis) will be the two host venues for the group phase and the QFs. The semifinals, the third place Game, and the Final will all be played in Paris at the Palais Omnisport de Bercy-Paris Arena (or the AccordHotel Bercy Arena as it's officially called nowdays). Another joint bid came in the form of Sweden and Ukraine, neither of whom hosted before Eurobasket Women, that lost out with Portugal and Belgium pulling out. Had the Sweden-Ukriane bid won selection, the group stage matches of the tournament would be held in Stockholm, Sweden and Zaporizhia, Ukraine with the single elimination matches taking place in Kiev. Bad news is though, once again, the competition field is still at 16 teams--go back to 24! FIBA Women's Eurobasket 2021 will take place in the month of June resulting from the draw for the qualifiers, which are starting in November 2019, will take place on July 22 in Munich:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/news/fran...urobasket-2021

    And the 2019 Island Games had their basketball competition on July 7-12 in Gibraltar's Tercentenary Hall. On Wikipedia's entry there isn't a lot to show. Hosts Gibraltar, perhaps deemed as favo(u)rites here, eventually claimed bronze in both men's and women's basketball. The Cayman Islands, a team with the three O'Garro brothers--Joshua, Samuel, and Shaad, repeated their gold from 2017 over the Estonia's Saare County Island. Menorca also successfully duplicated their previous gold in women's basketball again over Sweden's Gotland, the previous Island Games host. A more detailed report will come next time with the Pacific Games in Apia, (Western) Samoa and the Montenegro-hosted Games of the Small States of Europe in Bar.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  6. #706
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,626

    Default

    Preview of the 12 teams participating in 4 groups of the FIBA 2021 Eurobasket Pre-Qualifiers. Only four teams, the top finishers from these groups, will make it:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/eurobaske...group-of-death

    GROUP E--Albania, Belarus, Denmark
    GROUP F--Cyprus, Romania, Slovakia
    GROUP G--Great Britain, Kosovo, Luxembourg
    GROUP H--Iceland, Portugal, Switzerland

    Actually, those games are now just over. Your group winners that will advance to Eurobasket 2021's next stage starting February 2020 are Denmark, Romania, Great Britain, and Switzerland. Romania goes to Group A with Poland, Spain, and Israel. Denmark goes into Group C with Belgium, Lithuania, and the Czech Republic. The Swiss goes in Group E with Georgia, Finland, and Serbia. Great Britain heads to Group G setting up dates with Germany, France, and Montenegro. Not surprising at all that Group H was the toughest group in this with the talent is assembled. With Portugal being the weakest in talent, the group winners was going to be between Iceland, because of its Eurobasket experience, and Switzerland, because of the presence of NBA star Clint Capela, and could go either way. Against Iceland on the final, Switzerland produced a very dramatic turnaround at the packed and crazy Salle Omnisport Du Pierrier in the second half and must win by at least 20 points to advance. A banner day in Swiss basketball! Condolences to the Icelandic players who were hoping to build further on the Eurobasket pedigree:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/eurobaske...021-qualifiers
    http://www.fiba.basketball/eurobaske...a-also-through
    http://www.fiba.basketball/eurobaske...iers-field-set

    So I saw the Team USA-Australian Boomers hotly anticipated exhibition game at Melbourne's Marvel Stadium. Or what was originally thought to be hotly anticipated down there; it was supposed to be Australian basketball's biggest night with hoping for a once-in-a-lifetime assembling of American NBA stars descending into Australia. Despite showing an Australian basketball attendance record of over 51,218. Plunking down lots of money for it. What these Aussie fans need to realize is a lesson in tempering expectations and realities when it comes to dealing with stars and their offseasons, especially when you're fresh off a deep playoff run. Shouldn't they be attacking the All-Stars in not coming? I knew they all weren't coming. Feeling things weren't delivered as promised and therefore disappointed, fans even are thinking about taking it to Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), [which] was forced to step in and ensure promoter TEG Live offered refunds to all ticket holders. Most Australian basketball fans just don't know these players on "depleted" rosters. Remember what I said about "buyer beware" on these boards several years back.

    When I saw that Marvel Stadium was going to host the big basketball matchup, I had the sneaky feeling there was going to emulate having an elevated basketball court like we see nowdays in NCAA Final Fours. Confirmed! It was on an elevated platform some 93cm above ground level with the similarly styled scorer board. Melbournites complained about the dome's basketball configuration with the view from the majority of the 30 rows of floor seating was limited at best. Too oversized for the game as a venue. Can't expect Australia to suddenly become like the NCAA overnight with basketball with the NBL. I agree with this. Needs some getting used to and improvements are needed. Wasn't designed for basketball like our current generation of dome stadiums here in NA. You could even make a case of the overpriced tickets like Russell Crowe criticized over on Twitter:
    https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/...all-falls-flat
    https://www.theage.com.au/sport/bask...22-p52jvt.html

    The Games of the Small States of Europe, Island Games, Pan American Games, the African Women's Basketball Championship, Pacific Games and the preceeding Polynesian, Melanesian, and Micronesian Basketball Championships, and the Asian and American Basketball Championships are actually coming next week along with a little more.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  7. #707
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,626

    Default

    We're only days away from the eagerly-anticipated 2019 FIBA World Basketball Championship or the FIBA Basketball World Cup played in 8 Chinese cities--Beijing, Shanghai, Foshan, Wuhan, Donguan, Guangzhou, Nanjing, and Shenzhen. All the exhibition matches leading up to this point were all played. Just about all the 32 team's final rosters are complete A new era in international basketball begins with an expanded 32-team field which places greater importance on that, making it to the WBC, and when it comes to qualifying for the Olympics. Honestly, I think that should be expanded even more to what the FIFA World Cup will have in 2026 with 48 teams with maybe a pre-qualifying tournament round for wildcard teams with the top two making it. Who's going to win or at least stake a place for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics out of its sub-zone regions finish (1 each from Asia, Oceania, Africa and 2 each from Americas and Europe) and, if not that, possibly get into the 4 separate FIBA WOQTs next year. That's a tournament that will be contested by the 16 best non-qualifying teams from China and an additional 2 teams from each of the four regions of Africa, Americas, Asia/Oceania, and Europe with the winners of each filling out the remaining 4 spots. Some notable players, mostly based in the NBA, are not participating. Which hurts some national teams more so than others.

    Like with the NCAA Tournament and the NBA, all 8 basketball courts in the Chinese host cities provided by Connor Sports are designed and branded with the vibrant FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 colors on the unique portable QuickLock wooden courts. But each are customized with the cities' design on them along with the TCL, Nike, and Aeroflot Airlines ads on them. Schelde Sports supply the 48 Super Sam 325 backboard units to each of the host cities for both competition and training courts. Each basketball unit is branded in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 colors and has a special look and design. Tissot supplies the shot clocks and times for the games. Connor Sports and Schelde will return for Tokyo 2020 Olympic basketball next year in another partnership:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/news/fiba...kets-unveiled1

    I hope either NBA2K20 or NBA Live 20, if not both, would take advantage of this 2019 FIBA World Basketball Championship and have the full qualification mode in each subzone in their videogames. Something that I'm still waiting upon for over a decade.

    Enzo Flojo evaulates each of the eight Asia/Oceania teams competing in China and what of their prospects for success:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/news/my-f...d-cup-tips-off

    Julio Chitunda does likewise for the 5 participating African teams on how they stack up:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/news/wher...world-cup-2019
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  8. #708
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,626

    Default

    I guess straight away that we can safely bet that Australia will finish as the best Oceania team in China ahead of New Zealand's Tall Blacks and qualify to Tokyo, as it usually seems to happen in this history. NZ is capable with its talent but not like Australia's. Not going to be like 2001-2002.

    Hard to believe but...Nike and Chinese basketball's relationship actually goes waaaaaaaaaayyyy back. Nearly 40 years ago in 1981 with Nike, hungry in making basketball inroads, and the Chinese Sports Service Company when the Swoosh supplied the Chinese men's and women's basketball teams with footwear and apparel as China was beginning to open up to the Western world. Nike became the Chinese Basketball Federation's official athletic supplier like for jerseys and sneakers since 1996 and stayed together ever since. This relationship has grown to including building Chinese basketball at the grassroots to create further depth and inroads into the Chinese game like with a national high school tournament. Like with Beijing over a decade ago, this FIBA World Basketball Championship in China is a showcase event for that. At the Phoenix Center in Beijing, the Chinese basketball uniforms and footwear were unveiled to the public and media. Chinese basketball has grown, expanded, and changed a lot not just even 4 decades ago but even from just the 1990s:
    https://www.slamonline.com/internati...e-china-hoops/

    Team USA and China aren't the only ones sporting Nike in its gear over in China. 14 other nations will do so too. That's exactly half of the 32-team field when taken together at 16. Out of those 16, only two will actually will sport the Jordan Jumpman insignia (Argentina and France). Surprised that Japan's JBA since ditched Under Armour for Nike. Also both USA and China will utilize the Josh Iverson-designed 80-20 color balance on the Chinese Basketball Federation and United States Men's Basketball Team jerseys "offers a lesson pulled straight from the Pareto Principle. Broadly, it says that 80% of an effect can be traced to 20% of the causes":
    https://news.nike.com/news/nike-and-...rms-china-2019

    The 2019 FIBA World Basketball Championship preview with an emphasis on the international NBA star power playing like Greece's Giannis Antetokounmpo, Team USA, Serbia's Nikola Jokic, Australia's Joe Ingles, Lithuania's talented bunch like Valanciunas and Domantas Sabonis, Spain's Marc Gasol, Japan's Rui Hachimura, and major storylines coming in from Slam Magazine's perspective:
    https://www.slamonline.com/internati...d-cup-preview/

    China has a very favourable group to emerge out of in Group A with Poland, Venezuela, and Ivory Coast in it. Question becomes, who going to advance with Team China and Yi Jianlian in the next round? The Poland-Venezuela match can determine whose fate will go on or head towards classification
    http://www.fiba.basketball/basketbal...nity-for-glory

    Argentina does have an incredible legacy to live up to from the previous generation that still has Luis Scola in it. Russia is another big name with a rich pedigree here but injuries are slowing the Bear down in its progress. But watch out for Nigeria with its largely American portion of the Nigerian diaspora on the roster as it continues to impress and progressively dangerous. South Korea shouldn't be fully counted out, though, in Group B in Wuhan:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/basketbal...rous-than-ever

    In Guangzhou, Spain, loaded with incredible talent with a nice mix of youth and experience with coach Sergio Scariolo, got to be head and shoulders above the 3 other teams in Group C and looks to dominate. Puerto Rico must be the biggest threat against Spain for group supremacy. Iran and Tunisia, both looking to get out of group play for the first time with the Tunisians back at it for the first time in nine years, will have a tough go of this:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/basketbal...e-in-guangzhou
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  9. #709
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,626

    Default

    With the lack of bigger star wattage on hand for China for many nations, the open-minded Marc Gasol playing for top contender Spain sees opportunity for other players who otherwise wouldn't have a shot based on the national team pecking order seemingly preferring stars as opposed to viewing doom and gloom. He realizes emerging talent and transitions involving national teams with player personnel like with the United States. Even Spain will be missing notable and key players:
    https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/...a-stars-absent

    ESPN's Mark Woods breaking down all 32 teams in this year's World Basketball Championships in China:
    https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/...g-all-32-teams
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  10. #710
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,626

    Default

    Breakdown of the 32 national teams in the 2019 FIBA World Basketball Championship via athletic supporter and supplier

    NIKE (16)--USA, Canada, Brazil, Puerto Rico, France*, China, South Korea, Lithuania, Spain, Dominican Republic, Angola, Argentina*, Czech Republic, Senegal, Philippines, Tunisia
    Peak (7)--Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Serbia, Nigeria, Montenegro, Iran
    Adidas (2)--Russia, Poland
    Under Armour (1)--Japan
    Spalding (1)--Italy
    Kelme (2)--Turkey, Ivory Coast
    GSA Sport (1)--Greece
    Soul Sport (1)--Venezuela
    ?? (1)--Jordan

    * denotes display of the Jordan insignia instead of the Nike swoosh

    Group play is almost complete...with our biggest disappointments in China failing to advance out of group play happen to be, considering the massive investment into this and shock of many, the host nation, Canada, Nigeria, and Germany. It started off so well against the Ivory Coast's Elephants. Then again, the talent level and quality China possesses in the matchup against them during the first game is going to be higher anyway in Beijing. But against experienced, physical, taller, offensively creative (from the perimeter), and older teams like Poland and Venezuela, things turned troublesome and never recovered.

    Team USA escapes major drama with a win versus Turkey in Shanghai that could of been a massive upset. We have a young team that, while talented, indeed lacks the star power many worldwide were hoping. Should be a good time now to get to know them. Turkey's 12 Dev Adam's (12 Giant Men) missed 4 free throws at 92-91 from both Dogus Balbay and Cedi Osman with 9.2 seconds to go brought the Americans back into the game, wasting teammate Ersan Ilyasova's master performance. What also helped were those 14 threes in comparison to Turkey's 10. Also on a side note, St. Louisian Jayson Tatum, a recent signee for the Jordan Brand from the Boston Celtics sprained his ankle and won't play in the upcoming two games for the USA. He grabbed the giant rebound from the Osman miss and streaked down the court before dropping it off to Milwaukee's All-Star Khris Middleton who drew a foul. The 6-6 (2.05m) forward calmly drilled two free throws to give USA the lead with 2.1 ticks left before Ilyasova's missed three-pointer to end the game and finish with 15 points and Kemba Walker was second at 14. Tatum was before that fouled from behind the arc with 0.1 second on the clock left and made two of the three shots to force overtime and USA hung on from there. And advance out of Group E:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/basketbal...e-from-group-e

    May be safe to put the USA as the top FIBA Americas team to make it into Tokyo 2020. But Argentina, Puerto Rico, and a surprise Venezuela will stake their claim for the second spot. Canada, which was highly-touted to to get the second spot, will have to make among the 17th-23rd ranked teams for the 4 WOQTs. More on the Canadians next time.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  11. #711
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,626

    Default

    Seven nations have qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic men's basketball competition--starting with the Boomers, followed by Nigeria (as the top African finisher), USA, Argentina (top two Americas finishers both at 5-0 at this writing), and Iran with the top two European teams TBD (presently Spain and Serbia holding these European spots) as far as the semis--along with hosts Japan that finished winless at 0-5 in the bottom cluster of 4 teams.

    Canada, Brazil, Tunisia, New Zealand, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, Venezuela, Lithuania, Greece, Russia, and Turkey with 8 additional teams (2 each from Africa, Americas, Europe, and Asia/Pacific) heading into the 4 WOQTs next year. I'll analyze when things, including which nations I think will join them) are over in China.

    QUARTERFINALS
    September 10
    Argentina vs. Serbia--Dongguan
    Spain vs. Poland--Shanghai

    September 11
    United States vs. France--Dongguan
    Australia vs. Czech Republic--Shanghai

    September 13--SEMIFINALS (all games in Beijing at this stage henceforth)
    September 15--THIRD PLACE GAME & FIBA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  12. #712
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,626

    Default

    France's Les Bleues shockingly stops the USA in the 2019 FIBA World Basketball Championship in Donggung, China and advance into the semifinals. No threepeat. No medal. Still will qualify out of this for Tokyo 2020 because of being one of the two top Americas finishers. Serbia in the classification round for 5th-8th is next:
    https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/...ed-loss-france
    https://www.espn.com/olympics/basket...nbaers-snapped
    https://www.si.com/nba/2019/09/11/te...-quarterfinals
    http://www.fiba.basketball/basketbal...to-semi-finals
    http://www.fiba.basketball/basketbal...-seen-popovich

    France's victory over the USA from the French sports perspective...and how they interpret the American sports perspective. France's along with Spain's win means both will automatically head into the Tokyo 2020 Olympics next year as the top European team finishers. Some say this is the best France team ever assembled:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/news/spai...ckets-in-china
    https://www.lequipe.fr/Basket/Actual...quarts/1057919
    https://www.lequipe.fr/Basket/Actual...end-ca/1058051
    https://www.lequipe.fr/Basket/Actual...-monde/1058036
    http://www.ffbb.com/pour-les-livres-dhistoire
    https://sport.francetvinfo.fr/basket...rudy-gobert-ne
    https://sport.francetvinfo.fr/basket...e-de-france-de
    https://sport.francetvinfo.fr/basket...que-contre-les
    https://sport.francetvinfo.fr/basket...les-americains
    https://sport.francetvinfo.fr/basket...ais-vu-des-usa

    We STILL must never forget what happened in Athens 2004:
    https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/...usa-basketball

    Meanwhile, the Boomers make history in making its first ever FIBA World Basketball Championship semifinals appearance defeating a determined and inspired Czech Republic team 82-70 in Shanghai! Only Spain, which denied Australia back in that Rio 2016 Olympic men's bronze basketball game and only knows so well, stands in the way of a certain medal:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/basketbal...i-finals-berth
    https://www.foxsports.com.au/basketb...24be2cd6d79e49
    https://www.espn.com/olympics/basket...semis-mills-24
    https://australia.basketball/blog/20...up-semi-final/
    https://www.news.com.au/sport/basket...99c00479a46b37
    https://pickandroll.com.au/on-to-the...-republic/6b37
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  13. #713
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,626

    Default

    Situation gets worse. Much worse for Team USA. Historically low. To the point that once Serbia dispatched the Americans 94-89, they wound up in their worst-ever finish in either a World Basketball Championship or the Olympics. No better or worse than 7th-8th place in China. Just apathy at this stage as the worst insult which sometimes can be worse. Since 1936 when the United States started sending teams to international basketball competitions, a span of 45 tournaments in all. This is only the fifth time the Americans won't medal; they were fifth at the 1970 world championship, fifth at the 1978 world championship, sixth at the 2002 world championship and fourth at the 2005 FIBA Americas. They've medaled in all 18 Olympic competitions, winning gold 15 times. Now it's either 7th or 8th in 2019, very likely 7th because both the Czech Republic and Poland lack the overall team depth in comparison to the USA. Do American sports fans really care about this about the campaign and how shorthanded they are? Remains to be seen:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/basketbal...another-defeat
    https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/...tourney-finish
    https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/...fiba-world-cup
    https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/...gold-medal-run
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  14. #714
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,626

    Default

    An instant double overtime classic in Beijing for which this sometimes beleagured 2019 World Basketball Championship could use. Problem is, the Boomers are once again on the wrong side of this versus Spain. Spain just holds a little more quality. Yet Delly could've won for Australia that had it went in in overtime to assure a first ever major basketball tournament medal. Just ran out of gas in the end. You should be worried about France before the All-Spanish Final--Argentina vs. Spain--Sunday. I don't think Australia will medal here. Sorry:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/basketbal...over-australia
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtT8gZeBiYo

    I may hate Kobe but he does offer some really good and interesting points in this increasingly new normal for USA Basketball and its men's program in this international basketball "new normal" on going forward. We Americans should not expect winning titles henceforth; we weren't as dominant historically about the World Basketball Championships like in the Olympic Games. Things really started in 1986. Even with the recent wins, they aren't consistent for the USA. Not to mention its status in the eyes of Americans in comparison to the Olympics. He does know some things or two regarding international basketball:
    https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/...matic-team-usa

    Almost forgot about Argentina-France. Luis Scola showed the way in the two nations that have the Jordan Jumpman on their jerseys. Nike actually wins regardless in the Beijing final:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/basketbal...orld-cup-final
    Last edited by Durbansandshark; 14-09-2019 at 04:41 AM.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  15. #715
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,626

    Default

    Spain wins its second World Basketball Championship over Argentina, its first since 2006 in Japan, also in Asia, in reclaiming the throne. Earlier also in Beijing, France's very talented and deep Les Bleues leaves the Boomers wanting once again for a major international basketball medal in their back-to-back third place finish:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/basketbal...rld-cup-throne
    http://www.fiba.basketball/basketbal...title-in-china
    http://www.fiba.basketball/basketbal...d-place-finish

    Something positive for the Phoenix Suns to look forward towards. Spain's Ricky Rubio is your Tissot 2019 World Basketball Championship MVP and leads the 1st All-Star Tournament Five with some serious Spanish flavor here being with France's Evan Fournier, the nearly 40 year old Argentinian Luis Scola, Marc Gasol, and Serbia's Bogdan Bogdanovic. Interestingly, no Aussies in the mix. Closest to get in would be Patty Mills who was brilliant. If there was a second team, he'd be on that with the first one already formed:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/basketbal...-all-star-five
    Last edited by Durbansandshark; 16-09-2019 at 07:20 AM.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  16. #716
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,626

    Default

    Without question the NBA is so incredibly popular in China. So popular in fact that fans likely know more about and fell in love with its stars than those currently playing in their domestic Chinese Basketball Association (unless they happen to be NBA players or Asian basketball stars themselves), thanks to some shrewd marketing. The Chinese gobbling it up on portable media and streaming services for any news on it. Like getting it on Tencent, a FIBA sponsor too. The NBA is watched in China like nowhere else in the world--more viewers there than anywhere else in the globe. Something that was built since the 1980 when China was opening up to the West in many things not limited to basketball and get on Chinese media like on Chinese Central Television. In this case, showing taped games and selling the advertising revenue being such a lucrative and massive market China is. Since the late 1970s, China instantly became an Asian basketball powerhouse after decades of isolation surpassing The Philippines and Japan. Basketball is so popular and grown in the past 40 years with cities across the nation built amazing arenas that can easily get mistaken for those in (mostly) North America, Europe, Australia/New Zealand, and Asia with several of them used for the just-completed World Basketball Championships. The NBA currently has offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Beijing.

    But with this tournament, this reveals an unfortunate development--well, actually the issue was going on just before that: China hasn't produced a player of NBA quality in the manner of Yao Ming lately. A national team player with tremendous gifts and skills to get NBA coaches, executives, scouts, and players excited who can captivate the Chinese public even further than before doing good--and make the team he plays on instantly followed on a consistent basis and abundantly sell their jerseys. Yao was an all-around good guy who often celebrated his Rockets teammates success and would be among the NBA All-Star leading vote-getters coming from the Shanghai Sharks. Just a shame his playing career later got riddled with injuries; he could be like Dirk with a long career behind him. Right now, there are no Chinese NBA players. There are Yao NBA basketball schools, further contributing to more Chinese basketball participants and fans (around 300 million) than anywhere in the world

    After all that investment towards the men's program leading up to it, like with China's Team Red and Team Blue to deepen and evaluate the young basketball talent pool in the national team program, just participating in the NBA Las Vegas Summer League, playing exhibition games and the Asian Basketball Championship, and having these arenas in pulling all the stops, that Chinese basketball team playing as host seeking a post-Yao breakthrough was a major disappointment. And for what? A nadir starting with Olympic finishes at 12th in London and Rio De Janeiro and finishing 5th in Asia in 2017 following Yao's July 2011 retirement bringing a severe blow to the large reliance upon him for success. Yao got them finish in the quarterfinals at 8th in both Athens and Beijing. This lacked the bonafide star power for one thing that Yao would've brought. Wang Zhizhi, Mengke Bateer weren't as talented like Yao was in their skill set being fellow power position players. Sun Yue and Zhou Qi both just had cups of NBA coffee though Sun did get a NBA ring, the only Chinese player in the NBA to do so. Yes, there's Yi Jianlian, who has skills and athleticism since Yao, but he never lived up to his potential and returned to China after bouncing around with Milwaukee, Dallas, New Jersey, and Washington. But are these Chinese players in this generation of the same caliber? Just checked the Team Dragon roster for China. Many are or near their prime in their international careers. So they're still young, many not at the peak of 26-29 years old. None of them play outside of the CBA. Maybe Zhou Qi might return to the NBA soon with Houston. Then again, Houston is on win-now mode with not much of place for him. Don't know about Guo; there's already so many good American guards with an odd foreigner like Goran Dragic already. Yet the CBA gets greater prominence with NBA players coming in like Stephon Marbury, Jimmer Fredette, and now Jeremy Lin. The next Chinese NBA star will have to wait; priority must go with further developing the fundamentals, youth training and coaches while still learning from worldwide basketball philosophies and methods with adapting what works for them:
    https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/...ing-arrive-nba
    Last edited by Durbansandshark; 24-09-2019 at 04:42 AM.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  17. #717
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,626

    Default

    Tokyo 2020-bound from the 2019 FIBA World Basketball Championship: Japan (hosts), Australia (top Oceania finisher, first automatically in), USA, Argentina (top 2 Americas finishers), Nigeria (top African finisher), Iran (top Asian finisher), France, Spain (top European finishers by virtue of making it to the semifinals)

    Heading to the 2020 FIBA World Olympic Qualification Tournaments--based on finishing from 1-23 for direct entry from the 2019 FIBA World Basketball Championship: Tunisia (Africa), New Zealand (top Asia/Pacific finisher at 3-2), Canada, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela (Americas), Serbia, Poland, Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Germany, Russia, Lithuania, Turkey (Europe)

    When the placing was taking shape starting with the second round/classification, I immediately started speculating who will take the 8 remaining spots to make the field 24 nations in total being a serious follower in international basketball. Many nations, if you pay attention consistently enough, are easy to place in. Often based in international basketball pedigree and experience, market size, competitive talent level, and FIBA Rankings. There has been disappointments like hosts China that I just touched on. Why New Zealand as the only above .500 and none of the Asian nations like China and winless and dead last Philippines fared better than they did like save for hosts Japan is above me, although I did expect Jordan to be outclassed. Little like 2002 to a lesser extent for the Tall Blacks. My predictions for who will get the final spots was based on a combination of the above things and national appeal--2 each for Africa, Asia/Oceania, Americas, and Europe: Angola, Senegal, Croatia, China, South Korea, Mexico, Uruguay, Slovenia.

    FIBA announced the wildcards today, and they are exactly as I picked them. Didn't expect them this soon. You have to have China in there first off even with the disappointing performance and that China has been in Olympic Games men's basketball since 1984 along with the massive national growth and interest for basketball in the past four decades since the late 1970s. Streak's in jeopardy though under this new format. South Korea also happens to be a major Asian basketball powerhouse and has had its international moments in its solid pedigree but not as many like China's. China, South Korea, and Japan (along with Taiwan) all form this East Asian basketball monopoly in the Asia medals except for occassional times when Lebanon, The Philippines, and Iran crash the party. The Philippines would've been considered but that winless campaign going last overall did them in despite being head and shoulders the Southeast Asian power and won't participate in this like 4 years ago when hosting in Manila. Would've liked to see Lebanon get some consideration and after heartbreakingly crashing at the last hurdle, losing both home games in Beirut that assured getting in, before potentially qualifying for China. Perhaps they did. But with China's mediocre performance falling to the WOQT zone, Lebanon's Cedars had to leapfrog other Asian nations like The Philippines and Taiwan just to get an invite. Not happening. Guam and Fiji had no shot whatsoever repping more Oceania and were behind Lebanon. Slovenia is another lock because of its 2017 Eurobasket championship and remained competitive. That, and having NBA ROY and EuroLeague star Luka Doncic going for them. Croatia was another nation reaching oh so close to making it to China themselves and, like Slovenia, will present a competitive team out of Europe. Those two have a better and long-running European/international pedigree than 1-4 Montenegro, a fellow former Yugoslavian republic as the lowest-ranked European team in China and making its FIBA World Basketball Championship debut. Finland, Great Britain, Georgia, Latvia, Iceland, and Ukraine all would've been nice and would further help in their respective national basketball profile developments out of Europe. None didn't qualify for China and thus weren't as seen as a priority.

    In the FIBA Americas, Mexico and Uruguay were cinches to fill the Americas portion, and they rank among the top 7 or 8 Americas basketball teams. Pretty even between the two. Uruguay's Celeste battle very hard, just hover around that qualification barrier from any Americas tournament, could leapfrog teams like the Dominican Republic, and are just as capable in competing at a bigger international tournament. Mexico is the potential gateway or sleeping giant for Latin American basketball and made recent waves like in the previous World Basketball Championship in Spain. Besides, there aren't many solid FIBA Americas international teams out here overall. Maybe Panama, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, and historically Cuba (but since fallen off greatly from its Soviet bloc times). But the international basketball game in the Americas needs more development, although Panama. Angola and Senegal possess the strongest and longstanding African international basketball talent, infrastructures, pedigrees, and reputations in African nations not named Nigeria and Tunisia. I suspect we'll see one of the 4 tournaments being played at the brand new Dakar Arena next June to get Africa in this and serve as a beacon for African basketball. Maybe Egypt could but didn't qualify. If there were more spots for Africa, the Pharoahs would make it. Ivory Coast? Still recent among the African top 8 though building decently in continental competition but still has ways to go internationally as demonstrated when being winless at 0-5. Ditto for Cameroon's Indomitable Lions:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/news/fiel...urnaments-2020
    https://www.eurohoops.net/en/olympic...ng-tournament/
    http://www.basketball.ca/en/news-article/slug-pnoizy

    Greece, Lithuania, and Serbia all announce placing bids to host one of the four pre-Olympic tournaments that FIBA places a bid towards 2.5-3 million euros. In Lithuania, I can see either Kaunas or Vilinus hosting with the capacity the arenas there has. Gotta be Athens for Greece likely at the OAKA not the Peace and Friendship Arena. Belgrade has Serbia with the Belgrade Arena. Ahh, the FIBA/Olympic cash grab--nothing like it:
    https://www.eurohoops.net/en/olympic...c-tournaments/
    https://www.eurohoops.net/en/olympic...r-tournaments/
    https://www.eurohoops.net/en/olympic...c-tournaments/

    And, as you should know, it will become very star-heavy when everything is at stake for the stars to perform everything in their power to get the top 4 spots to Tokyo:
    https://www.eurohoops.net/en/olympic...lympic-berths/

    The Croatian reaction:
    https://www.croatiaweek.com/croatia-...ng-tournament/

    What we learned about the 2019 FIBA World Basketball Championships/Basketball World Cup in eight takeaways:
    https://www.olympicchannel.com/en/st...cup-spain-usa/
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  18. #718
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,626

    Default

    News of Slovenia being invited to the 24-team field of the upcoming WOQTs next year after failing to make it to China. Radislav Nesterovic, now the secretary general of the Slovenian Basketball Association (KZS), adds though don't look for Slovenia to place a bid for hosting one of the 4 tournaments after losing out in the Eurobasket 2021 co-host bidding:
    https://www.total-slovenia-news.com/...pic-qualifiers

    Since we talked about Slovenia's ill-fated bid for Eurobasket 2021, this was what the Slovenian Basketball Association (KZS) planned to do if successful. Something about taking out a 2.5 million euro loan from an enthused national government to help cover fee and other fixed costs in advance to FIBA Europe and for a 2021 sports plan. Hoped that Slovenia wouldn't qualify as hosts obviously and for the desire of seeing Luka Doncic playing again at home:
    https://www.total-slovenia-news.com/...urobasket-2021

    Future young Slovenian basketball star Jan Vide continues at age 14 on the Slovenian basketball pipeline at Real Madrid even in the junior ranks already set by Luka Doncic, Urban Klavžar, Dan Duščak (born in 2002), Žiga Samar (born in 2001), Klemen Prepelič, and Anthony Randolph. Vide and Klavzar left from Helios Suns in their native Slovenia. Vide may be the next Doncic:
    https://www.total-slovenia-news.com/...ns-real-madrid

    It will now be at least 52 years before the Philippines ever make the Summer Olympics basketball competition as they were denied a wildcard invite by FIBA for the WOQTs next year. Last were in it in Munich 1972 when it was THE Asian basketball power, often finishing higher than Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Iraq, Iran, and even Singapore during their time of qualifying. Finished last in the World Basketball Championship going winless but stayed put at #31 in the NIKE FIBA World Rankings. Funny thing was South Korea jumped over them by two spots and are now sitting at #30. So it was perhaps between those two and the South Koreans placed in ranking and record worked in their favo(u)r gave the nod to the latter:
    https://sports.abs-cbn.com/gilas/new...ilipinas-61175

    Ahead of the historic NBA preseason game in Mumbai, India between Indiana and Sacramento, this is another article from NBA India on the history and the current state of basketball in Mumbai, aka Fastbreak City the traditional deep hotbed for Indian basketball much like New York in the USA and Toronto in Canada. Currently a decline in the quality and loss of dominance is happening after years of producing great players and coaches. Male and female alike. Funnily enough, there are no basketball players from Mumbai currently on the Indian national team for 25-30 years. A city with more of a strong psychological sensation:
    https://in.nba.com/news/nba-india-ga...21mnkzuuf9kxdf

    A 2-part roundtable discussion on Indian basketball that deals with not just the Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings and how they'll fare but also the impact it might have on the NBA and WNBA. Indian citizens have been knocking on the door to get players like Satnam Singh and Amjyot Singh (no relation), Palpreet Singh Brar, Amritpal Singh making into and actually play a game in the NBA with both playing in the G-League--Sim Bhullar does not count here because he's Canadian--and will take a while longer for this to happen. I do agree the WNBA will have one faster than the NBA with its grassroots efforts along the way. A couple of talented Indian women currently are on NCAA basketball scholarships like Sanjana Ramesh and Vaishnavi Yadav. The Indian diaspora already has some coaches in its ranks like Canadian Roy Rana at Sacramento and Oklahoma City's Vin Bhavnani. Getting there but not quite yet:
    https://in.nba.com/news/nba-india-ga...e15kyy9c2fgf12
    https://in.nba.com/news/nba-india-ga...c1n6vh5qlrdwbs
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  19. #719
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,626

    Default

    Both the FIBA Americas and Asian women's championships are now complete this past weekend along with that of the African version that took place at Dakar's new arena a month back. Which is important because these continental championships and who finishes in them helps determine who will ultimately advance into the WOQTs and thus Tokyo 2020 with only Japan as hosts and the world champions United States already automatically in but still actually will still have to go through these rounds. Don't know why FIBA mandates that both Japan and the United States must go through these second-round regional qualifications; both nations, more so the USA, have proved themselves internationally. Really, half of the 16-team World Olympic Qualification Tournaments field is complete with the top six Eurobasket Women teams from earlier this year--France, Spain, Great Britain, Serbia, Sweden, and Belgium.

    10 teams participated in the 2019 FIBA Women's Americas Championship just completed in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum on Sunday--Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba in Group A and the USA, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and Paraguay in Group B. Coming in, and I wish I conducted a preview towards this, Asia, and Africa, the USA with its obvious and dominant depth was going to win this in an event that because they are world and Olympic champions would bypass. Not this time. This time, they brought its WNBA stars. Not all of them since the WNBA Playoffs were simultaneously going on (and now in the WNBA Finals stage by the Finals). Got the ones when their WNBA season is over when it started or recovered from injury. But their talent was head and shoulders for coach Dawn Staley over everyone else, although Canada is fast improved over the past few years. Case in point, when the United States played in the first game versus Paraguay was a huge blowout 110-31 revealing the various talent levels--and that Paraguay women must still continue developing their national program and will take years to get competitive and major investment on younger talent. Does continues to grow every day with the CPB's involvement and tremendous effort. Paraguay went winless with matches against Colombia and Argentina losing by 20-21 points as their most competitive using aging players. Powerful Brazil blew them out too. The USA, Brazil, Argentina, and even Colombia are obviously further ahead in their international competition development than Paraguay (and likely Chile, Uruguay, and Peru had they competed) by being in bigger ones outside of the Americas for many years now. If there's one thing I would like to see Argentina do more for international competition is working on their offensive firepower and get more of it while still possessing defense as many are entering their prime. Yet Argentina won't overtake Brazil, the queens of South American women's basketball by far like in many women's sports there like soccer, volleyball, and handball right away. Moreover, Erika De Souza is still playing for Brazil at the age of 37 with 17 years being on the national team included in offering a master class in on-court basketball playing. Still enjoys playing on the national team and being a teammate in a well-decorated and dominate career possessing an intellect.

    In the Group A, there was also no doubt that Canada was going to win this group too, so we were in a collision course barring an upset on the Canadians. Only threat coach Lisa Thomaidis had to deal with in nothing but Spanish-speaking teams there outside of Canada was 2018 Women's World Basketball Championship debutants Puerto Rico, an improving team too. Not long ago, it would be the Cubans who would be such and would rank behind the Americans and Canadians and Brazilians in the Americas. But a slide in the past two decades partially prompted this as other nations invested and developed their players like Puerto Rico has. Cuba is not what they once were and are aging despite some solid veteran talent who are approaching the wrong side of 30 but still among the top 15 among the FIBA World Rankings. Except Cuba now has Isabela Jourdain, a 6-2 15-year old player who’s the youngest of this tournament and has already played in each one of Cuba’s matches in the tournament’s group phase. Jourdain learns from the vets and soaking in the experience. Had to hold on against Mexico and the Dominican Republic with exact same 65-62 score in both games. To be sure, there already are several young players in a time of transition for it. Now Puerto Rico has since overtaken the Cuba here--and blew them out 80-55--with the Boricuas getting some solid coaching from Jerry Bautista all over. Fearing them no more but still respecting them. They aimed for more progress and excelling. Dominican Republic is improving indeed but like with the Puerto Ricans, still have some room for growth and development and more international seasoning. The Mexican women was absolutely no contest in this group and they, like their Paraguayan counterparts, went winless and won't advance to be among the top 8 by finishing last place in their group. Got blown out by the group powers Canada and Puerto Rico. Its game with the Dominican Republic really determined who was going to be heading among the top 8 or finish winless.

    Many nations here are utilizing the FIBA AmeriCup as a test lab to develop promising young players and different combinations that set forth their long-term international preparation and core players. Canada, the USA, Brazil, and hosts Puerto Rico all predictably advanced onto the semis. Canada beats Brazil and the Americans knocks off the Boricuas for the final stage in which the Americans continue to have the Canadians' number. Stopped the Canadians' 4-year reign as champs:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/womensame...kes-the-bronze
    http://www.fiba.basketball/womensame...le-in-san-juan

    One of the many burning things to watch for in Asia Division A, once again held in Bangalore, India, was of Japan aiming for a 4-peat, which wasn't farfetched given that China (1990-1995) and South Korea (1978-1984) previous accomplished this and made it possible for Japan. Another burning question was of the Japanese coping in getting reduced in was losing highly-regarded guard Asami Yoshida to international retirement since 2006 and appeared in 6 Asian Championships as Japan's mainstay. She didn't play at all in the semifinal stage and beyond in 2017. But the Atsuki Five still got enough experience as a champion contender and 2x Asian Championship MVP Ramu Tokashiki...and Yuki Miyazawa, Maki Takada, and Moeko Nagoka. Still capable. But Australia's Opals still served as Japan's main threat for Asia's title. I think what happened is they're not fully there without some WNBA players in it like Liz Cambage who could be the gamechanger and go all the way to the gold medal game. There is more than enough talent among the players, but they did experiment by blending some younger players like Ezi Magbegor with 6 vet players like Rebecca Allen from the Rio 2016 Olympics. China wasn't going to make it easy either and may be on the road of regaining their Asian dominance for the first time in 8 years with skilled and seasoned vets like Gao Song and Shao Ting joining forces with the rising stars such as Li Yuan, Allen's New York Liberty teammate Han Xu, and Li Yueru. Until Australia and New Zealand entered the FIBA Asia competition thanks to the apparent Asia and Oceania merger, it was an East Asian monopoly of China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan (Chinese Taipei).
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  20. #720
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,626

    Default

    Nonetheless, Japan stops Australia's ambition for redemption and claim the Asian title in the semifinals. China keeps off the South Koreans from the summit. Therefore we get Japan and China again for the title---and it was the Atsuki Five accomplishing the fourpeat narrowly getting away with a 71-68 win. Opals get bronze by pummeling the South Koreans 98-62. New Zealand by the way finished 5th over Taiwan 71-56.

    Top 8 teams go onto the Asia/Oceania Pre-Olympic Qualification Tournament. But a stunning coda development took place right at the end. Before that, we must talk about India's women. We know that the Indians as hosts, having promoted themselves into Asia Division A from being in Division B, will face an incredibly insurmountable assignment competing against the pedigreed powerhouses in Group A Japan, Chinese Taipei, and South Korea as an undersized, young, relatively more organized, and relatively inexperienced team. Long shot outsiders in short. Expectedly they were blown out like from the seemingly unstoppable reigning Asian champs Japan did on them 103-27. Improved in their performance with each passing game in those baptisms of fire. Found a team that they could play effectively against in The Philippines, who placed last and winless in Group B, in the seventh place classification game to avoid the cellar. But the Gilas Filipinas did just that on them 92-78 with a team effort, 6 players in double figures, and outside shooting. The Philippines make continuous efforts in its women's national basketball program development to stay at this level now with Kelli Hayes added. The players have made strides forward along with head coach Patrick Aquino at the helm resulting their retention of Division A status. So India's stay in Division A lasted for two years and immediately headed to 2021 Division B. Or was it? That relegation twist? The top 7 finishers alongside the Division B winner were supposed move forward. However, it turns out that the Division B tournament was never held due to no country willing to host the tournament (likely due to operation costs charged to FIBA on such a short notice and team preparations) with no teams announced for it, and India was thus given a lifeline berth in the Olympic pre-qualifiers regardless. If there was such a tournament, I would very much like to see either Kazakhstan or Lebanon get promoted for next year. Kazakhstan was in Division A several years ago. Perhaps it's time to expand the Asian women's Division A field to 10 teams with India retaining its status. Will add more about the Americas, Asia, and with Africa next post.
    Last edited by Durbansandshark; 01-10-2019 at 08:15 AM.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  21. #721
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Earth, Solar System, Milky Way, Local Group, Virgo Supercluster, Laniakea Supercluster, The Universe
    Posts
    2,104

    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Durbansandshark View Post
    Nonetheless, Japan stops Australia's ambition for redemption and claim the Asian title in the semifinals. China keeps off the South Koreans from the summit. Therefore we get Japan and China again for the title---and it was the Atsuki Five accomplishing the fourpeat narrowly getting away with a 71-68 win. Opals get bronze by pummeling the South Koreans 98-62. New Zealand by the way finished 5th over Taiwan 71-56.

    Top 8 teams go onto the Asia/Oceania Pre-Olympic Qualification Tournament. But a stunning coda development took place right at the end. Before that, we must talk about India's women. We know that the Indians as hosts, having promoted themselves into Asia Division A from being in Division B, will face an incredibly insurmountable assignment competing against the pedigreed powerhouses in Group A Japan, Chinese Taipei, and South Korea as an undersized, young, relatively more organized, and relatively inexperienced team. Long shot outsiders in short. Expectedly they were blown out like from the seemingly unstoppable reigning Asian champs Japan did on them 103-27. Improved in their performance with each passing game in those baptisms of fire. Found a team that they could play effectively against in The Philippines, who placed last and winless in Group B, in the seventh place classification game to avoid the cellar. But the Gilas Filipinas did just that on them 92-78 with a team effort, 6 players in double figures, and outside shooting. The Philippines make continuous efforts in its women's national basketball program development to stay at this level now with Kelli Hayes added. The players have made strides forward along with head coach Patrick Aquino at the helm resulting their retention of Division A status. So India's stay in Division A lasted for two years and immediately headed to 2021 Division B. Or was it? That relegation twist? The top 7 finishers alongside the Division B winner were supposed move forward. However, it turns out that the Division B tournament was never held due to no country willing to host the tournament (likely due to operation costs charged to FIBA on such a short notice and team preparations) with no teams announced for it, and India was thus given a lifeline berth in the Olympic pre-qualifiers regardless. If there was such a tournament, I would very much like to see either Kazakhstan or Lebanon get promoted for next year. Kazakhstan was in Division A several years ago. Perhaps it's time to expand the Asian women's Division A field to 10 teams with India retaining its status. Will add more about the Americas, Asia, and with Africa next post.
    Japan is the new Basketball Queen of Asia!
    OMFG this is for Real!!!! * Shocked *

    Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by itslef but the wrod as a wlohe.

    TFRENBAA

  22. #722
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,626

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 2sc945 View Post
    Japan is the new Basketball Queen of Asia!
    Evidently and indeed they are currently are. But like I would say here, never count out China, who could regain the title in future years, and Australia, when they have a more complete team with the top rivals to match up against.

    At 49 years old and been playing professionally for 27 years Japanese star and national team legend from 1996-2007, sharpshooting forward Takehiko Orimo will finally hang up his jersey after the 2019-20 season after an illustrious career. Timing's interesting with Tokyo 2020 happening afterwards with its basketball and can watch a new generation of Japanese players like Rui Hachimura. He played his first 14 pro years with the Alvark Tokyo franchise before starting a 13-year chapter with Levanga Hokkaido where he also the team president in the Japanese B-League and helped Japan to the 1997 Asian Championship silver medal at Riyadh, its first medal in a decade and a berth in the 1998 World Basketball Championships in Greece. He's also the first Japanese player to reach 10,000 points in that league. And to think another Japanese sports legend in soccer star Kazuyoshi Miura is still going strong playing at age 52 with J2 League's Yokohama FC:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/asiacup/2...ces-retirement

    That new and magnificent state-of-the-art 10,000 Kigali Arena is now complete and open with Rwanda's President Paul Kagame present like with Dakar's new one and Senegal's President Macky Fall. Exterior looks a lot like the Dakar Arena. Completed in time for Game 1 of the National League Playoffs and certainly "an improvement from the nearby Amahoro Indoor Arena nicknamed Petit Stade for its rather small capacity that accommodated up to 3000 fans over the years." Saw the Patriots beat REG in seven games there for the national title to become a 3x national champion for a club established since 2015. Rwanda's Patriots now look forward to the new Basketball Africa League's qualification stage. Second link is of the 4-hour opening day footage for the Kigali Arena on RTV with two basketball games:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/news/kiga...dan-basketball
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Cn6Z02Njtw

    We still yet to witness Mongolia at the senior 5x5 international basketball level. Only frequently at the 3x3 version and the Asian Games. Mongolia will come later. But meanwhile Haiti is rebuilding and restructuring its international basketball program after 37 years of inactivity as we would expect like with any not-already-naturally deep by utilizing 25 of the young Haitian diaspora basketball talent like Skal Labissiére (Portland Trail Blazers although he didn't actively take part), Cady Lalanne, and college basketball players such as Ronald Segu from Buffalo and Jeantal Cylla from Arkansas. Even high school and younger players were involved. When people ever discuss Haiti and basketball, Haitian-born Samuel Dalembert (Canadian) and Olden Polynice both and only come to mind. Building a team from zero takes much preparation, planning, and scouting with many years of growing and gaining chemistry and experience before contention. Nerlens Noel from the Oklahoma City Thunder may join soon. Miami also provide a good place for its Haitian basketball talent base for highly trained and valuable staff to see, such as Haiti's national coach Matt Brasse, Mike D’Antoni's current assistant with the Houston Rockets. The Haitian Federation has brought in Saagar Sarin, the Personnel Scouting Coordinator for the Minnesota Timberwolves after confronting some Haitian player eligibility rules in 2018. Maybe some Haitian-Canadians can eventually get involved too.

    Makes sense in developing with young players and entering U18 and U15 categories along with 3x3 tournaments. Much easier this way than regular senior route right now for development and then that. Developing coaches and officials are important. Future hopes lies ahead:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/news/hait...ure-lies-ahead
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  23. #723
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,626

    Default

    This month in November from November 14-17, we will one step closer towards Tokyo 2020 Olympic women's basketball qualification. 8 nations will fill up the remaining spots of the 16-team FIBA World Olympic Basketball Qualification Tournament in February. The hosts were announced early in October with Maputo, Mozambique solely hosting the African arm. Both the Americas and Asia/Pacific will have a combined 4 different nations hosting each groups. Edmonton, Alberta will host Americas Group A at the Edmonton Expo Centre Hall D Arena, the CEBL's Edmonton Stingers home. No stranger to hosting international sports with the Canadian men's and women's national volleyball teams as well as cheerleading/dance, rodeo, and boxing playing there. Buenos Aires in Argentina will host Americas Group B. In Asia/Pacific, there's a sharing with Oceania taking part. Auckland has the Asia/Pacific Group A at the Trusts Centre, the New Zealand Breakers' former home, and Kuala Lumper, Malaysia hosting Group B. Never mind that Malaysia hasn't reached the Asia Division A level in recently years with its Tigers national women's basketball team. Guess this is because venues, close proximity to New Zealand, and the set-aside cash for hosting all weren't available for Australia. Japan is too focused on hosting Tokyo 2020 and is automatically out. Ditto being out for India with the Asian Basketball Championship hosting. Taiwan simply passed on this. Europe has already got its 6 teams advanced for next February thanks to Eurobasket Women.

    The Americas and Asia-Oceania groups are essentially and exactly the same from the summer, except the last-ranked teams in the Americas--Mexico and Paraguay--are skimmed off. India would've got sent off with the top Division B team promoted into its place except no Asia-Pacific Division B tournament ever took place. So the Indians stay.

    GROUP A (Edmonton): Canada, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico
    GROUP B (Buenos Aires): Argentina, USA, Brazil, Colombia

    Asia-Oceania
    GROUP A (Auckland): New Zealand, China, South Korea, Philippines
    GROUP B (Kuala Lumpur): Australia, Japan, Taiwan, India

    Africa (all games in Maputo)
    GROUP A: Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique
    GROUP B: Angola, Mali, Senegal

    Wish FIBA would allow 24 nations to participate in the FIBA WOQT next year for Tokyo 2020 instead of 16 like with the men. Be nice if this is the case. Anyway, Top two teams make out of each and every group for automatic advancement. Coming up are my projections. Starting in the Americas. Group A in Edmonton is Canada's group to lose as the most talented and the strongest internationally experienced team in this group. Definitely to make a record third consecutive Olympic women's basketball appearance fresh off their silver. Cuba is capable to join the Canadians but is getting to be on the wrong side of prime average age of qualification with little in the way of bigger stage international experience. My pick to actually the Canadians is Team Boricua, the Puerto Ricans, who are fast-rising internationally not just in the Americas. Their recent international time with last year, the 2016 WOQT in France, and playing in the Canary Islands for the 2018 FIBA Women's World Basketball Championships making their debut will definitely help them. Dominican Republic will just endure more of a reprise of last year except will be eliminated; it may turn out with Cuba for fighting to get third in Group A.

    Because of the USA is in Group B, it will be only other team coming out of it. Team USA, by virtue of being the World Champions again and automatically in Tokyo 2020, will not have to send its big guns to Buenos Aires who many are playing overseas and can send lower-tiered pro players like with the FIBA Americas but are longshots for the final USA roster in the pecking order. Why they're in there? More on that later. Brazil seems to be the fave inside rival Argentina, and that's what it will be: Argentina versus Brazil for that sole spot as the top team not the USA. Brazil finished third with the bronze over Puerto Rico in the FIBA Americas earlier this August. Brazil seems to hold the edge over Argentina even with the home cooking because of more extended and still current international pedigree. Brazil has more and better depth, size, and more offensive firepower than Argentina, although this collection judging from more recent international basketball results being in the cellar in their groups they're not of the same class of Hortencia, Janeth Arcain, and Magic Paula. Argentina, while improving and getting better internationally, I'm not yet convinced being at home will significantly help them or have the talent yet to overcome Brazil. Colombia is just a rank outsider set to be overwhelmed again.

    China is the prohibitive fave in Asia GROUP A being one of the top Asian women's basketball powerhouses and will make it again. Question becomes who will join them out of Auckland? Really would like New Zealand's Tall Ferns to achieve this--and I think I'll pick them. Unlike in Buenos Aires, New Zealand will be able to use their black clad fans to propel them further with energy. The most talented Tall Ferns team ever? They've got a little younger and more athletic. Can they produce the outside and perimeter shooting? It will all come down to November 17 when New Zealand faces South Korea, an evenly-matched game that will clearly determine second place in the group for advancement or elimination. Both have been in WOQTs in recent Olympic years. The South Koreans are capable with young rising star Park Ji-Su. Like with Colombia, The Philippines will have a hard time dealing with those above them in this Asia-Pacific group.

    Japan is the Asian champion and hosts who are here just for the tuneup competition leading up Tokyo 2020. This Group B easily belongs to Australia's Opals. Enough said! Taiwan/Chinese Taipei will offer solid competition being among the top East Asian/Asia overall women's teams for decades. But they lack the size and will must rely on perimeter shooting and speed. Undersized and not-physical-at-all India meanwhile will endure additional teachable moments in sustaining and growing the women's basketball game in India and as a women's national team program on the international level just like in the previous two Asian Division A & B hostings in Kuala Lumpur.

    Top six women's teams in Africa make onto Maputo, Mozambique from the African Tournament in Dakar, Senegal this August/September. This is actually a little more difficult here with the teams more evenly matched anywhere with little gap in talent. Group B is the overall "group of death" filled with not just African champions but Olympic participants from all three. This means only one of them won't make it past the group though capable. By contrast, Group A has two who fill in this qualification (sorry, Mozambique, but you are certainly capable of achieving this). My picks for the African groups--Nigeria and Mozambique (Group A), Senegal and Angola (Group B).
    http://www.fiba.basketball/news/all-...urnaments-2019

    Kia Nurse, Natalie Achonwa, Bridget Carleton, Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe, Ruth Hamblin, Shay Colley, Laeticia Amihere, Kim Gaucher, Kayla Alexander, Quinn Dornstauder, and Miah-Marie Langlois all headline the 16 players selected by national team coach Lisa Thomaidis and her staff for Edmonton this November
    http://basketball.ca/en/news-article...ifying-tournam
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  24. #724
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,626

    Default

    Normally we don't get into 3x3 international basketball here and how rapidly popular this is, but we hope to change this partly because of 3x3 basketball's Tokyo 2020 Olympic debut. Scheduling format changes towards the traditional basketball with having three groups of four instead of two groups of 6 teams is partly due to 3x3's inclusion. This was the late Swiss FIBA President Patrick Baumann's dream to see it included as a platform for national basketball-loving communities in new countries aside from the powerhouses that don't have as rich a basketball history, and this is too bad he will not be around to see this become a reality. On November 1 at Utsunomiya, Japan, FIBA announced its historic Olympic 3x3 qualification format for each under ultimately the final 8 teams. The top 4 nations on the FIBA 3x3 men's and women's basketball ranking list will qualify for the Olympics. And those nations are in the men's game: China, Russia, Serbia, and Japan with Russia, China, Romania, and interestingly Mongolia over in the women's game. These rankings are also used to determine entrants to both the OQT and UOQT with those NOC reps already in Tokyo 2020 excluded for these tournaments. In Japan's case as hosts, it uses the host quota place in the men's tournament but not yet in the women.

    Both the men's and women's OQTs will each have 20 teams participating with the OQT host being India set for March 2020. 3 top nations in the men's (USA, Latvia, Poland) with 2 top (Hungary, France) from the women FIBA 3x3 2019 World Cup in Amsterdam, Netherlands on June 29 are in it along the top 16 FIBA World Ranking teams in both with Japan in here if not already qualified. The first 10 quota spots for the OQT are open to any team that has not qualified for the women's Olympic tournament, but the remaining 10 spots are subject to two restrictions. First, an NOC basketball that has a team qualified for the men's and women's tournament is excluded from these restricted quota places. Second, no more than 10 NOCs from any given continent may compete at the OQT. Notice not a lot of African teams though.

    The final quota place will be determined through the 2020 FIBA Universality-driven Olympic Qualifying Tournament (UOQT). This will be a 6-team tournament. NOCs already qualified through the ranking list or the OQT will not be eligible to play in the UOQT. Further, any NOC that has had a men's or women's team play in the basketball at the 2012 Summer Olympics or basketball at the 2016 Summer Olympics tournaments is ineligible for the UOQT. The 6 teams for the UOQT will consist of the UOQT host and 5 teams on the world ranking list (with Japan being guaranteed a spot if not already qualified for the Olympics; Japan is eligible for the UOQT despite having a women's team play basketball in the 2016 Summer Olympics). The highest-ranked countries who have not yet qualified to the Olympics will go to Hungary. All 6 teams in both genders (except Hungary’s men) will also compete at the OQT in India in March. In case one or several of them qualify to the Olympics during that first OQT, a wait list has been determined with the 3 potential replacements in both genders. Men's and women's UOQT host is Budapest, Hungary for April 24-26 2020 thanks to the local hosts' experience in successfully hosting and organizing multiple 3x3 international tournaments and local development in the game with Taiwan/Chinese Taipei, Netherlands, Italy, Iran, and Japan. Men's UOQT participants are Poland, Netherlands, Slovenia, Mongolia, and Latvia. Estonia, Germany, Ukraine and Belgium, Ukraine, and Romania are on the waiting list, respectively. Those too are based on world rankings.

    MEN'S--Mongolia, Brazil, Turkey, Poland, Spain (GROUP A) USA, Lithuania, Belgium, South Korea, New Zealand (GROUP B) Slovenia, France, Qatar, Philippines, Dominican Republic (GROUP C) Netherlands, Canada, Latvia, Croatia, India (GROUP D)

    WOMEN'S--France, USA, Germany, Uruguay, Indonesia (GROUP A) Iran, Japan, Indonesia, Australia, Turkmenistan (GROUP B) Netherlands, Estonia, Hungary, Belarus, Sri Lanka (GROUP C) India, Italy, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Taiwan/Chinese Taipei (GROUP D)

    http://www.fiba.basketball/olympics/...-2020-olympics
    http://www.fiba.basketball/olympics/...-be-in-hungary
    http://www.fiba.basketball/news/fiba...vember-1-20191

    Next time I'll delve more into the new Basketball Africa League that's taking shape. In its first season, 12 teams will mark the debut season starting in March and played over in 6 cities across the African continent that were chosen. Half of this field is selected with six national champions directly qualifying for the regular season--Petro de Luanda (Angola), Zamalek (Egypt), AS Douanes (Senegal), Sale (Morocco), US Monastir (Tunisia), and Nigeria's Nigerian Premier League champion TBD. Rest of the field--32 teams--will fill up through qualifying group rounds for the season started October 2019 with the national champion of each African country vying to qualify through these rounds. In the regular season, twelve teams play in two conferences with six teams each. Each team will play five games, one against each opponent, inside its conference. The top three teams from each conference advance to the Super 6 with the inaugural Final Four taking place in Kigali's brand new 10,000-seat arena in Kigali, Rwanda.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  25. #725
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5,626

    Default

    Planned on hitting more on the new Basketball Africa League. But with the women's OQT regionals going on for Tokyo 2020 right now around the world and for this weekend, I'm delaying that. Also FIBA Europe is kicking off its Eurobasket Women's 20221 qualifiers.

    Being among the 14 European women's national teams is the goal for Eurobasket Women 2021 among the 33 European nations participating, including Denmark that wasn't in the previous qualifiers as the only ones, to join co-hosting powerhouses France and Spain. It really should be at least 24 for Europe for the final tournament. A few upsets and big wins even those are the first games. Check out some social media stars like Russia's Maria Vadeeva, Turkey's Isil Alben, and Italy's Cecilia Zandalsini. It will be star-studded but will the youngsters make their mark here? Also, there's hope for Estonia, North Macedonia, Albania, Finland, Iceland, Switzerland, and Bulgaria in erasing that memory in laying the big goose egg from the previous campaign and earn a win. For Great Britain, Serbia, Belgium, and Sweden, this will keep them sharp leading up to February with France and Spain to make it to Tokyo. Must never lose focus though:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/womenseur...lifiers-window

    What to watch for in that first Eurobasket Women's 2021 first window--some nations like Kosovo, Ireland, Norway, Malta, and Cyprus aren't in it
    http://www.fiba.basketball/womenseur...rs-tipping-off

    That FIBA Americas pool in Argentina is playing right now in Bahia Blanca, Argentina's traditional basketball epicenter and Emmanuel Ginobili's hometown, not in Buenos Aires. Being in Bahia Blanca definitely gives Argentina's women serious local promotion. Their motto from a accompanying promotional video is “Sacrifice. Dedication. Pride of belonging.” The 29-year old power forward Ornella Santana knows this full well in her relations with basketball since the age of 8--Santana is one of six from the bronze-winning U18 team playing (one is actually injured):
    http://www.fiba.basketball/pre-oqtwo...f-las-gigantes

    Democratic Republic of Congo never was in any of these when it became the first African nation to clinch an African Olympic berth for 1996--the format was much different back then and other African nations since stepped up their games. All the others have. Now DRC won't after qualifying to this stage as an outsider working hard to restore some African basketball glory. The Congolese just withdrew. More on that later. Nigeria is the most talented African women's team although Senegal and Mozambique are very close. Didn't realize that Angola, until now are really shorthanded with their players, yet are inexplicably successful in Mozambique, a Portuguese-speaking nation located at the other side of Southern Africa and are ambitious. But must rely on Italee Lucas to do everything--again to give them a chance in advancing onward to the WOQTs next February.

    There will be more tomorrow.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •