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Thread: Some Random Thoughts On International Basketball

  1. #726
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    With the FIBA women's Pre-Qualifying Tournaments going on right now, FIBA announced the 4 men's and women's sites for next year's OQTs each on June 23-28 and February 6-9, respectively. The 4 men's tournaments will be held in Victoria, British Columbia (Canada Basketball), Split, Croatia (HKS), Kaunas, Lithuania (LKF), and Belgrade, Serbia again (KCC). Women's version coming much sooner are held in Ostende, Belgium (Basketball Belgium), Bourges, France (France Basketball/FFBB), Belgrade (KCC), and Foshan, China (CBA). Interesting that 3 of the 4 tournaments going on simultaneously are in Europe. But think about it, most of the top women's basketball players at that time of the year are playing in European club teams, which makes it convenient for them to report to their national teams while still in the thick of pro club play. Sucks a little for those playing in the Asia/Pacific assuming they won't play in China in terms of travel. So we know those nations automatically will play in their respective groups once the draw commences come next week on November 22. Hosting rights for China is contingent upon the Chinese women advancing out of their group down in Auckland, New Zealand right now; should China fail to do this, FIBA will turn to other hosting candidates:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/news/fiba...unced-for-2020

    South Korea, led by Kim Danbi, Park Ji Su, Park Hyejin, and Kim Jung Eun, stun the Chinese 81-80 in Auckland yesterday based on trust to get things done. Last time the South Koreans defeated China was over exactly 6 years ago, and Kim Danbi and Kim Jung Eun were both there for that as key contributors:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/pre-oqtwo...ays-park-ji-su
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wO-FndEUnzU

    NZ's Tall Blacks were too strong as they controlled the entire game hammering over The Philippines reaching 100 points in an easy but huge game for them to start their campaign. Went out on a scoring spree all on one-way traffic:
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/basket...es-in-auckland
    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/sport...pines-win.html
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaKEyvop2bs

    Canada enjoys a great first game in their women's basketball base of Edmonton, Alberta versus Cuba 110-53--and remain undefeated there alltime with the height, length, talent, and speed to win the rebound battle. Canada's Kia Nurse led everyone with 28 points:
    http://basketball.ca/en/news-article...ournament-with
    https://www.tsn.ca/canadian-women-be...ment-1.1398152
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhdPGwtV2d8

    Australia's Opals makes mincemeat out of shorter Taiwan/Chinese Taipei in Kuala Lumpur. Sailing through by 33 points:
    https://australia.basketball/blog/20...e-in-malaysia/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqTzSg2A-Cc

    Speaking of blowouts, Puerto Rico, Canada's only serious threat in the Edmonton group, did likewise with intensity and domination on the Dominican Republic, who has been improving lately. But they couldn't stop the Boricuas' excellent outside and overall shooting for their dream game in one battle of the Spanish-speaking areas:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcRAgR36lsY

    Argentina's in serious trouble to qualify now. Las Gigantes had a chance to beat Colombia in a close one to start things off at home but a shaky first half start kinda doomed them even when they stormed back in the second at a packed and passionate Bahia Blanca's Dow Center. Agostina Burani was Las Gigantes' star with a double double (29 points and 10 rebounds). This is a game Argentina needed before the bigger and more internationally experienced Americas powers. Paid dearly with their 25 turnovers for the Colombians converted to 27 points in their favor. Now they'll be doomed against the USA, which doesn't really need to be there with its depth, and Brazil
    https://www.argentina.basketball/ver...o-pudo-en-casa
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSr4D-IG9eo

    Brazil granted Team USA a greater challenge than previously assumed with ageless wonder Erika De Souza and Damiris Dantas providing that in the first game. Still the Americans were amazing on the offensive side:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYn22Tqd2GQ

    Because of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's no-show withdrawal in Maputo. the only game played in that group will between Nigeria and Mozambique, and both automatically head towards the semifinals against the top two Group B winners. We know now that one of the two Group B semifinalists won't be Angola. Angola, the London 2012 African women's basketball participants, just got eliminated with both losses to Senegal in a close one (75-71) and just now to Mali (65-45) being a depleted team on talent. When Mali and Senegal face other tomorrow as two French-speaking and predominately Muslim Sub-Saharan African nations, it obviously determines the seeding

    Well, Rick Pitino's got nothing else going on to do right now with basketball as no NCAA colleges are knocking on his door due to his controversies. Perhaps he can have a future staying on the international route with Puerto Rico and now Greece for next year's OQT:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/olympics/...ing-tournament
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  2. #727
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    Kuala Lumpur's portion of the competition is over now that the Opals, as expected, to join Japan into one of the 4 women's OQTs come early February. You know that 2006 Commonwealth Games match when Australia faced India in Melbourne in group play when they won by 100 points over them? Well, this Opals generation was just as merciless on poor India from beginning to end and nearly held them scoreless in the first quarter until Shireen Vijay Limaye's desparate three finally got them on the scoreboard. Forget any comeback runs from India in this game; they lack the size and talent in comparison against the Aussies for that to happen with the green and gold cruised to victory with Rebecca Allen's 20 points to lead everyone. Australia wins 114-29.

    Chinese Taipei played feisty against one of their longstanding East Asian rivals Japan, mostly in the first quarter. Until Japan's Akatsuki Five eventually blew away starting late in the second quarter with Ramu Tokashiki's near double double (19 points and 9 rebounds) and Yuki Miyazawa recording 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists. A clash between Australia and Japan is all that's left really with Liz Cambage finally playing against Japan for the first time providing the size difference sorely lacking for them.

    Over on Auckland at the Trusts Arena, some bad news for the Tall Ferns after a crucial game. China, not unexpectedly, used their size advantage like with Han Xu and Li Meng and their lethal transition--and even their three point shooting--to give New Zealand a heavy blow to their advancing hopes. After losing to South Korea by a point in the first game, this caused NZ to not score in the first three minutes of the first quarter and falling under 14 points to end it. China's lead grew by as many as 31 points in their comfortable gap before New Zealand rallied back and ending it at 94-71. In front of CBA President Yao Ming cheering them on. Contrast that with NZ's disappointing first half scoring from 35% on the court and never visiting the charity stripe. Intensity and defensive effort improved in the second half after getting blown off the court, but the damage was done and never recovered. Now the all-important must-win match with talented (but not as tall) South Korea lies before them where everything is on the line and must win by at least 13 points after the Chinese brutalizes The Philippines. One of these two nations from between the two from the previous OQT in France won't participate, as much I would like to see both return. Kaleni Purcell handled much of New Zealand's scoring with 21 points.

    South Korea meanwhile eliminates the inexperienced and undersized Philippines from contention with a string performance in the 114-75 win. They used all 12 players to get on the scoreboard in rotation--8 players were in double digits with points topped by Kang Leeseul's 16 points leading way for South Korea. Tall Ferns await:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/pre-oqtwo...rea-claim-wins
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/basket...-loss-to-china
    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/sport...ing-event.html
    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/basketb...15-p53b1u.html

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUMHszBZePg
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIMmqsU5aa0
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCXB9R7jRv8

    Like I said, Yao's in Auckland right now supporting the Chinese women with his high hopes even after the South Korea loss--they're fine, Yao. He isn't familiar with New Zealand women's basketball scene like he is with the men, although he acknowledges they play a different style. Offers some interesting albeit reluctant thoughts on top players from their nations no-showing for international competition:
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/basket...ualifiers?rm=m

    Mozambique-Nigeria game just got underway right now as I write this down in Maputo, Mozambique as the only Group A game there.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  3. #728
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    All the weekend tournament games have been played. The stats are now filed. Many of the arenas that played them move on to other events. The 2019 FIBA Women's Pre-Olympic Qualification Tournaments weekend games are complete worldwide. 16 nations now advance to next February's 2020 FIBA Women's WOQTs in four nations: Belgium, France, Serbia, and China. Two nations might advance to Tokyo in one tournament. 3 might might advance in another one.

    Because of the Democratic Republic of Congo withdrew within hours before the start in Maputo, Mozambique and wouldn't face hosts Mozambique and Nigeria, all Group A played was Nigeria, the reigning African women's champions, and hosts Mozambique. Quite possible the DRC knew deep down they were not going to win against the powerhouse. Or perhaps it was a cost-prohibitive event to travel for. Handing Nigeria and Mozambique each a 20-0 forfeit from this. Anyway, Nigeria wins that game with the Portuguese-speaking hosts 57-48. This made up the semifinals set up of Nigeria vs. Mali and Senegal vs. Mozambique for the two spots to come out of Africa en route to the WOQTs for the winners. Because of this, there would be no championship game here. Nigeria manages to beat the Beijing 2008 Olympic participants Mali, the African women's champions back then, convincingly 74-59 using their talent, strength, and dominance starring five players recorded double digits including AfroBasket MVP Ezinne Kalu with 15 points and seven rebounds while Ify Ibekwe and Atonye Nyingifa each added 14 and 13 points in that order. Nigeria's D'Tigresses were stellar in that game's third quarter dropping 25 points while limited Mali to 14 in comparison to establish a 20-point lead. No turnaround from Mali, who fought admirably, would ever make up towards victory. This win for Nigeria puts them at 16-0 in Africa for the past four years. But the major story is hosts Mozambique upsetting the 2015 and 2017 African women's champions Senegal 56-49 to delight of the home crowd to advance further than ever in their Olympic campaign. Using that home cooking all throughout in a very closely contested game and in the previous one this past weekend that saw "the home Maputo crowd cheer every basket, steal and rebound to give their players the resounding energy they needed to emerge victorious." They devised all means of supporting from using drums to customized clapping formations and also sported Mozambique's "national colors and gave their team the kind of support that they so much craved and the players did not disappoint them." Senegal's bid for a second consecutive Olympic appearance and a record third overall Olympic women's basketball appearance for an African nation gets denied:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/pre-oqtwo...ing-tournament

    Up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada never disappointed and never lost in their weekend at the national women's basketball program base. Therefore, they remain undefeated whenever they play in that city. As I predicted, only the Puerto Ricans were the ones from the 3 other teams who produced a serious scare on the Canadians with that 84-80 final score. And that was in both teams' second game in their groups following both of them blowing out their first opponents. Cuba, who has some talent like Anisleidys Galindo, Yamara Amargo, Suchitel Avila, and Leanyi Becquer, kept their advancing hopes alive providing heartbreak to the Dominican Republic 70-68 fueled by Anisleidys Galindo's 25 points and 9 rebounds never-giving-up play and showed up all along this campaign. DR knew all through this they were just lambs to slaughter when facing Canada and Puerto Rico. Had they defeated Cuba, they might have a momentary (and very faint) shot of upsetting Canada. Not gonna happen! Before that game right as Team Canada was warming up away from the end of the court and Lisa Thomaidis and her staff watching along the base line, Team Boricua equipped with some WNBA talent like Jazmon Gwathmey (also played in the WNBL) and Jennifer O'Neill along with Pamela Rosado, Dayshalee Salaman, Ali Gibson, Isalys Quinones, and Sabrina Lozada, endured an up and own game versus the Cubans yesterday. Just when the Puerto Ricans had a 4-5-point lead, here comes the Cubans to tie things up or even have a brief lead before the Puerto Ricans reclaim and build it. Stayed tight very deep into the fourth quarter by getting aggressive down low. But turnovers, personal fouls, and fatigue from Cuba proved to be their undoing to hold on, much less expand their small leads,and couldn't catch up on Puerto Rico when they pushed up the pace. Canada closed out their another successful and undefeated Edmonton campaign at 3-0 in dispatching the Dominican Republic to end winless at 0-3 with another dominant 110-60 with everyone on Team Canada scoring on the scoreboard including six players in double figures starting with Sami Hill being the most prominent at 16 units. She was followed by Shaina Pellington (14), Jamie Scott (13), Bridget Carleton (13), Ruth Hamblin (11), and Natalie Achonwa (11). Different court lineups were brought out and building the chemistry and depth. If there's any concern for Thomaidis and her team is wishing for even more consistency, aggressiveness, disruptive, and more anticipation afterwards as they continue to improve and they now got the athletes for it
    http://basketball.ca/en/news-article...tournament-wit
    http://basketball.ca/en/news-article...lifying-tourna
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/olympics/ca...pre-qualifier/

    Down in Bahia Blanca, Argentina at the Dow Center, Team USA displayed their usual dominance utilizing their physical advantage and strength along with their imposing collective attack against Colombia 104-48. That was meaningless compared to what was forthcoming with a berth in the 2020 WOQT on the line between Brazil, a nation having a great international women's basketball pedigree, and archrival hosts Argentina in the latest sports chapter for those two nations whatever they play in. Because of those losses to Colombia and the USA, Argentina needed to win by at least 16 points here on point differential for the invite, a tough task to achieve when playing against the Brazilians. First 10 minutes of the match were even with Argentina's Las Gigantes performing their best game of the three they played in with their cranked up defensive intensity with the loud and huge support behind them. But came the second quarter, the Brazilian team took control of the boards and executed in offense to take the reins of the game and adding to the difference in their margin with good long-distance shots effectiveness (10 for 18 in three-pointers). Argentina's collective lack of offensive firepower couldn't compete effectively versus Brazil. Las Gigantes' perimeter
    efficiency failed them again in the last two quarters to recover from behind even as they adjusted the extended defensive pressure and obtained the ball recoveries and kept them scoreless. Brazil emerges victorious 77-55 thanks to their depth and take the last Americas ticket. For Argentina, the 2020 dream is dead in finishing 0-3 as that Colombia loss coming back to haunt them. Still lots of room for improvement with only the South American Championship to look forward to next year:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/pre-oqtwo...ng-tournaments
    https://www.argentina.basketball/ver...-sin-victorias

    Kuala Lumpur games in the final stage are pretty meaningless with nothing on the line with Australia joining hosts Japan to advance...except for the fact of the desire the Opals wanting to enact revenge on the Asian champions. This time now with Liz Cambage facing the Japanese for the first time in over three years. Actually both teams want to make a statement in this game. But Japan wouldn't let the green and gold accomplish that. Australia outrebounded Japan 50-38, but Japan made it rain from the outside or suburban Kuala Lumpur, hitting 14 threes pushing the lead up as large as to 17. Japan had a 30-point first quarter and never relinquished towards a 82-69 win. Asami Yoshida came out of retirement with 15 points and 5 assists in 15 minutes. Cambage was more pedestrian but still solid game of 17 points on 7-11 shooting and 6 rebounds. Chinese Taipei claimed their only win easily beating India to the 79-56 and everyone scoring for Taiwan with Chen Wei-An topping all of her teammates with 20 points on 6-9 shooting from the field. In Auckland, another participant not going to the next stage like they did last time in New Zealand. The Tall Ferns had to win by 13 against South Korea to move on. They couldn't even when they actually won. South Korea powered their way back late when NZ was desperately attempting to reach that magic 13-point barrier. China claimed its ticket and assured Foshan of hosting one of the WOQTs powerfully dismantling The Philippines 127-49 as everyone on China's Dragons putting up at least 6 points on the undersized
    http://www.fiba.basketball/pre-oqtwo...tops-australia

    So here are the nations advancing: Canada, Brazil, Australia, Great Britain, France, Sweden, Nigeria, South Korea, Mozambique, China, Belgium, Puerto Rico, Spain, and Serbia--hosts Japan and World Champion USA are automatically in for Tokyo 2020 but will participate in the WOQT regardless of results there.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  4. #729
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    All the weekend tournament games have been played. The stats are now filed. Many of the arenas that played them move on to other events. The 2019 FIBA Women's Pre-Olympic Qualification Tournaments weekend games are complete worldwide. 16 nations now advance to next February's 2020 FIBA Women's WOQTs in four nations: Belgium, France, Serbia, and China. Two nations might advance to Tokyo in one tournament. 3 might might advance in another one.

    Because of the Democratic Republic of Congo withdrew within hours before the start in Maputo, Mozambique and wouldn't face hosts Mozambique and Nigeria, all Group A played was Nigeria, the reigning African women's champions, and hosts Mozambique. Quite possible the DRC knew deep down they were not going to win against the powerhouse. Or perhaps it was a cost-prohibitive event to travel for. Handing Nigeria and Mozambique each a 20-0 forfeit from this. Anyway, Nigeria wins that game with the Portuguese-speaking hosts 57-48. This made up the semifinals set up of Nigeria vs. Mali and Senegal vs. Mozambique for the two spots to come out of Africa en route to the WOQTs for the winners. Because of this, there would be no championship game here. Nigeria manages to beat the Beijing 2008 Olympic participants Mali, the African women's champions back then, convincingly 74-59 using their talent, strength, and dominance starring five players recorded double digits including AfroBasket MVP Ezinne Kalu with 15 points and seven rebounds while Ify Ibekwe and Atonye Nyingifa each added 14 and 13 points in that order. Nigeria's D'Tigresses were stellar in that game's third quarter dropping 25 points while limited Mali to 14 in comparison to establish a 20-point lead. No turnaround from Mali, who fought admirably, would ever make up towards victory. This win for Nigeria puts them at 16-0 in Africa for the past four years. But the major story is hosts Mozambique upsetting the 2015 and 2017 African women's champions Senegal 56-49 to delight of the home crowd to advance further than ever in their Olympic campaign. Using that home cooking all throughout in a very closely contested game and in the previous one this past weekend that saw "the home Maputo crowd cheer every basket, steal and rebound to give their players the resounding energy they needed to emerge victorious." They devised all means of supporting from using drums to customized clapping formations and also sported Mozambique's "national colors and gave their team the kind of support that they so much craved and the players did not disappoint them." Senegal's bid for a second consecutive Olympic appearance and a record third overall Olympic women's basketball appearance for an African nation gets denied:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/pre-oqtwo...ing-tournament

    Up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada never disappointed and never lost in their weekend at the national women's basketball program base. Therefore, they remain undefeated whenever they play in that city. As I predicted, only the Puerto Ricans were the ones from the 3 other teams who produced a serious scare on the Canadians with that 84-80 final score. And that was in both teams' second game in their groups following both of them blowing out their first opponents. Cuba, who has some talent like Anisleidys Galindo, Yamara Amargo, Suchitel Avila, and Leanyi Becquer, kept their advancing hopes alive providing heartbreak to the Dominican Republic 70-68 fueled by Anisleidys Galindo's 25 points and 9 rebounds never-giving-up play and showed up all along this campaign. DR knew all through this they were just lambs to slaughter when facing Canada and Puerto Rico. Had they defeated Cuba, they might have a momentary (and very faint) shot of upsetting Canada. Not gonna happen! Before that game right as Team Canada was warming up away from the end of the court and Lisa Thomaidis and her staff watching along the base line, Team Boricua equipped with some WNBA talent like Jazmon Gwathmey (also played in the WNBL) and Jennifer O'Neill along with Pamela Rosado, Dayshalee Salaman, Ali Gibson, Isalys Quinones, and Sabrina Lozada, endured an up and own game versus the Cubans yesterday. Just when the Puerto Ricans had a 4-5-point lead, here comes the Cubans to tie things up or even have a brief lead before the Puerto Ricans reclaim and build it. Stayed tight very deep into the fourth quarter by getting aggressive down low. But turnovers, personal fouls, and fatigue from Cuba proved to be their undoing to hold on, much less expand their small leads,and couldn't catch up on Puerto Rico when they pushed up the pace. Canada closed out their another successful and undefeated Edmonton campaign at 3-0 in dispatching the Dominican Republic to end winless at 0-3 with another dominant 110-60 with everyone on Team Canada scoring on the scoreboard including six players in double figures starting with Sami Hill being the most prominent at 16 units. She was followed by Shaina Pellington (14), Jamie Scott (13), Bridget Carleton (13), Ruth Hamblin (11), and Natalie Achonwa (11). Different court lineups were brought out and building the chemistry and depth. If there's any concern for Thomaidis and her team is wishing for even more consistency, aggressiveness, disruptive, and more anticipation afterwards as they continue to improve and they now got the athletes for it
    http://basketball.ca/en/news-article...tournament-wit
    http://basketball.ca/en/news-article...lifying-tourna
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/olympics/ca...pre-qualifier/

    Down in Bahia Blanca, Argentina at the Dow Center, Team USA displayed their usual dominance utilizing their physical advantage and strength along with their imposing collective attack against Colombia 104-48. That was meaningless compared to what was forthcoming with a berth in the 2020 WOQT on the line between Brazil, a nation having a great international women's basketball pedigree, and archrival hosts Argentina in the latest sports chapter for those two nations whatever they play in. Because of those losses to Colombia and the USA, Argentina needed to win by at least 16 points here on point differential for the invite, a tough task to achieve when playing against the Brazilians. First 10 minutes of the match were even with Argentina's Las Gigantes performing their best game of the three they played in with their cranked up defensive intensity with the loud and huge support behind them. But came the second quarter, the Brazilian team took control of the boards and executed in offense to take the reins of the game and adding to the difference in their margin with good long-distance shots effectiveness (10 for 18 in three-pointers). Argentina's collective lack of offensive firepower couldn't compete effectively versus Brazil. Las Gigantes' perimeter
    efficiency failed them again in the last two quarters to recover from behind even as they adjusted the extended defensive pressure and obtained the ball recoveries and kept them scoreless. Brazil emerges victorious 77-55 thanks to their depth and take the last Americas ticket. For Argentina, the 2020 dream is dead in finishing 0-3 as that Colombia loss coming back to haunt them. Still lots of room for improvement with only the South American Championship to look forward to next year:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/pre-oqtwo...ng-tournaments
    https://www.argentina.basketball/ver...-sin-victorias
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  5. #730
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    Kuala Lumpur games in the final stage are pretty meaningless with nothing on the line with Australia joining hosts Japan to advance...except for the fact of the desire the Opals wanting to enact revenge on the Asian champions. This time now with Liz Cambage facing the Japanese for the first time in over three years. Actually both teams want to make a statement in this game. But Japan wouldn't let the green and gold accomplish that. Australia outrebounded Japan 50-38, but Japan made it rain from the outside or suburban Kuala Lumpur, hitting 14 threes pushing the lead up as large as to 17. Japan had a 30-point first quarter and never relinquished towards a 82-69 win. Asami Yoshida came out of retirement with 15 points and 5 assists in 15 minutes. Cambage was more pedestrian but still solid game of 17 points on 7-11 shooting and 6 rebounds. Chinese Taipei claimed their only win easily beating India to the 79-56 and everyone scoring for Taiwan with Chen Wei-An topping all of her teammates with 20 points on 6-9 shooting from the field. In Auckland, another participant not going to the next stage like they did last time as Argentina is New Zealand. The Tall Ferns had to win by 13 against South Korea to move on. They couldn't even when they actually won and their Olympic hopes to make it since 2008 is now shattered and won't advance. South Korea powered their way back late when NZ was desperately attempting to reach that magic 13-point barrier. China claimed its ticket and assured Foshan of hosting one of the WOQTs powerfully dismantling The Philippines 127-49 as everyone on China's Dragons putting up at least 6 points on the undersized
    http://www.fiba.basketball/pre-oqtwo...tops-australia
    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/sport...all-ferns.html

    So here are the nations advancing: Canada, Brazil, Australia, Great Britain, France, Sweden, Nigeria, South Korea, Mozambique, China, Belgium, Puerto Rico, Spain, and Serbia--hosts Japan and World Champion USA are automatically in for Tokyo 2020 but will participate in the WOQT regardless of results there.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  6. #731
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    Your 2020 FIBA World Olympic Basketball Qualification Tournament men's and women's draw results were announced and confirmed this afternoon in a ceremony at the FIBA headquarters inside the Patrick Baumann House of Basketball in Mies, Switzerland. You're welcome!

    http://www.fiba.basketball/news/fiba...-women-and-men

    WOMEN'S: (top three in each group qualifies out of these tournaments from February 6-9, 2020, must be noted that the USA as world champion and Japan as hosts will automatically make to Tokyo 2020 regardless of result)
    Belgrade, Serbia--Nigeria, USA, Serbia, Mozambique

    Bourges, France--France, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Australia

    Foshan, China--South Korea, China, Great Britain, Spain

    Ostend, Belgium--Canada, Japan, Sweden, Belgium

    Women's 2020 WOQT schedule:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/olympics/...QTSCHEDULE.pdf

    MEN'S: (The winners of the four tournaments out of the two groups winners will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games from June 23-28, 2020)
    Belgrade, Serbia
    Group A - Dominican Republic, New Zealand, Serbia
    Group B - Puerto Rico, Italy, Senegal

    Kaunas, Lithuania
    Group A - Lithuania, Korea, Venezuela
    Group B - Poland, Slovenia, Angola

    Split, Croatia
    Group A - Germany, Russia, Mexico
    Group B - Tunisia, Croatia, Brazil

    Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
    Group A - Greece, China, Canada
    Group B - Uruguay, Czech Republic, Turkey

    Men's 2020 WOQT schedule:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/olympics/...QTSCHEDULE.pdf

    I'll present my too-early analysis for these tournaments after the US Thanksgiving/Black Friday break. Perhaps as early as Saturday.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  7. #732
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    My increased work doesn't allow me for right now to head into a lot of things as I usually do in essay style. But for this thread I can submit two quick things regarding African basketball. May update them after Christmas.

    FIBA 2021 African Basketball Championship Pre-Qualifiers start tomorrow in Algiers, Algeria with seven zones and five groups with 16 teams. The groups winners will join the top 15 finishers of the last African Basketball Championship who automatically made it to this stage for the second stage. Top three in four group will go to Kigali, Rwanda:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/news/draw...021-qualifiers

    The Basketball Africa League sports a brand new official logo that channels the NBA, G-League, and WNBA logos in Kigali:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/news/bask...-official-logo
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  8. #733
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    FIBA's top 10 moments in international basketball in 2019 including Spain-Australia's double overtime semifinal thriller, Mali's historic moment in getting Africa finally at the medal podium in any FIBA international basketball event at the 2019 FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup in beating France in the semifinals at Heraklion, Greece this July, Japan's Atsuki Five Women's Asian championship fourpeat, the best attended Antwerp 2019 FIBA Champions League Final Four, France's Les Bleues knocking off Team USA in the FIBA 2019 WBC quarterfinals, Reggie Hearn's buzzer beater, China and Nigeria's dunk fest, Afrobasket Women's Opening Ceremony, and Novi Sad winning the 3x3:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/news/the-...oments-of-2019

    FIBA's top 10 incredible individual performances, both male and female, in 2019 international basketball:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/news/the-...mances-of-2019
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  9. #734
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    FIBA's African Basketball Championship Pre-Qualifiers for 2021 started today and goes from January 14-19. Now it's an every-four-year event with five spots going to the zone winners in advancement to the next stage with the African qualifiers. Kenya's men's basketball team, Team Morans, is playing in Kenya for a home game for the first time since 1993 at Nairobi's Nyayo Stadium as African hosts--and that's a very long time for them. The Morans are playing against Tanzania, Somalia, South Sudan, Burundi, and Eritrea. KBF President Paul Otula is issuing a challenge to urge his fellow Kenyans to join the party at Nyayo Stadium and turn out in big support for their games. Seems as though the only threats to Kenya are Somalia, a historic rival for them known to give them a hard time, and a rapidly-rising South Sudan filled with tremendous potential for East African basketball. Eritrea's and Tanzania's relatively very modest African basketball competition background hope that won't be used against them and join the the top 20 African nations.

    Malabo hosts Zone 4 from January 14-19 with Spanish-speaking hosts Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Chad trying to grab the only spot on offer for the next round at Group C representing the Central Africa region that's largely French. Congo-Brazzaville, the home of NBA champion Serge Ibaka, Giovan Oniangue, Japhie Nguie, Romaric Kondzy, and Bertrand Bukinda Dibessa, isn't participating even when it has some of those quality facilities right in Brazzaville to host it right from the 2015 All-Africa Games. Hasn't been the same since originally planned to host in 2017 but later lost. Shame though, for the Congolese could offer serious competition even with no Ibaka for he opted to play for Spain internationally since he played professionally there as a teen. Neither is Sao Tome E Principe. At first glance, Chad--the highest ranked team in this weak group--appear as favo(u)rite to move on, but things might turn sour due to the absence of their key players. Without Michael Koibe, Asnal Noubaramadhi and Issa Nakoye--some of the most experienced players but played domestic and French pro club action--Chad will need to make a number of serious adjustments to integrate their new players during the course of the tournament and stay in top quality. That could hurt the Chadians. Good thing that that 2019 FIBA World Basketball Championship African Qualifiers rebound leader Placide Nakidjim has rejoined Chad's team from his Spain pro base. But would Nakidjim be enough? Is this a chance for Gabon to rejoin the African basket elite for the first time since 2015 or is Equatorial Guinea here to shock the African basketball fraternity? Like to see the Gabonians get the sole spot marching back into a higher level of African basketball in the face of a sporadic African national team competition history. Could benefit from the Chadian transition if it's serious enough. Will former Golden St. Warriors player Stephane Lasme suit up? Equatorial Guinea must defy the odds with home cooking on their side. Yes, let the battle begin.

    Algeria and Cape Verde make up the only FIBA Africa Zone 1 & 2 participants, thus making it only a two-day points aggregate series in Algiers. Both teams are pretty even and both last participated in the 2015 African Basketball Championships, but I'll grant the edge to the Algerians unless Cape Verde uses its foreign-based players. No Libya, who last was in it back in 2009 as more-competitive-than-thought hosts when it was stable and finished 11th ahead of heavily favo(u)red Morocco and Mozambique. Both since rebounded themselves. Nation has other priorities, yet its men's soccer team are active in competitions. LBF organization may well have institutional issues. Known to use import players like Americans and a Sierra Leonian with a handful native Libyans plying their pro games overseas. Has appeared in the Islamic Solidarity Games more recently though.

    We finally get to see some Ghanaian basketball in some serious African competition after years of playing only friendlies having so much potential with little in the way of lower ages/junior level national teams. 3x3 national team basketball is popular in putting the Ghanaian basketball scene finally on the map. But no serious international 5-player basketball has long frustrated Ghanaian basketball fans who have seen numerous Ghana's players (diaspora included) play in the USA in the NCAA or NBA or in Spain's ACB. It is the most populous African nation never to qualify for an African Basketball Championship. This front an even weaker Zone 3 with only Liberia with only two African Championships appearances (1983 and 2007) and Niger is the only other one with some "at least we been there"--even more back in 1968. Looking at them, I have absolutely no confidence for the last two and I don't know them well--Ghana advances.

    Zone 6 & 7 in Southern and Indian Ocean Africa should have more teams to qualify involved--no Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Madagascar, Lesotho, Seychelles, Mauritius, Malawi, and Swaziland (I don't call it Eswatini). Really should be two groups in this. More of a money, travel, and administrative issues why we don't see them, I think, as much as player depth and availability. A few of the Indian Ocean island teams were just involved in the Indian Ocean Games in Port-Louis, Mauritius, and we would think they would use that experience for higher-level African basketball. So we're left with South Africa, Comoros, and Zimbabwe. Going to be between the Southern African neighbo(u)rs in Harare, Zimbabwe--South Africa and Zimbabwe. Both weren't in the recent African Basketball Championships but still were recent enough editions--and both sporting green and gold! Taking the Proteas over the host Triggers and maybe Vitalis Chikoko because of SA's greater potential overall in Africa if fortunes roll right and more play behind the team:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/afrobaske...o-get-underway

    The pre-qualifier zone winners will join the following 15 teams that automatically made it to this stage due to being the recent African Basketball Championship participants at the Second Phase of Qualifiers: Angola, Cameroon,Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tunisia and Uganda.

    The teams were drawn into five groups of four teams each as follows:

    Group A: Tunisia, Central African Republic, DR Congo, winner of Zone 6 & 7
    Group B: Senegal, Angola, Mozambique, winner of Zone 5
    Group C: Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Guinea, winner of Zone 4
    Group D: Nigeria, Mali, Rwanda, winner of Zones 1 & 2
    Group E: Morocco, Egypt, Uganda, winner of Zone 3

    In each group, the teams will play two tournaments that will take place in three international windows.

    Groups A, C and E will play from February 17-25, 2020 with the other two starting their campaign in the next window from November 23-December 1, 2020 at venues yet to be determined. All the five groups will then play in the Final Phase from February 15-23, 2021 with the top three teams from each group over the two legs qualifying automatically to the FIBA AfroBasket 2021 to be held in Kigali, Rwanda at the brand new Kigali Arena:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/afrobaske...021-qualifiers
    http://www.fiba.basketball/afrobaske...021-qualifiers
    Last edited by Durbansandshark; 17-01-2020 at 05:34 AM.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

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    Kenya and South Sudan both reach the century mark in their blowout wins over Eritrea and Somalia, respectively, in their good starts at Nairobi's Nyayo National Stadium Gymnasium with rooting crowds:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/afrobaske...off-good-start

    Algeria's new band of young players lead from start to finish save for the fact determined Cape Verde stayed with them to win the first game 75-64 in Algiers. But its head coach Faid Bilal likes to see them perform better next time. Cape Verde's Islanders, with its solid players from a cluster of solid European basketball leagues like Ivan Almeida, William Tavares, and Kevin Coronel must now win the second game tonight by 13+ points in this series:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/afrobaske...nst-cape-verde

    Kenya downs very irregular African basketball participants Tanzania, that suited up only 6 players (one player wasn't cleared with several others set to come later not playing at all), in its debut 95-59 game in Nairobi; it was so bad for Tanzania they didn't score a basket until the second quarter after 20-0 first quarter for Team Morans. The Tanzanians will soldier on with those 6. Somalia fought valiantly with their lively fans behind them but couldn't subsequently overcome the Burundians in their debut 106-86. South Sudan again hammers another opponent in the very inexperienced Eritrea in dominating them 111-57 as the only team to win hitting the century mark, but the Eritreans are learning fast. Now both Kenya and South Sudan seal 2-0 records coming into the third day:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/afrobaske...-perfect-start
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  11. #736
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    Patty Mills wishes for another successful Boomers basketball run like last year in China. But this time ending for Australia with that elusive men's basketball Olympic medal with Brett Brown, a very important person in Mills' basketball development, back for his second Boomers coaching stint 2009-2012 with his Australian basketball knowledge. Hopes it will be "special". Yeah, me too for the Boomer because many of us here would like to see finally a medal for Australia's men:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/olympics/...-at-tokyo-2020

    Neither does Delly want to see Australia remain in fourth at the Olympics again either:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/olympics/...fourth-anymore

    Because of the coronavirus outbreak concerns going on in China dealing players', coaching staff's, and fans' safety, FIBA relocates the Asian-based WOQT in Foshan, China to Belgrade, Serbia and be played under the same date schedule as planned and running concurrently with the other tournament that's already based there. Now all four WOQTs are entirely in Europe with different ones in Belgrade:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/news/fiba...elgrade-serbia

    Algeria won the first game of the 2-game series 79-67 as mentioned here. Cape Verde won the second one 99-90 also in Algiers. But Algeria was the first African nation qualifier in thanks to the 169-166 points aggregate. Algeria will now join Nigeria, Mali and Rwanda as Zones 1 & 2 winners in that group of death known as Group D, whose action takes place in the November qualifying window.

    In Nairobi, Kenya. hosts Kenya sealed all 5 of their games beating all of its comers--Tanzania, Eritrea, Somalia, South Sudan and Burundi-- to advance to GROUP B of the qualifiers with another African group of death as Zone 5 winners with Angola, Senegal, and Mozambique on November 23-December 1. Kenya's Team Morans final opponent was it most competitive: South Sudan 74-68. Somalia wins its final game beating undermanned Tanzania after knocking their neighbo(u)rs Eritrea one point shy of 100 (99-76)

    The FIBA AfroBasket 2021 Qualifiers resumes this past weekend in Harare, Zimbabwe, where Madagascar, Zimbabwe and Zambia will fight for the only ticket on offer for Group A, which includes Africa reigning champions Tunisia, Central African Republic and DR Congo. South Africa pulls out again along with the Comoros?! The Comoros I can understand since they're small and thus have a low budget. But South Africa, Africa's most industrialized nation and economically strong, doesn't send its team despite serious and rapid gains to the sport in recent years there not limited to the BNL South Africa and the NBA playing there? If this was about Basketball South Africa funding and budget, that's more understandable. But surely the Basketball Proteas can travel northwards to its neighbor. Getting the impression that South African basketball and its regular international development not just in African basketball is not a national priority for the powers that be like say rugby, soccer, cricket, or swimming. Maybe they know South Africa doesn't have the talent level to effectively compete. Could beat the Central African Republic but certainly not Tunisia or maybe not the Democratic Republic of Congo:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/afrobaske...021-qualifiers
    http://www.fiba.basketball/afrobaske...021-qualifiers
    http://www.fiba.basketball/afrobaske...021-qualifiers
    http://www.fiba.basketball/afrobaske...-to-cape-verde
    http://www.fiba.basketball/afrobaske...021-qualifiers
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  12. #737
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    Since all the 2020 FIBA WOQTs are now based in Europe in Ostende, Bourges, and Belgrade, I'll head eastward starting with Ostende, Belgium. Belgrade, Serbia inherits a second arm of this year's WOQT from Foshan, China that was originally supposed to play at the 14,700-seat GBA Foshan International Sports and Cultural Arena and instead of the more intimate Foshan Lingnan Mingzhu Gymnasium. Moved due to the coronavirus spread concerns in China and reported cases that prompted quarantine lockdowns in Wuhan and nearby Chinese cities and travel restrictions from China to other nations. Four teams in as many groups here. Top three in each earn the golden ticket to Tokyo, although world champions USA and hosts Japan already have theirs.

    Canada, the second best North American team, has got to be the frontrunner being ranked #4 in the FIBA rankings. They got depth, speed, and athleticism with the tremendous potential to place themselves upon the podium in Tokyo. Some are in their prime with a injection of youngsters. These women continue on in their contributions to this great Canadian basketball boom, great when considering there's no women's pro basketball league...yet. If there's a flaw in Team Canada, it's that they can be ho-hum performing in tournaments. Might change starting now. Belgium's Belgian Cats as an emerging force in recent years got legend Anne Wouters, Washington Mystics WNBA MVP Emma Messemann, and the Mestdagh sisters Kim and Hanne as part of a vibrant roster, and they're seeing its first Olympic appearance that would cap off Wouters' international career. That home cooking gives them a great chance. Japan's in as host but why are they in it? Really it will be between Belgium and Sweden, also seeking its Olympic women's basketball debut. No Swedish basketball team, male or female, has ever been this close to qualifying in Olympic or international (beyond Europe, that is) since Moscow 1980, when the men got in only after several European teams ahead of Sweden opted not to participate as their own boycott back then. Be a great moment if that happened with this golden generation with only Louice Halvarsson and classy sisters Frida and Elin Eldebrink remaining from the stunning U17 silver medal-winning team in 2007 in the national program. Another important development in Swedish basketball is the immigration factor with players of color being in the national teams like the popular taliswoman Amanda Zahui Bozoukou (Spanish-French mother, Ivory Coast father--she has a tattoo of the Ivory Coast with the flag inside it on her right wrist) and former Minnesota Golden Gopher. Others include Farhiya Abdi (Somalian heritage), Binta Drammeh (Gambian heritage), Regan Magarity (American dad, Swedish mom), and Kalis Loyd (black American parents playing in Sweden). Will be dangerous. Too bad only one between Sweden and Belgium can go; if Japan wasn't in this group automatically qualified and replaced with, say, Mozambique, I'd be happy to see both. Belgium just has a little more quality.

    France's Les Bleues are back in this but under a different qualifying format and context. And hosting this again in Bourges. Too deep and too talented with in-her-prime Marine Johannes and Alexia Chartereau leading the charge as we've seen over the past three decades. Always right in the thick of things in international basketball. Still gotta keep it on with Paris 2024 on the horizon. Australia--doesn't matter how they'll finish among the top three. Strong pedigree and will advance like and with France having Liz Cambage and depth. Question is, who will join them as the third team? Like to see Puerto Rico surprisingly qualify and further build internationally. But Brazil will get the third and last spot as the best Latin American women's basketball team. Brazil and Puerto Rico each had 2-1 records at the Americas pre-qualifiers, but the Brazilians did thrash PR for third place at last year’s AmeriCup. Yet, they're definitely not of the same class of the past players.

    Team USA. 'Nuff said. Just another tune up for another golden defense. Serbia? Very good and will be intimidating and powerful at the Aleksandar Nikolić Pionir Hall to both African teams--lacks the overall depth to upset the Americans anyway however. Though they'll give them a run for a while until the Americans overpower them. Eurobasket Women 2019's third place finishers certainly will flourish on home soil. Real and interesting race in this group will be when African powers Nigeria and Mozambique face off for the African qualification--and that starts tomorrow! Edge goes to Nigeria as African champs with their depth and for tapping into the American portion of the Nigerian diaspora. Mozambique is capable but little speed.

    Just moved portion originally from Foshan, China to Belgrade. China with Xu Han and Li Yueru and other very good players but fallible. Group faves and Eurobasket champs Spain is another very talented European team with an army of vets that's capable of going far in the Olympics but will go without Astou Ndour and Anna Cruz for now due to injury. But Alba Torrens is back in red and yellow. Can cope with the pressure. Can South Korea make its breakthrough here with Park Ji-Su, Kim Danbi, and Kang Lee-Seul after falling short four years ago to Belarus? Prevented New Zealand's Tall Ferns from advancing on point differential. Pretty even to me between them and Great Britain in its furthest qualification stage in its Olympic history. Be a great story and a sign of tremendous progress if the British make it. Asia having three women's teams here would be something, an Olympic first for the continent. Lengthy travel to instead play in China to Serbia could serve as an issue. But the South Koreans hold faith progress is possible. As the days go by though, I'm starting to think the British women will sneak in to stun the world again in the city where the magic happens for them because Europe contains tougher competition more consistently than what South Korea generally endures--Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, Kazakhstan, and Taiwan notwithstanding. Never will be a better chance for GB to do the once-unthinkable with a mix of the London 2012 generation--despite Steff Collins' injury--and some younger guns and coach Chema Buceta in whom all believe.
    Last edited by Durbansandshark; 07-02-2020 at 05:17 AM.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  13. #738
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    Two wins in the seaside coastal city of Ostende, Belgium and finishing ahead of Sweden and Belgium are all that's needed for Team Canada to punch a ticket to Tokyo this summer and join men's field hockey and volleyball; women's water polo, softball, and very likely soccer; and men's and women's rugby sevens. Coach Lisa Thomaidis likes the new qualification format but everything is compressed in getting your best players to the team and develop cohesion:
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...ns-away-tokyo/

    Team Canada's Women's Olympic Qualification Tournament roster. Very studded with serious talent with depth and versatility playing in the WNBA, Australia, Europe, and in the NCAA:
    http://basketball.ca/en/news-article...womens-olymp-1

    Yes, without a doubt Canada is, depending on the Olympic draw in group and medal round play, is a serious medal threat this summer in Tokyo 2020. But qualification for it comes first for a team that displayed tremendous improvement bit by bit in its ascent over the years since the mid-1990s--rising and falling significantly down before rising back up--waiting for the newer and more dynamic talent to arrive. Like, right now:
    https://www.cbc.ca/sports/basketball...ions-1.5448768

    The Canadian women will draw upon that Rio De Janiero experience four years ago in 2016 to make this happen with half of the 12-women roster plus two additional ones from the World Basketball Championship in Spain
    https://www.thestar.com/sports/baske...-belgians.html

    How Canada Basketball assesses things with the competition starting with Belgium:
    http://basketball.ca/en/news-article...t-versus-hosts

    Also in Belgium, we get to see the debut of a new jersey sponsorship from Toronto rapper Drake's, Oliver El-Khatib's, and Noah “40” Shebib's popular lifestyle brand October's Very Own replacing Dream makers in supporting the women's game now that the women's team has a cool factor being very, very good
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/basketball/...national-team/
    http://basketball.ca/en/news-article...anada-at-women

    Amanda Zahui Bozoukou is ready and leads Sweden as the focal point in their roster for what could be a historic run for them to Tokyo under head coach Marco Crespi. Paulina Hersler and Nathalie Fontaine are the newcomers from last summer Eurobasket 2019. But the experienced and long serving Daniele Hamilton Carter and Josefin Vesterberg are on the outside looking in:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/oqtwomen/...-reveal-roster
    https://www.tellerreport.com/sports/...1ZgSMtFMU.html

    SVT, Sweden's public broadcaster, will present all of Team Sweden's 2020 FIBA WOQT matches in Ostende, Belgium live starting with lightning-fast Asian winners Japan today. SVT's coverage commentary comes from Peter Jonsson (play-by-play) and Elisabeth Egnell (analyst/expert). Will be a super challenge for them again with all those three in the FIBA top 10 women's rankings (Canada #4, Belgium #9, Japan #10 with Sweden a distant #22 but improving) but are certainly up for it. Key match will be versus Belgium
    https://www.tellerreport.com/sports/...kgSQ--ub8.html

    Elisabeth Egnell takes a closer look at each of the three tough teams Sweden's Blagult (Blue and Gold) are facing who will provide the tough task and use to shut down Zahui:
    https://www.tellerreport.com/sports/...Jgk5QpKfL.html

    Tall order indeed for the Blagult with likely the last chance for the Swedish golden generation to make good on their talents after qualifying ahead of Russia at Eurobasket Women 2019. Obviously, Sweden's chances would be better served if neither the United States nor Japan were in it too for they already qualified. Knowing they're not the faves, they can still take their challengers on their best days when taking it to never before reached another level and are calm coming into this. More importantly, we got an answer as to why both the United States and Japan are in this when they really don't need it: FIBA believes that the host nation and reigning world champions must be given the chance to prepare for the Olympics in the best way and thus play competitive matches coming into this. The USA does not need this as much as Japan, mind you. Does seem like two additional dreams are taken away in a team drop. Here FIBA is clueless:
    https://www.aftonbladet.se/sportblad...-svensk-basket

    British basketball is undergoing a very rough and dark period right now years after London 2012 in an important fight for its national survival and funding as a sport. More on that next time, but suffice to say, if Team GB manages to qualify to Tokyo 2020 on merit as among the top three finishers over three days and three teams in Belgrade and boosts its stock nationally as a much-needed shot in the arm in the face of the likes of the more favo(u)red netball. Odds seem to be pruned with the necessary redirection to Europe that the British women's basketball program could use to its advantage in a city where they made that possible this past year:
    http://www.mvp247.com/2020/02/2020-oqtw-preview/

    As stated earlier in the previous post, Team GB guard and captain Stef Collins will miss her first international tournament in the Olympic qualifiers ruled out due to injury. She'll be back should the British qualify for Tokyo 2020. Her place was apparently filled by 22-year old London-born and raised Belediyespor and Dallas Wings centre Kristine Anigwe (moved to the USA at age 10), who played with the WNBA's Connecticut and Dallas, where playing alongside Karlie Samuelson doubling as her new Team GB teammate making her debut. Maybe she'll be the rabbit out of the British hat in their time of serious need. May very well could down to point differential between them and South Korea for third:
    http://www.mvp247.com/2020/01/gbw-isquad-olyq20/
    http://www.mvp247.com/2020/01/gbw-anigwe-callup/

    Another star-studded and stellar Team USA squad selected for this tournament ready for another golden moment for the seventh consecutive time. Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart immediately back from her ruptured Achilles injury with Dynamo Kursk, Britney Griner, A'ja Wilson, Skyler Diggins, Katie Lou Samuelson, Nneka Ogwumike, Sylvia Fowles, Jewell Lloyd, Tiffany Mitchell, Ariel Atkins, and Chelsea Grey. Dawn Staley is not with them here because of her South Carolina Gamecocks head coaching commitments:
    http://www.fiba.basketball/oqtwomen/...ing-tournament

    Mozambique's star Tamara Seda dreams big for that country to get the African spot versus Nigeria in Belgrade even when knowing the task is "tough" as the lowest-ranked team in the tourney. Spoiler: didn't happen versus Nigeria's D'Tigresses today:
    https://www.sunnewsonline.com/tokyo-...-over-nigeria/
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

  14. #739
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    Discovered this website while looking for complimentary stuff about the FIBA WOQTs going on right now. Found this while looking for things about other teams like Belgium. Stéphanie Lahaye's Swish Swish from Belgium in the French langauge brings up about previews of the tournaments with in-depth Belgian Cats and Les Bleues included:
    https://www.swish-swish.net/actualit...nales/jo-2020/

    Also took the time to discuss with Swish Appeal's Florian Madarasz and Bullets Forever's Albert Lee back in November over Emma Meesseman in Washington and her Belgian teammates leading up to hosting the Olympic basketball qualification tournament in Oostende. Should also make mention towards Julia Allmend and Majorie Carpreaux with the team's versatlity. Weaknesses include their defensive inability to shut down effectively guards like Canada's Kia Nurse. Both agree Belgium will make it with at least a quarterfinal finish in Tokyo though a medal podium placing is possible:
    https://www.bulletsforever.com/mysti...emma-meesseman
    https://www.bulletsforever.com/mysti...e-belgian-dish

    Canada indeed acted as Belgium's toughest test on the path to qualifying. Right to the very end, Belgium gave the Canadians a very tough scare in a packed arena until Team Canada prevailed 61-56. Nurse scored a game-high 19 points with only one more win to clinch. Canada managed to prevent the Belgian Cats from scoring in the last few minutes:
    https://www.cbc.ca/sports/basketball...gium-1.5454177

    ICYMI, my predictions (top three make the Olympics):

    Oostende--1. Canada 2. Belgium 3. Japan* 4. Sweden
    Bourges--1. France 2. Australia 3. Puerto Rico 4. Brazil
    Belgrade 1--1. USA* 2. Serbia 3. Nigeria 4. Mozambique
    Belgrade 2--1. Spain 2. China 3. Great Britain 4. South Korea

    *already automatically qualified regardless of outcome

    China outlasted the British women yesterday in Belgrade in a tough loss for Team GB 86-76. Defense was very good but it's just that the Chinese were just very good. Down but not out. Bigger picture remains with a massively important game ahead tomorrow against South Korea, a game they certainly cannot afford to lose, after Spain-China. Jo Leedham and Tami Fabengele are bright spot. There is some news that bodes well for them: Spain demolished South Korea 83-46 behind Leonor Rodriguez's 14 points so this bodes well for the British women given that Team GB lost to Spain by 8 at Eurobasket Women 2019. That, and Team GB know Belgrade from last year. South Korea can display outside scoring, but they're weak defensively. Great Britain would secure an Olympic ticket with a win against the South Korean if China wins over Spain. Great Britain would also qualify with a win of 11 points or more if Spain win. 11+ points win. That's the target for them for an Olympic return. More based on merit this time:
    https://women.hoopsfix.com/2020/gb-s...rnament-china/
    http://www.mvp247.com/2020/02/gbw-china-oqt20/
    https://www.bbc.com/sport/basketball/51400766

    Former British basketball player John Ameachi projects the British women will reach greater international basketball heights faster than the men will. Seems to be right. In surprising ways thanks to Eurobasket.
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

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    Will defer what I will talk about the FIBA WOQT in greater detail next week with some thoughts. But this is the complete field of women's teams going to Tokyo in July: USA, Japan, Canada, Belgium, France, Australia, Spain, China, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, Serbia, and South Korea. Draw is set for later this March in the three Olympic groups
    Jusqui'ici tout va bien...

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