SYDNEY (Australia) – With excitement still going on with the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup remaining two weeks away, we consulted a panel of experts for their predictions.
We spoke to three FIBA commentators to find out what they expect from the World Championships in Sydney. Shauna Thorburn She is a two-time Olympian with Canada and an assistant coach at the Euroleague Women’s Basketball Club. Azania Stewart She represented Great Britain at the Olympics and made the Women’s European Cup history last season with the London Lions. American Despina Barton She has been attached to basketball for more than a decade in the USA and recently exported her talent to the FIBA international arena.
Who will win the world title and what will the podium look like?
Shona: The team to beat is still the United States. With a possible late arrival into training camp, the American selection may be a bit hesitant at the start of the competition, but it is she who will climb higher on the podium at the end of the competition. If China repeats its performance in February, it should take second place. For me, Australia will complete the podium. The combination of experience and freshness makes this team fun. Its only concern is the lack of a proper vending machine, but I think playing from home will help make up for that.
Azania: I think with the USA roster it would be hard to stop them from winning the gold – a metal that Americans have worn around their necks for so long. All US national team players are eligible for a place in the “Grand 5”. For the podium, I see the USA on step one, Australia on step two, and Japan on step three.
Despina: The United States would win – although the roster would be very different from that of the 2021 NBA Women’s Cup – which included players like Ryan Howard and NCAA stars. Japan, the most disciplined and influential team I have ever seen, will win the silver. China and Australia will compete for the bronze medal.
Which team do you think can make the surprise?
Will Belgium be the surprise guest on the podium?
Shona: I think China has enough to create the biggest surprise. The Chinese team has all the assets it can get for a medal: size, speed, outdoor shooting skills, experienced players, as well as some talented youngsters who have already played in major FIBA tournaments. In my opinion, China will cause many problems for many countries.
Azania: The team that I would be skeptical about is Bosnia and Herzegovina, because they have already achieved their goal of qualifying for this competition.
Despina: I did not include Belgium in the list of the top 4 places on the podium, so I tell her. His party is very effective and the cats will fight from start to finish.
Which two countries will not emerge from the “group of death” between Mali, Australia, Serbia, Canada, France and Japan?
Is this competition coming too soon for Canada, in full reconstruction?
Shona: Mali and the loser of the confrontation between Canada and Serbia on the first day.
Azania: This is a very difficult question, you never want to bet against the host country. We also know that Serbian coach Marina Malikovic will play a group of players who will do their best. Japan won the silver medals at the Tokyo Olympics. France is as capable of winning everything as it is of eliminating it prematurely. Canada has a young team, with some “old hands”, and their new coaches are doing a great job. The only country that I am 100% sure of is Mali, because it was incorporated into the tournament at the last minute and the preparation for it would undoubtedly not be optimal. But hey, if you force me to give a second state, I’ll reluctantly say Canada, because it’s in the midst of reconstruction and this kind of process takes time. But her future is promising.
Despina: Mali and Canada will not qualify for the quarter-finals. These two teams are not consistent, energetic and strong enough to compete with talented nations like Japan, Australia and France. I also think that Serbia will find a way out.
Who will be the tournament’s top scorer and why?
Will Jonkel Jones sing again for Bosnia and Herzegovina?
Shona: Junkel Jones, from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Her team has no problem giving her the ball and letting her create her own shots. She has full authority to attack.
Azania: I think Jonkel Jones will finish as the top scorer because Bosnia and Herzegovina depends so much on it in attack. In addition, her teammates have complete confidence in her.
Despina: I expect American Brianna Stewart and Australian Sammy Whitcomb to battle for the lead.
Which player are you most looking forward to seeing in the tournament and why?
China’s Sijing Huang was named TQCF Player of the Year in Belgrade in February
Shona: Chinese Sijing Huang. We already knew her offensive talent, but she shone in February at the Belgrade Women’s Basketball World Cup in Belgrade. If she can maintain her confidence throughout the competition, she clearly has the means to appear in the “Big Five” of the tournament.
Azania: For me, this question is almost impossible to answer, because there will be many great players in Sydney, but I will introduce you to two: Lauren Jackson, because I can’t wait to see her again in the works with the Opals, and Navy Johannes, because she pleases us with brilliance in every outing.
Despina: I like good stories, so I would say the experienced Korean Danbei Kim. His passion for basketball radiates from every inch of his body. She is respected by a lot of people and since she will be retiring from international football at the end of this event I am sure she will finally give us a great standing as a goodbye.