The FIBA World Championship For Women started in Turkey on September 27.
Team USA is multitasking during this tournament. They are not only trying to defend their world title and keep their long winning streak alive, they are also trying to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
The 2014 FIBA Women’s World Championship squad is comprised of Brittney Griner, Tina Charles, Seimone Augustus, Lindsay Whalen, Sue Bird, Maya Moore, Angel McCoughtry, Odyssey Sims, Diana Taurasi, Candice Dupree, Nneka Ogwumike and UConn’s Breanna Stewart.
The Geno Auriemma coached Team USA squad got their title defense off to a strong start when they took out China in their opening Group D matchup 87-56 in Istanbul.
Maya Moore and Brittney Griner were the leading scorers in this game for Team USA with 15 points apiece. My Houston homegirl also made some FIBA history when she threw down the first ever dunk in FIBA Women’s World Championship competition early in the first quarter.
The next day (September 28) Team USA took out Serbia 94-74. This time it was Diana Taurasi doing the damage with 20 points to lead all Team USA scorers as they clinched their spot in the quarterfinals with one pool play game left today against Angola.
If Team USA does what we expect and wins the game against Angola today, Team USA will finish atop Group D and play on October 3 in Istanbul the winner of the Brazil- France knockout round game.
France and Canada play today in Group B to determine who finishes second in their group. Winner plays Brazil on October 1 in the elimination round while the loser plays 2010 finalists the Czech Republic in an elimination round game.
The USA’s longtime international b-ball rivals Australia are on their side of the bracket and won Group C. If they handle their quarterfinal business would meet Team USA in the semis.
You know the Opals are just itching to dish out some payback and knock off the FIBA world number one ranked Team USA short of the October 5 finals, but may not have enough firepower to do so since Lauren Jackson is sitting this FIBA tournament out.
We’ll see on October 5 if Team USA accomplishes its mission of repeating as the best FIBA women’s basketball squad in the world.
TransGriot Update: Team USA knocked off Angola 119-44. My other Houston homegirl Nneka Ogwunmike led all USA scorers with 18 points while grabbing 12 rebounds.