After six days and 30 games of basketball, the Group Phase of the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup, as well as the bottom four teams, have come to an end.
Following a day of rest on Wednesday, all eyes will be on the quarter-finals, where the top four teams in each group will try to keep their World Cup hopes alive.
After a completely dominant effort during the Group Phase that included breaking the all-time record for points in a game, the USA emerged as the top team from Group A, joined by Belgium, China, and Puerto Rico.
Group B, dubbed the ‘Group of Death,’ was a much tighter contest, but Australia held on to take the top spot after impressive wins over Canada and Japan. France, Canada, and Serbia are also emerging from the second group.
This group win is especially good news for the Opals, who will avoid facing the Americans until the finals if they make it that far, but there will be no easy games from here on out.
Who are the quarter-final opponents?
12:00 p.m. AEST, USA vs. Serbia (10:00 p.m. E.T.)
The favorites, the United States, will face Serbia in the World Cup’s first quarter-final, which will almost certainly end in a big American win.
Serbia finished the Group Phase with a 3-2 record, including wins over France and Japan but losses to Canada and Australia.
On the other hand, the United States has looked unstoppable thus far, going undefeated, with their closest game being their opener against Belgium, in which half of their roster had yet to arrive due to the WNBA Finals.
2:30 p.m. AEST, Puerto Rico vs. Canada (12:30 am E.T.)
Puerto Rico, the tournament’s feel-good story thus far, advanced to the quarter-finals after an upset win over Korea.
But if they want the fairytale to continue, they’ll have to step up their game against a Canadian team that has only lost one game this season.
Canada, whose lone loss came against Australia, is a legitimate medal contender in this one, and Puerto Rico will have their work cut out for them.
6:00 p.m. AEST, China vs. France (4:00 a.m. E.T.)
This is a game with major blockbuster potential, with two of the most potent offenses vying to end the other’s season early.
If it weren’t for the United States, China would be the tournament’s favorite, with their only loss coming at the hands of the Americans after a string of four colossal victories.
France has been much less consistent, winning big against Australia and Japan but losing to Canada and Serbia, and they will need something special to stop China’s march to the Finals.
8:30 p.m. AEST, Australia vs. Belgium (6:30 a.m. E.T.)
Rounding out the quarter-finals is a game that Australia should easily win.
After a shaky start against France, the Opals would not lose another game, gritting their teeth and eventually finishing first in Group B.
Belgium went 3-2 in Group Phase play, with losses to the United States and China, but the loss of Emma Meesseman for the remainder of the tournament due to a calf injury is a devastating blow, and they will need to rally strongly to compete against an Opals team that is peaking at the right time.
How are the quarterfinals determined?
After the Group Phase, the first and second teams in each group are drawn at random against the third and fourth teams in the opposite group, so no team will play against a team they faced in the Group Phase.
Furthermore, the bracket is designed so that the top team in each group will not be able to face off until the Final, which is why the Opals winning Group B was such a big deal for their medal chances.
How to Attend the Women’s Basketball World Cup in Australia in 2022
ESPN will broadcast the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Australia.
ESPN is available on Foxtel, Fetch, and Kayo Sports in Australia.
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