Written by: Brittany Tougher
There is no doubt that our Canadian Senior Women’s National Team has potential to have some real success at the FIBA World Championships for Women taking place in Turkey. In fact, they are pretty good already. But with success, there is always room for improvement, especially with such a young squad. Veterans like Shona Thorburn and Kim Gaucher who have experienced high level ball before, are there to help these young ladies like Kia Nurse and Nirra Fields throughout their difficult battle in the FIBA Worlds.
Earlier in the tournament the young, yet talented team suffered a loss to host Turkey(55-44) in what was a pretty close match as they failed to fight back from a deficit to the strong European squad in the second half of the game. Scoring opportunities were missed, and the roaring of the home crowd was tough to overcome. An even closer loss happened during a hard-fought match as the Canadian girls faced 2012 Olympic silver medalists, France, in a tight-scoring game(63-59).
The game was close, which is a good sign as to where the team stands in comparison to the higher ranked teams such as France. As the women demonstrated great execution and team work on Wednesday’s huge quarter-finals qualifying win against Czech Republic(91-71), it is obvious that the team has the potential to do well in the rest of the tournament, provided they play up to their potential and get some breaks along the way. Currently, Canada is ranked 9th in the FIBA world rankings.
The question is however; could these losses have been avoided? One thing missing was a prominent post player. A quality that is seen in WNBA player and former Team Canada player, Kayla Alexander. The apparent reason for Alexander not making the cut was due to the lack of time she could dedicate to the team’s pre-tournament training and practice schedule. The final decision was down to her not having enough time to adjust to the team’s formation and style of play. To some extent, I agree with this. However, in the two losses that the team suffered, it is evident they struggled in the post where a presence like Alexander would have helped tremendously.
On a positive note, the women’s record is now 2-2. As our women go on to the quarter-finals of the FIBA World Championship for Women, we hope all their skill and experience will come together and bring home a medal. Good luck to our girls!