Another full slate of games is going on today in the Czech Republic with the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women entering game three of pool play.
Team Canada and Team Japan managed to turn in the first surprises of the tournament yesterday in overcoming China and Argentina, respectively, but otherwise it seems like business as usual. As this is being written, the Americans are holding a double-digit lead against heretofore undefeated France, presumably leaving Spain alone with the triple-headed monster of USA, Russia and Australia among the lossless teams.
If FIBA’s rankings for the men’s side seemed more than a little bizarre (BiE’s still trying to figure out how Argentina maintained a no. 1 ranking when the USA was the reigning Olympic champion and Spain the defending FIBA Worlds titleholder, but it’s academic now), at least the story of international women’s basketball is well-told by the numbers. Here’s what the top of FIBA’s table “Women’s Ranking after 2009 FIBA Americas Championship for Women” looks like:
1. USA: 1140.0
2. Russia: 921.0
3. Australia: 902.0
4. Brazil: 456.0
5. Spain: 455.0
6. Czech Republic: 334.0
7. China: 318.0
8. France: 286.0…
You get the picture. And it’s accurate. The top three women’s sides are indeed that much better than the rest of the world and this edition of the FIBA Worlds for Women is certainly bearing it out. So far, the Americans have outscored the opposition 265-126 through 11 quarters; the ladies of Oz have won their first three by an average score of 82-58, while the Russians are playing to an average score of 73-58.
All the hype ‘Stateside since this tournament began has been on the revenge Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird and the USA women plan to exact for the “embarrassing” loss handed them by Russia in the 2006 Worlds – and this time, the hype may be right with few other stories seemingly worth covering.
Among the teams with their tournament on the line today are Greece and Senegal who will face off in one of the last games of the day, looking for the one win that will carry them into the Eighth Final round. Belarus and Canada will likely fight for second place in Group A and the Czech Republic and Japan will do the same in Group D.
BallinEurope’s been watching some of the action, but sure wouldn’t anyone for not tuning in for every second. And while it seems the only question may be who lands where on the podium when the tournament’s all over, the “Eighth Final” round should be entertaining at least.
You can see every game LIVE from the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women, plus plenty of interviews and features at FIBATV.com.