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Will Russia continue their current feelgood factor in Group C?
SOPRON (FIBA U18 Women’s European Championship 2017) – We land in Group C of the FIBA U18 Women’s European Championship 2017 with Russia looking to add to their current feelgood factor at youth level.
Players to Watch: Kamilla Ogun is one of the most gifted players of her generation and has played in a FIBA Women's U19 World Championship Final, as well as making the All-Star Five when competing at U16 level. She is a class player, with further quality added by Anastasiia Komarova.
Outlook: The recent FIBA U19 Women's Basketball World Cup title success against USA will have rejuvenated spirits at all levels and Russia should be on the list of teams to beat as always. Even if not near the podium and repeating their 2016 bronze, anything other than the Quarter-Finals would be a surprise.
Players to Watch: Aleksandra Kroselj and Zala Friskovec have both already impressed this summer with standout contributions for Slovenia at U20 level. Krosel can make shots from the corner and carries herself well with the ball, while Friskovec is hard to keep down as she contributes in all areas.
Outlook: With players on board who carried their country to historic silver medal success last month at the FIBA 20 Women's European Championship, they are a nation on the rise and with a taste for medals now. That should get them punching hard in this competition.
Players to Watch: Lithuania will have two very competent ball handlers in the returning Klaudija Serkeviciute and also Dalia Donskichyte who was great in Udine last summer.
Outlook: With a solid mid-table position at U18 and a top six spot at the FIBA U16 Women's European Championship 2016, with many players moving up, it looks like a strong combination - on paper at least.
Players to Watch: Adela Smutna was excellent last year at the FIBA U17 Women's World Championship in Zaragoza and showed what she can do when she is in form. Tereza Vitulova is also a highly-rated forward who can make a difference too.
Outlook: They finished in something of a false position last year as they were defeated in the Round of 16 game and ended up fighting relegation, even though they won more games than they lost with a 4-3 record. Perhaps something similar this time - only they will be hoping to skip the part about battling to stay in the top flight.