Day 2 focus: Repeat of 2015 final; are Italy or Turkey the real deal?
PRAGUE / HRADEC KRALOVE (FIBA EuroBasket Women 2017) - With the first day of FIBA EuroBasket Women 2017 in the books, there are already plenty of teams hoping to maintain their good starts, while others look to bounce back from a tough opening.
Defending champions Serbia fall firmly in the latter category after defeat to Greece, and this may be the ideal time for France to avenge their defeats in the FIBA EuroBasket Women 2015 Final in Budapest, as well as in the bronze medal game at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
France hardly had things all their own way on the opening day, surviving a thriller against Slovenia that gave coach Valerie Garnier plenty to think about. Expect to see a few adjustments from the French team.
On the other side of the draw, there is a mouthwatering clash in prospect between Italy and Turkey, who both registered comfortable opening wins.
Giorgia Sottana and young gun Cecilia Zandalasini combined for 38 points in Italy's win over Belarus - will the Turkish defense manage to slow them down? Both teams have their eyes on qualification to the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup, so this game provides a great confidence-boosting opportunity for the victor.
Will it be all smiles again tomorrow for Italy?
Also look out for:
- The hosts Czech Republic need to bounce back against their old rivals Hungary, in what promises to be a raucous atmosphere in Hradec Kralove.
- Can Slovenia recover from the heartbreak of coming so close against France? They play a Greek team buoyed by the success of taking down Serbia.
- Will Alina Iagupova be able to cause Spain serious problems?
- A fascinating clash between young superstar bigs Maria Vadeeva and Emma Meesseman when Russia take on Belgium.
- Slovak Republic and Belarus will meet looking to get off the mark, as will Montenegro and Latvia.