Will home favorites France live up to top billing in Group D?
BOURGES (FIBA U16 Women's European Championship 2017) – France will be favorites to excel in Group D of the FIBA U16 Women's European Championship 2017 on home soil.
Player to Watch: They could be one of the best backcourt duos in the tournament if last year's form is anything to go by. Keep an eye out for the leadership and production of Zoe Wadoux and captain Marine Fathoux who excelled in 2016.
Outlook: France took the last podium step in Udine last year and the Semi-Final match-up was the only contest they lost. With a number of returnees and home support, maybe they will end their barren run of having not won a title or made the Final for an entire decade.
Players to Watch: Yuliya Vasilevich was brilliant last year in Udine with more than 14 points and 3 assists per game, with the captain likely to be a driving force. Also keep a watch out for Yana Haliakova under the bucket and on the wings.
Outlook: It was a landmark result for Belarus as they reached the Quarter-Finals for the first time and while a repeat will be tough, don't write them off as they are a very dangerous unit in any one-off game.
Players to Watch: Jete Nulle and Laura Meldere will bring a 1-2 punch between the backcourt and the paint with their experience from the previous edition. Nulle even played with the U20 side in Matosinhos last month and was one of the youngest players in the competition.
Outlook: Last year's campaign promised so much, but having fallen short of the Quarter-Finals which many had predicted was their destiny, Latvia will be keen to put this right with an improved campaign.
Players to Watch: Zeynup Gul was the leading rebounder in 2016 and she is back on the roster again, perhaps looking to increase her scoring prowess this time around. Also, Goksen Fitik is a do-it-all player and a coach's dream as she contributes in all facets of the game.
Outlook: With the U20 team having endured a drop to Division B, the pressure is on the other teams to lift the mood. Turkey were 9th last year and maybe this time they can get into the top 8.