Will Spain retain their coveted title in Bourges?
BOURGES (FIBA U16 Women's European Championship 2017) – We check in with Group A of the FIBA U16 Women's European Championship 2017 which contains defending champions, Spain.
Players to Watch: Raquel Carrera is the only returnee from the gold-medal winning team in Udine last summer and so her experience will be vital. She is also a leader on the floor, while good things are being said about the free-scoring Marta Garcia.
Outlook: With a rich tradition at all levels, the holders won't want to give up their crown and should be as strong as always. Indeed, even with a virtually whole new roster, they will be runaway favorites if their impressive preparation results are anything to go by.
Players to Watch: Back from the 2016 edition, look out for Saule Kaupyte and Brigita Sinickaite. The former had a lot of minutes in 2016, while the latter has been in hot-form during the build-up.
Outlook: Following up on last year's solid sixth-place finish will be tricky but they have some good returnees and excelled in the Baltic Cup, so hopes of another positive campaign are high.
Player to Watch: The distinctive figure of forward Kseniia Kozlova will drop the anchor in the paint.
Outlook: Last time out, Russia finished in the unusual position of a lowly 11th as they followed up on 8th in 2015. Both have come off the back of being champions in 2014, so the first mission is to stop a slide and get back to challenging again.
Players to Watch: Weronika Hipp has been bringing it during the preparation games and making some big noises all this calendar year. She will form a backcourt partnership with Zuzanna Kulinska.
Outlook: Tough to predict as they were promoted from Division B last summer with Hipp and Kulinska the only players coming back and so much will hinge on the quality of their new intake.