Top performers from group stage of FIBA U16 Americas Women's Championship
GUANAJAUTO (Mexico) - Through group play, all eight teams at the FIBA U16 Americas Women’s Championship have shown off their talents. Whether it be their scoring prowess, their defensive edge or their leadership, many players have separated themselves from the pack to try and help their team podium.
Here are four players who made a name for themselves during the group stage and will be ones to watch out for in the Quarter-Finals.
Cassandre Prosper, Canada
Tied for leading the tournament in scoring, Prosper had back to back dynamic performances to help Canada spring to a 2-0 record before their game against Puerto Rico, recording identical stat lines of 24 points and 9 rebounds. One of the most dynamic two-way players in the tournament, Prosper shows consistency from the floor as well as on the boards.
The small forward also still managed to tally 11 points and 6 rebounds against Puerto Rico, their toughest opponent in Group A, and shot over 50 percent from two-point range through the group stage. Prosper also averaged four steals a game, using her wingspan on the defensive end to help Canada on the fast break to increase their lead.
Juju Watkins, USA
Team USA is another stacked with talent, with Watkins tallying 42 points in just two games, and added another 17 against Argentina to bring her tournament total to 59 points through the group stage, tied for the most with Prosper. A resilient shooter, Watkins was yet to make a three-pointer through her first two games and persisted to shoot over 60 percent from beyond the arc against Argentina.
While the guard is still gritty on the boards, averaging 5 rebounds a game, it is Watkins’ defense that also separates her from the back, averaging 6 steals a game and tallying 10 in USA’s win over Chile. Despite getting four fouls against Mexico, an anomaly for Watkins, she plays a pretty clean game defensively that frustrates the opponent and forces turnovers that benefit the USA fast break.
Ana Passos Alves Da Silva, Brazil
Averaging a double-double throughout the tournament, it’s no secret that Da Silva will be one to watch as Argentina takes on Brazil in the Quarter-Final round. Scoring 10 points and 7 rebounds against a tough Canada defense, Da Silva had a breakout game against Puerto Rico where she recorded a monster stat line of 23 points and 22 rebounds including 13 rebounds for second chance points.
While Da Silva, a power forward, is rarely seen beyond the arc, her shooting from the floor is still over 41 percent, and she finished off the group stage with a 10-point, 16 rebound performance against Costa Rica where she once again dominated the offensive glass with 9 rebounds. Da Silva also has elite court vision for a big, recording 7 assists through Brazil’s final two group play games.
Franchesca Torres, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico secured a second-place finish in group play thanks to a well-rounded squad who evenly managed the load each game, but Torres has not only contributed to overall team success, but also seen growth in her own performance with each game as the tournament progresses. Finding her rhythm on the offensive glass after already being a solid defender, Torres has averaged 5.3 rebounds per game with her rebounds split evenly on both ends of the court against Canada.
On top of being able to shoot three-pointers and going 100 percent from the free throw line in her first game, Torres scored 9 of her total 17 points against Brazil from beyond the arc, and isn’t afraid to shoot the ball taking 20 total shots in that game and taking at least 10 per game all tournament. Her persistence on offense also comes with ability to pass the ball and get the best shot available, tallying two games with 4 or more assists during the group phase of the competition.