11 - 19
June 2021
4 Destanni Mone Henderson (USA), 12 Dayshalee Salaman (PUR), Puerto Rico v USA
to read

FIBA Women's AmeriCup Quarter-Finals are set

SAN JUAN (Puerto Rico) - With group play complete, the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup will continue with the quarter-finals on Thursday featuring the eight squads fortunate enough to advance.

The defending champion, team USA, and Canada are the only unbeaten teams remaining, while Puerto Rico and Brazil look like potential dangerous underdogs to capture the crown.

Following what will be a break day on Wednesday, expect the competition to be at its highest peak during this single-elimination tournament.

Canada vs. Dominican Republic

After finishing runner-up in the 2019 AmeriCup, Canada is looking for the gold this time around. They are clearly one of the favorites after finishing group play unbeaten, including three blowout victories over the Virgin Islands, El Salvador and Colombia. Shaina Pellington and Nirra Fields provide a nice one-two scoring punch, while Kayla Alexander is effective and efficient in the painted area.

Even though Canada cruised in most of their matchups, they showed signs of potential cracks vs. Brazil by turning the ball over 19 times and struggling to contain Clarissa Dos Santos on the interior.

That’s what brings us to their opponent in the quarter-finals – the Dominican Republic. DOM finished second-to-last in group play in rebounding and don’t nearly have the size and talent of Brazil. If they are to keep this game close, they will need to score easily in transition off turnovers and find a way to get Alexander in foul trouble.

Puerto Rico vs. Colombia

The hometown team has shown dominance thanks to a 38-point blowout victory vs. Venezuela and a lead at the end of the first quarter vs. the heavily favorited United States. Jennifer O’Neill has been nearly unstoppable -- averaging 15.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3 assists per game -- while Pamela Rosado is nearly averaging a double-double in points and assists.

With home-court advantage on their side and the talent level dropping off significantly after the Big Four of USA, Canada, Brazil and Puerto Rico, Colombia will need a monster showing from both Yaneth Arias (14 PPG) and Manuela Rios (11.8 PPG) in order to take PR down.

United States vs. Virgin Islands

The United States is not only the clear-cut favorite to win this tournament after blowing out Canada in the 2019 AmeriCup final, but they are seeking their fourth-total title in this event. USA is deep, skilled and athletic. They feature a plethora of players who are capable of breaking out for 20 points, while consisting of length and chemistry on defense.

Aliyah Boston, Rhyne Howard and Nazahrah Hillmon-Baker are the three leaders in the scoring department, but Elissa Anne Cunane is highly critical in the rebounding department and Destanni Mone Henderson is the best playmaker on the roster. Add in Sedona Prince and Haley Jones, and this team is just on another level.
The Virgin Islands did defeat El Salvador in convincing fashion and Anisha Briana George (16 PPG) has had a special tournament, but they certainly have their work cut out for them.

Brazil vs. Venezuela

Brazil’s lone loss in group play came at the hands of Canada, however, it may have been the most competitive and intriguing game of group play. This squad has proven they are capable of a deep run behind Dos Santos, Taina Paixao and the efficient Kamilla Silva. Their offense is superb – averaging 85.3 points per game, which is third in the event – and their free-throw shooting, toughness on the glass and speed defensively can cause issues.

On the flip side, Venezuela is searching for balance and flexibility on offense outside of Daniela Wallen. They rank near the bottom of the AmeriCup in points per game and field goal percentage, so if they have any chance of pulling an upset, they need to force a hard-nosed defensive game that is played at a slower pace.