Who will be champion? Who for bronze? Last day preview and vote
SYDNEY (Australia) - It's time for the medals to be handed out at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2022 in Sydney as we look forward to the Final and the Third Place Game.
Who is going to win it all, who will grab a bronze and who is going to miss out? You can check out the schedule and times of both games here and vote for a winner below each of our previews.
Final - China v USA
Xu Han and A'Ja Wilson are both MVP candidates
Tournament Record: USA are a flawless 7-0 having now won 29 consecutive games in the competition and that included beating China. Their opponents have only lost that single outing since they arrived in Sydney and are 6-1 heading into this title matchup.
Head to Head: This is the second time the teams have met in this edition. USA won the Group A clash by 77-63. This will be the seventh time they have met at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup and USA have won all six previous games. Addiitonally, China have always lost by double-digits, the closest ever contest being the first meeting in 1983 when USA won 101-91.
Key Match Up: Xu Han's incredible Semi-Finals performance was something that USA will not want her to repeat. She had a record-equalling five blocks against Australia and claimed a super double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds. A power at both ends of the court, it will be interesting to see her going up against USA star A'Ja Wilson who also claimed a double-double in the Semi-Finals.
A'ja Wilson has shown her class throughout the tournament and is likely to be vital in trying to stop China center Xu Han
Number Crunching: USA score a massive 26.3 points from turnovers compared to just 16.3 for China.
Did You Know?
- The USA will play their 9th final at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup and no other team has managed to reach that stage more than three times.
- China have qualified for their second Final in the competition, also reaching the title game in 1994 which curiously, was also held in Sydney.
- This USA's 83-43 victory against Canda was the biggest ever win for a team in a FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup Semi-Final.
- The USA made eight blocks against Canada, the best tally for a team in a FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup Semi-Final game in the 21st century and also USA’s best tally since making 9 blocks against China in 2014.
- China have now won their last 13 games in which they were leading at half-time in the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup. Their six wins this year are a joint-high for them in a single tournament, after also winning six in 1983
- A'Ja Wilson was the first USA player to post a double-double in a Semi-Final since Lisa Leslie in 2002 who had 24 points and 13 boards against Australia.
- Breanna Stewart hit four triples for the USA in the Semi-Finals and had never previously made more than two.
In Summary: As always, USA will be massive favorites and their defense in particular looks to be special. Seriously special. Even if something looks like breaking down, their scrambling has been great. Breanna Stewart has also spoken about how the team has made great strides on offense, so both ends they have the power to ride their way to yet another title. But, China are tough and have already put in a solid performance despite the loss in the Group Phase, The biggest challenge for China may be the continued absence of Meng Li if she is still suffering from an illness, plus the ongoing inability of Yueru Li to find the red-hot form from 2021.
Third Place Game - Australia v Canada
Tournament Record: Both teams are 5-2 for the competition, with Australia losing on opening night to France and then falling to China in the Semi-Finals. Meanwhile Canada lost 75-72 to Australia in the Group Stage and were beaten by the USA in the Semi-Finals.
Head to Head: These teams have met 9 times before in this competition, with Australia winning 6 of them, including that Group game. They have never previously played each other in any tournament past the Quarter-Final stage.
Key Match Ups: Kia Nurse had a strong game and her best of the tournament in the Quarter-Finals, so maybe Canada can look to her to make a strong scoring contirbution again in this last game. She might go up against Sami Whitcomb who has yet to really find her range for the Opals. Now would be a great time to do that.
Kia Nurse had her best game in the Quarter-Finals against Puerto Rico and may be a factor in this Third Place Game.
Number Crunching: Both teams are so well matched across almost all statistical categories with the exception of bench scoring, with Australia getting 31.6 compared to just 22.3 points for Canada.
Did You Know?
- Canada’s 43 points against USA was the lowest tally for a team in a FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup Semi-Final and their own second-lowest tally in the competition after they scored 41 v Brazil in 2006.
- In that Semi-Finals outing, Canada ended a FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup game with no player having scored 10 plus points for only the 4th time in their history.
- This is the second time that Australia have hosted a FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup and have been eliminated by China in the Semi-Finals. Both games were thrillers and ended in 1 and 2 point losses respectively.
- In the Semi-Finals against China, Australia grabbed 20 or more offensive rebounds for only the third time in a FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup game over the last 30 years.
In Summary: Australia put a lot of energy into that classic encounter with China and a lot could depend how much physical and emotional energy they have left in the tank. However, Canada might have had their confidence rocked by that huge loss to the USA, so both teams enter a crunch battle with big questions marks. From a neutral fan perspective, it would be great if they served up a similarly exciting and intense game as their meeting in the Group Phase.