Who will make the Semi-Finals? Check out our ultimate preview and vote
SYDNEY (Australia) - A thrilling Quarter-Finals day beckons at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup as eight nations battle it out to make the last four as the race towards the podium intensifies.
But who is going to get it done and who will fall short? Here's everything you need to know about each Quarter-Finals matchup and you have the chance to vote below and let us know who is going to win each game. You can also check out the full schedule and times of games HERE.
USA v Serbia
Tournament Record: USA are unbeaten with a 5-0 record having now won 27 straight games in the competition, while Serbia are 3-2 having lost to Canada and Australia.
Head to Head: Serbia met USA on their FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup debut in 2014, losing 94-74. They also lost to USA 110-84 at the Rio Olympics and most notably last year at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the Semi-Finals, going down 79-59.
Key Match Up: Guards Kelsey Plum and Yvonne Anderson both made the Gameday 5 Top Performers and will be vital for their respective teams. Plum arrived late, but is now making the USA tick in a big way. Anderson needs to control the tempo for her team to stop the slick USA continuing to run and gun, which has been a basis to blow almost everyone away.
Can Serbia's Yvonne Anderson help Serbia to slow down the tempo and make it more of a half-court game?
Number Crunching: USA are brutal in punishing errors and capitalizing on them. They have a staggering 30.4 points per game from turnovers which is more than twice the number for Serbia. Meanwhile they score three times as many fast break points with 24.4. Those are not good signs when you consider Serbia turns the ball over more than any other team left in the competition.
Did You Know? Serbian center Tina Krajisnik grabbed 13 rebounds in her last game, against France, the most ever for any Serbian player in the competition. The USA have never lost a FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup Quarter-Final game since they were introduced in 1998, winning their six games at that stage by an average margin of 36 points
In Summary: Meeting USA feels like a harsh reward for Serbia and the job their head coach Marina Maljkovic has done in getting a new look team to the Quarter-Finals against the expectation of many, who predicted a struggle. USA will be huge favorites because of their momentum and depth. Can Serbia slow down the juggernaut and how long can they stay competitive in this game for?
Puerto Rico v Canada
Tournament Record: Puerto Rico had never won a game on arrival and lost their first ever game by 50 points back in 2018. Now they don't just have a first ever victory to be proud of, they have two. Their 2-3 record in the Group Phase was enough to get them to the Quarter-Finals for the first time. Meanwhile Canada were excellent and finished 4-1, only losing a tight one with Australia.
Head to Head: The teams have never met at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup but have met regularly at Continental level. Canada had won every previous meeting up until the Semi-Finals of the FIBA Women's AmeriCup last year when Puerto Rico took a shock 65-61 success.
Key Match Ups: Arella Guirantes has had an awesome tournament for Puerto Rico and has arguably been the Group A MVP of the Group Phase. It will be interesting to see who she goes up against in the backcourt and who Canada head coach Victor Lapena decides to defend her - likely Shay Colley or Nirra Fields. That decision and subsequent duel will be a crunch one.
Arella Guirantes has not just been a star for Puerto Rico, she has been one of the stars of the entire tournament
Number Crunching: Puerto Rico will have to put a huge emphasis on boxing out, since Canada love to score second chance points and have sunk 14 per game compared to just 5 for their opponents.
Did You Know? This will be Canada’s third appearance in a FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup Quarter-Final, each of those happening since 2014. They lost their previous two games at that stage, scoring fewer than 55 points in each of those games and losing by margins greater than 10 points
In Summary: Canada have looked rejuvenated and full of promise and purpose under Coach Lapena, but Puerto Rico have also looked the same under Coach Batista. Puerto Rico are big underdogs, yet they have reasons to be hopeful they can cause a surprise with the momentum they have. They might find it tough against a physical Canada team, so Mya Hollingshed and Isalys Quinones have a big job to do in the paint to stand up. A good start for Puerto Rico would really make things interesting.
China v France
Tournament Record: China finished 4-1 in the Group Phase after only losing to the USA, while France had a roller-coaster in Group B and racked up a 3-2 record, losing to Canada and Serbia.
Head to Head: They've played twice before at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup, with China winning a thriller 66-64 in 2006 and France taking the 81-67 victory at the last edition in Tenerife four years ago. However interestingly, both nations met in their quest to make it to Sydney, with China taking a convincing 103-70 win at the Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade back in February.
Key Match Ups: Iliana Rupert has had one outstanding game against Japan and will need to come up with something similar as she tries to help France to nullify the massive threat caused by the rotation of twin towers Xu Han and Yueru Li. They will be looking to dominate inside and it is likely that young Rupert will be left to try and fight that battle under the basket for France more than anyone else on her team.
Iliana Rupert has a huge role to play under the hoop in trying to stop Xu Han and Yueru Li
Number Crunching: China has more than double the number of assists per game than France with 28. Meanwhile rather scarily for France, they only get 6 offensive rebounds per game. China also have to be stopped in transition since they average 17.2 fast break points compared to just 6.2 for France.
Did You Know? China have lost each of their previous three quarter-final games played at the FIBA Women's Basketball Women’s World Cup, all of them by margins greater than 15 points. Meanwhile France will play in the Quarter-Finals for the sixth time, a joint-high for a European team (with Spain). They have lost in all their previous five appearances at this stage, failing to score more than 72 points in each of those games.
In Summary: China's inside-outside balance has looked really slick like usual and they are full of energy and play tall. That poses a big challenge for this France team who have not exactly coped with physicality well. The relatively recent meeting when China blew France away may be a factor mentally for Les Bleues, although despite China being clear favorites, France are a win away from the Semi-Finals and they probably would have taken that on the eve of the competition when losing star baller, Marine Johannes.
Belgium v Australia
Tournament Record: Australia topped the so-called 'Group of Death' 4-1, with their only loss coming on opening night against France. Meanwhile Belgium were 2-2 after losing to USA and China, but beating Bosnia and Herzegovina and Puerto Rico.
Head to Head: This is the first meeting in the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup between the teams and indeed, these nations have only met once before on the international stage. That came last year at the Tokyo Olympics when Belgium won 85-70 in the Group Phase.
Key Match Ups: Kyara Linskens has been the true star for Belgium in this competition and shown herself to be a real powerhouse, but the center has quite the task against a locked and loaded Opals' frontcourt selection It will be interesting to see if she can guard the quick footed and mobile Ezi Magbegor and both players will be vital for their respective teams.
Kyara Linskens has had a super tournament for the Cats, but her biggest test is maybe yet to come
Number Crunching: The Opals are making 40 percent from the perimeter which Belgium will have to be mindful of. However, Australia are not exactly devastating in transition and average a meagre 5 fast break points.
Did You Know? Australia are the two teams, alongside the USA, to have been in all the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup Quarter-Finals since they have been introduced in 1998; they won five of their previous six appearances at that stage, only losing to Czech Republic in 2010. The Opals have won 17 of their last 19 FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup games against European teams.
In Summary: Belgium have lost their megastar centerpiece Emma Meesseman to injury and that void is too big to fill on paper. The Cats are going to have to shoot the lights out and play at their highest gear without her to repeat their run to the Semi-Finals on debut in 2018. It feels like this is the Opals' to lose as they have the big support of the home crowd, four wins in a row behind them and all the reasons to believe they can get to the podium. If they avoid complacency, play their best defense and with intensity, they will fancy their chances of using their rotations to break down Belgium and ease to victory. But will the Cats tear up that script?