17 - 27
June 2021
FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2021 Power Rankings, Volume 1
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FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2021 Power Rankings, Volume 1

STRASBOURG / VALENCIA (France/Spain) - The  FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2021 is now only a few weeks away and that means it's time for the first set of the all-important Power Rankings.

Taking into account the latest roster updates, perceived talent in each group and how each nation performed in the Qualifiers, here's the opening set of rankings. There will also be a second and third volume published ahead of the tournament.

#1 France 

Qualifiers Record: Qualified as co-hosts
FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2019: 2nd
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike: 5th

Everything looks to be in place to turn silver into gold for the first time in 12 years, after those four straight Final losses. All the main hitters have been named in the squad, including the likes of Sandrine Gruda, Marine Johannes and Alexia Chartereau. Even when there was the setback of not having Bria Hartley, France were able to draft in the brilliant Gabby Williams for the naturalized berth. Meanwhile fans will be allowed into the venue in Strasbourg too, which is fantastic and they already have two prep wins against Spain.

#2 Belgium BEL 

Qualifiers Record: 6-0 (1st in Group G)
FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2019: 5th (Quarter-Finals)
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike: 6th

Unbeaten in the Qualifiers and with no noticeable absences in their group, the competition for places looks intense and it's another reason why the Cats are a frontrunner. Emma Meesseman and Julie Allemand have been on fire as usual, while plenty of other Belgium players have posted good club seasons. As long as they don't have one eye on their pending Olympic debut and stay focused, there's no reason they can't make a first Women's EuroBasket Final.

Sonja Vasic will sign off  her Women's EuroBasket career this summer before heading to the Olympics in Tokyo 

#3 Serbia SRB 

Qualifiers Record: 4-0 (1st in Group E)
FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2019: 3rd 
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike: 8th

After a flawless campaign in the Qualifiers, this experienced group looks fully loaded and ready for another podium bid.  Their status as one of the leading nations had looked to be in peril because of a lack of depth in the backcourt, but the naturalized Yvonne Anderson solved that headache. Sonja Vasic will also want to leave this competition on a high,  while Nevena Jovanovic has the confidence of having just won the French Championship and both Jelena Brooks and Tina Krajisink conquered Hungary.

#4 Spain 

Qualifiers Record: Qualified as co-hosts
FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2019: 1st
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike: 3rd

It's seriously tough to assess Spain because they always get it done thanks to the super Lucas Mondelo. But the challenge of getting another title or medal has undoubtedly been impacted by the fact that a trio of experienced and influential performers in Marta Xargay, Laura Nicholls and Anna Cruz will be absent. But Spain do have 2017 MVP Alba Torrens back and young Raquel Carrera looks to be capable of a super debut. The two prep losses to France are disappointing but they did have key personnel missing.

#5 Slovenia SLO 

Qualifiers Record: 6-0 (1st in Group A)
FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2019: 10th (Qualification for the Quarter-Finals)
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike: 30th

Eva Lisec has said she's aiming to not only book a maiden Quarter-Finals place, but also a top six spot to facilitate a tilt at a first ever global event - the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2022. Those ambitions look realistic as Lisec is a towering figure in the frontcourt along with Shante Evans and the guard rotation is one of the best around with Nika Baric, Teja Oblak, Zala Friskovec and Annamaria Prezelj. They also went unbeaten in the Qualifiers. It's looking hugely positive.

Cecilia Zandalasini will continue to be the marquee player for Italy due to her scoring power and creative ability

#6 Italy ITA 

Qualifiers Record: 5-1 (2nd in Group D)
FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2019: 9th (Qualification For Quarter-Finals)
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike: 14th

The appointment of Lino Lardo has worked out so far with him masterminding four wins from four games since he took the reins after the first of the Qualifiers bubbles when Italy were 1-1 and under pressure. Cecilia Zandalasini will link up with him next year at Virtus Bologna and she remains the centerpiece. The stage is also set for Francesca Pan to join emerge as a leader on debut. A question does remain whether the relatively inexperienced frontcourt is up to the job.

#7 Russia RUS 

Qualifiers Record: 5-1 (1st in Group C)
FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2019: 8th (Quarter-Finals)
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike: 12th

Perhaps more than any other team, Russia relies on one player in the shape of Maria Vadeeva. A total beast in national team colors, she can be unstoppable. With Raisa Musina alongside her, plus the sharp-shooting of Anastasia Shillova and a rejuvenated Kseniia Levchenko pulling the strings, Russia can target a deep run. However, they could also suffer the agony of extending their global tournament freeze, having not featured at one since London 2012.

#8 Belarus BLR 

Qualifiers Record: 3-1 (1st in Group F)
FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2019: 13th (Group Phase)
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike: 11th

Eyebrows will be raised at Belarus occupying 8th position in these rankings, but remember, they are 11th ranked globally and if they have their full cast, they have some seriously experienced players. For example, Anastasiya Verameyenka, Katsiaryna Snytsina, Tatsiana Likhtarovich and Mariya Papova - plus WNBA and EuroLeague Women quality with Alex Bentley. They exited early last time, but caused issues for Belgium, Serbia and Russia.

Jelena Dubljevic returned for the last Qualifiers bubbles and will lead her Montenegro at the Final Round

#9 Montenegro MNE 

Qualifiers Record: 3-1 (2nd in Group B)
FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2019: 12th (Qualification For Quarter-Finals)
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike: 22nd

Things changed for Montenegro during the Qualifiers with that absorbing and precious success against Sweden, which led to an eye-catching sixth straight appearance at the event. They've not missed since they debuted in 2011 and their starting five of Bozica Mujovic, Jovana Pasic, Jelena Dubljevic, Milica Jovanovic and Markeisha Gatling looks very capable. Yes, their depth is suspect, but there is also little to fear against Greece, Italy and Serbia.

#10 Sweden SWE 

Qualifiers Record: 3-1 (1st in Group B)
FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2019: 6th (Quarter-Finals)
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike: 20th

While able to qualify for the event without marquee star Amanda Zahui, not having her at the Women's EuroBasket itself is a whole lot different.  After all, they lost to Montenegro in the Qualifiers and surely she would helped contain Jelena Dubljevic and potentially avoid the loss. The backcourt is nicely stacked, but there are question marks over the depth of the frontcourt and it's a big task ahead with Regan Magarity out injured too.

#11 Greece GRE 

Qualifiers Record: 4-2 (2nd in Group A)
FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2019: Did not qualify
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike: 13th

After their fairytale finish to the Qualifiers when they snatched the last remaining place, Greece were rewarded in the draw with a relatively balanced group. They will not exactly be favorites, but Italy, Montenegro and Serbia presents a good opportunity - if all the main performers are present. While asking them to repeat the heroics of their last appearance in 2017 when they made the Semi-Finals is fanciful, they can still dream big . Maria Fasoula, Artemis Spanou, Pinelopi Pavlopoulou and Angeliki Nikolopoulou will remain central to their prospects.

Iva Slonjsak had a great shooting performance during the Qualifiers and will need to have the hot-hand again for her country.

#12 Croatia CRO 

Qualifiers Record: 3-1 (1st in Group I)
FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2019: Did not qualify
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike: 31st

Back at the showpiece event having missed the last two editions, it's an exciting time for Croatia. Head coach Stipe Bralic has done a great job of getting his team to the tournament, helped by the free-scoring Ivana Dojkic, plus some nice performances by the likes of Iva Slonjsak and Ana-Marija Begic. The group they have been placed into could arguably have been worse, or better. They may struggle against France, but might feel confident of challenging Russia and especially Czech Republic.

#13 Czech Republic CZE 

Qualifiers Record: 5-1 (1st in Group D)
FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2019: 15th (Group Phase)
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike: 16th

Despite posting a sensational and perhaps surprise 5-1 record in the Qualifiers to top their group, the bounce of that excellent performance has been dampened a little by the news that backcourt general Lenka Bartakova is ruled out. With nobody looking ready to take the playmaking crown, it's a blow. The naturalized Kia Vaughn won't suit up at the other end of the floor either, so thank goodness for debutante Julia Reisingerova who could yet save the day. 

#14 Turkey TUR

Qualifiers Record: 2-2 (2nd in Group E)
FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2019: 14th (Group Phase)
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike: 7th

If you've been scrolling down looking for Turkey and were worried about how long it was taking, it simply reflects the harsh reality. After an early exit in 2019, the team only just scraped a ticket for this edition. That was with Isil Alben and Tilbe Senyurek, who have since been confirmed as not available due to injury. Throw in the fact Belgium and Slovenia await, with Bosnia and Herzegovina very tricky and it looks bleak - or at least compared to previous years.

Marica Gajic of Bosnia and Herzegovina missed some of the Qualifiers due to injury but will be back for the Women's EuroBasket

#15 Bosnia and Herzegovina BIH 

Qualifiers Record: 5-1 (2nd in Group C)
FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2019: Did not qualify
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike: 34th

It might be a harsh ranking to place Bosnia and Herzegovina as low as this. It feels like we're letting the air out of their celebratory balloon as they continue to revel in a return after a 22 year absence. The big question is whether Jonquel Jones or Courtney Hurt is handed the naturalized spot and that is a key decision. They do have a great homegrown player in Marica Gajic who should be back from injury, but the draw they were handed looks particularly challenging against Belgium, Slovenia and Turkey.

#16 Slovakia SVK 

Qualifiers Record: 2-2 (1st in Group H)
FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2019: Did not qualify
FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike: 24th

It was a thrilling and memorable end to the Qualifiers when Slovakia booked their place in dramatic fashion with that epic double-digit victory against Netherlands. However, the loss of one of their three top performers in Angelika Slamova means they look to be struggling for firepower heading into the tournament. A positive is that their group could have been worse and they'll relish facing Belarus and Sweden, while any underdog label won't bother them.

*The power rankings are entirely subjective and is in no way a true, accurate ranking systems. All comments are purely those of the author.

Paul Nilsen

Paul Nilsen

The FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2021 Power Rankings are put together by our panel, led by FIBA's women's basketball specialist Paul Nilsen. He eats, sleeps and breathes female hoops and is incredibly passionate about the promotion of the women's game at all levels. Paul uses an extensive network of players, coaches, clubs and Federations to shape his work and opinions.