17 - 27
June 2021
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Reasons France can make it fifth time lucky, reasons Serbia can secure second title

VALENCIA (Spain) - France are looking to avoid a fifth silver medal in a row at the FIBA Women's EuroBasket, when they step out against Serbia in Sunday's Final, while they will also be looking for revenge for their loss six years ago.

Serbia enjoyed their greatest night in 2015 when they were crowned champions for the very first time and it was the second of France's four straight Final losses. But who is going to be clutching the precious silverware at this edition as the only two unbeaten teams in the competition go head to head?

Reasons France can make it fifth time lucky

1. Because it's time

Those were the words of head coach Valerie Garnier when asked about her thoughts on this staggering fifth Final appearance in a row. Another silver almost seems unthinkable, even if it would highlight some incredible consistency if that is how things panned out. It looks like this is the time for France. They are playing well defensively and offensively, they look stacked and they look like a champion in waiting. It's basically their title if they want it enough and are mentally ready.

2. Because their veteran duo will get it done

The key to France actually sealing the deal could be the know-how of experienced frontcourt duo Endy Miyem and Sandrine Gruda. The former posted her best ever points tally in the Semi-Finals meeting with Belarus and then spoke of the team needing to still improve and how determined she is to get gold. When you combine this with the fact France also has the legendary Sandrine Gruda to call upon, and especially in the clutch moments, this classy veteran duo has everything needed to steer their team to success.

3. Because they're the whole package 

Is there anything that France doesn't have? They go deeper than any other team in the tournament and that has been on of the reasons they have made it back to the title game. They have multiple players covering multiple positions. They have quality and are a roster dripping with EuroLeague Women and EuroCup Women talent. Their rotation can effectively be as long as Coach Garnier needs it and those choices she has at her disposal are unrivaled.

Reasons Serbia can secure a second title

1. Sonja Vasic

The experienced forward proved the catalyst for Serbia's first title in 2015 when it coincided with her return to national team duties after a long hiatus from international action. Now, at what looks like being her last edition of the FIBA Women's EuroBasket, she is set to go out in a blaze of glory. She has already secured at least a silver medal, which would complete the podium set from gold in 2015 and bronze two years ago. However the way she is playing and the fact that she is in the All-Star Five and MVP races speaks volumes. Could she put the team on her shoulders one more time for another great performance?

2. Defensive pressure

It's a big question as to whether Serbia will have enough energy in the tank to continue their relentless defensive pressure that has made life so difficult for the teams they have played so far. However, if they do find that energy and their extensive rotation contributions, they can squeeze France tight and apply the kind of pressure on the French guards in particular, that their opponents have not faced so far.

3. Déjà vu from 2015

While France could well use their experience of that 2015 Final loss as revenge or a motivating factor, it is maybe more likely that Serbia's leading players will use that experience of driving their team to that historical maiden title as fuel for a second crown. The similarities are striking. Six years ago, France were overwhelming favorites as they are now. Serbia had momentum in 2015 - as they do now.