10 November, 2019
08 February, 2021
What grade did your nation achieve in the November window?
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What grade did your nation achieve in the November window?

MUNICH (Germany) - With the second window of the FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2021 Qualifiers in the rear view mirror, we take a look at how each nation performed against expectation.

We've reviewed their respective performances, taken into account any mitigating circumstances and absences, sometimes getting underwhelmed and other times getting hugely excited by what we saw.

The outcome?

Every participating nation can now take their November window grade home to proudly show their folks - or maybe not.

Belgium BEL A

Current Record: 4-0 (1st in Group G)
November Window: v Portugal 59-49 ; v Ukraine 87-65 

Not only won twice to punch a ticket to the Final Round for a third consecutive edition, but showed they could do it without two big-hitters in Emma Meesseman and Kyara Linskens. The Cats have more depth than maybe even they realized, with Jana Raman impressive again and young Billie Massey stepping up. Philip Mestdagh has a nice selection headache for 2021.

Bosnia and Herzegovina BIH A-

Current Record: 3-1 (2nd in Group C)
November Window: v Estonia 92-54 ; v Russia 68-72

Yes, they did lose to Russia and top spot in the group, but you have to respect that they came so very close to completing an almost unthinkable double against their rivals. They had Russia on the ropes for a while and showed they are the real deal. Still in a great place to make the Final Round for the first time since the 1990s with Estonia and Switzerland left to play.

Bulgaria BUL B+

Current Record: 2-2 (3rd in Group A)
November Window: v Greece 66-73 ; v Iceland 74-53

Bulgaria didn't get the win they craved and hoped for against Greece, but they did push them hard in the first game of the window. Following that up with a crushing success against Iceland, they can be satisfied with some positive work. Borislava Hristova made the Top Performers list and they posted a window they can build on.

Croatia CRO B

Current Record: 3-1 (1st in Group I)
November Window: v North Macedonia 80-62 ; v Latvia 69-83

Moving to 3-0 by beating a tricky North Macedonia, the wheels came off spectacularly against Latvia when going 27 points behind. Stipe Bralic will be heartened by the character shown in a decent rescue mission which vitally, saved the head to head against the Latvians. In Ivana Dojkic and Ana-Marija Begic, they have two quality performers, but missed Marija Rezan. Things are still in their hands.

Czech Republic CZE B+

Current Record: 3-1 (1st in Group D)
November Window: v Denmark 84-69 ; v Italy 63-69

With the powerful Kia Vaughn absent, Czech Republic can be reasonably satisfied even if they were edged out by Italy. That's because they denied their rivals a bigger victory and so were able to stay top of the table - courtesy of their win in the first meeting. Katerina Elhotova was terrific in this window, while Lenka Bartakova arguably had her best ever game in an NT vest against Denmark. Likely now a win away from Final Round, Stefan Svitek will be confident of qualifying.

Denmark DEN A+

Current Record: 1-3 (3rd in Group D)
November Window: v Czech Republic 84-64 ; v Romania 91-74

It was a momentous window as Denmark landed their first win at this level since 1999! Emotional, exciting and a big step for the program, the triumph against Romania had wider significance. They did it in style, led by that mesmerizing 35 points from Maria Jespersen. But it was a team effort and the result shone the light on some young players. Jespersen stated that they deserved to be in the Qualifiers. We couldn't agree more. It was a special day for Danish basketball and neutrals enjoyed it too!

Estonia EST C+

Current Record: 0-4 (4th in Group C)
November Window: v Bosnia and Herzegovina 92-54; v Switzerland 60-63

While expectation was not exactly sky high, the manner of the Bosnia and Herzegovina loss was disappointing - as was the defeat to Switzerland. Estonia had led for most of the game but didn't find the composure to see it out and get a first win. It leaves a daunting February window against both Russia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and a likely 0-6 record. 

Finland FIN B+

Current Record: 1-3 (4th in Group G)
November Window: v Ukraine 84-66 ; v Portugal 70-62

Maybe they deserved an even higher rating because while they lost badly to Ukraine, they not only pulled out a win against Portugal which was the first of the campaign, they did so without one of their biggest talents in young Awak Kuier. This victory against Portugal was overdue and congratulations are due. They were scored A+ by the Belgian Cats by the way, who were sent to Final Round after the victory by the Susiladies!

Germany GER A

Current Record: 3-1 (2nd in Group I)
November Window: v Latvia 73-67; v North Macedonia 59-74

How are your nerves, Germany fans? Even for the neutrals, this was leaving them shredded. Exciting, hard to watch at times and always seemingly on a knife edge, everything turned out well in the end. Without headline star Satou Sabally, they showed guts against Latvia, with Leonie Fiebich pulling out a deal breaker in crunch time. Marie Guelich was the consistent factor and credit to new head coach Walt Hopkins for keeping his team's focus when they could have been bitten badly by North Macedonia.

Great Britain GBR A

Current Record: 2-1 (1st in Group F)
November Window: v Poland 77-49

The famous positive glasses were back on for Chema Buceta and his players. Missing three starters from the team that made the historic run to the Semi-Finals at the previous Final Round, this was a great team display and maybe a surprise margin of victory. It means they'll almost certainly qualify if they can beat Belarus in their last game of the campaign.

Greece GRE B+

Current Record: 2-2 (2nd in Group A)
November Window: v Bulgaria 73-66; v Slovenia 70-77

Two tough games, with a win and a loss perhaps predictable. So it's hard to be too critical or gushing in praise. Greece did well to dig out the win against a resurgent Bulgaria, while they almost punished Slovenia for getting into foul trouble. They leave the window still very much hoping they can finish 4-2 with Iceland and Bulgaria to come in February. We're thrilled the talented Maria Fasoula recovered from a worrying injury after she left the court on a stretcher and in a protective neck brace.

Hungary HUN C+

Current Record: 1-2 (2nd in Group H)
November Window: v Netherlands 63-68

A poor window; they gave themselves a mountain to climb with an awful first 15 minutes. They almost salvaged it with a second half comeback, but even then missed some open looks and lay-ups which may have saved the day. Having made the Quarter-Finals in 2019, they're now sweating on making the next edition after allowing Netherlands to complete a double over them.

Iceland ISL C+

Current Record: 0-4 (4th in Group A)
November Window: v Slovenia 58-94 ; v Bulgaria 74-53

This was a forgettable window due to huge offensive struggles across both games. Without their leader Helena Sverrisdottir they looked out of their depth and in need of some experience. They have some talented younger players, but there is lots of work to do. Sara Run Hinriksdottir did at least make the Top Performers for her display against Bulgaria so deserves credit.

Israel ISR C+

Current Record: 0-3 (3rd in Group B)
November Window: v Montenegro 66-73 ; v Sweden 90-51

Having not featured at the Final Round in almost a decade, it could be a long time until they return. Seriously short of height, they struggle to cope in the paint. They play with energy and shoot from all angles, but get destroyed under the basket. They battled well against Montenegro, but the gulf in quality was brutally exposed by Sweden, who weren't even at full strength.

Italy ITA A-

Current Record: 3-1 (2nd in Group D)
November Window: v Romania 90-68 ; v Czech Republic 69-63

An excellent window for new head coach Lino Lardo. They eased past Romania easily enough, then competed really well with Czech Republic to move onto the same 3-1 record. It would have been an A or even an A+ had they captured the head to head, but they just fell short. Nice to see Beatrice Attura move onto the radar with those 20 points in the game against the Czechs.

Latvia LAT B+

Current Record: 2-2 (3rd in Group I)
November Window: v Germany 67-73; v Croatia 83-69

Is the glass half empty or half full? Our grade probably means half full, even if it might feel to everyone involved with Latvian basketball half empty. Losing to Germany was a bitter pill to swallow and then up by 27 points against Croatia, they got the win, but didn't take the head to head. It's complicated.

Lithuania LTU B-

Current Record: 1-2 (3rd in Group E)
November Window: v Serbia 71-82

The dictionary definition of 'meh'. They came, they saw and sadly for them, they didn't conquer. Lithuania needed to play very well to really test Serbia. Trailing for most of the game, nobody was able to truly step up and be a difference-maker. At least qualification is in their hands as they get another shot at Serbia in February and could also land a knockout blow to Turkey.

Montenegro MNE B+

Current Record: 1-1 (2nd in Group B)
November Window: v Israel 73-66

When you only have one game and you are strong favorites, there is no room for error. The stakes were high for Montenegro and they dealt with an awkward first 30 minutes against their opponents to eventually ease away down the stretch. It could have been more convincing but they got the W that mattered. Milica Jovanovic and Markeisha Gatling deserve lots of credit.

Netherlands NED B

Current Record: 2-1 (1st in Group H)
November Window: v Slovakia 64-84 ; v Hungary 68-63

A total mixed bag for the Dutch side in this window. Super against Slovakia early, they lost the plot a little bit and were soundly beaten. They then got another jump start, this time against Hungary and almost contrived to lose that one as well. More experience in these situations will be welcome and will come for many of the younger players. They are still in a great position to qualify and we give them A+ for their celebratory dancing.

North Macedonia MKD B-

Current Record: 0-4 (4th in Group I)
November Window: v Croatia 62-80; v Germany 59-74

The presence of WNBA and EuroLeague Women star DeWanna Bonner was huge and while her eventual numbers were big, she didn't have her best shooting nights. Naturally it's tough in the circumstances and North Macedonia can be proud that they led Germany at the half and had them struggling before running out of fuel. Props to Andzelika Mitrasinovik, who was excellent.

Poland POL C

Current Record: 0-2 (3rd in Group F)
November Window: v Great Britain 49-77

Having lost to Great Britain in a relatively close game last November, Poland had hopes they could maybe sneak past their opponents this time - especially as they had a trio of top stars missing. However, Poland capitulated and suffered arguably their worst loss in a long time. It laid bare the lack of depth and options at present. Even if they have a good coach in Maros Kovacik, the transition and presence of some good young players at this level really can't come quickly enough.

Portugal POR C+

Current Record: 1-3 (3rd in Group G)
November Window: v Belgium 49-59; v Finland 62-70

It is beginning to feel like it is never going to happen for Portugal and the momentum they crave is always ebbing away. Beating Belgium was never that likely and they did a good job defensively. But despite a bright start against Finland, they couldn't follow up the win from the first window last November and it was a defeat which looks quite tough to take. 

Romania ROU D

Current Record: 1-3 (4th in Group D)
November Window: v Italy 68-90 ; v Denmark 74-91

A nightmare window. They faded against Italy and were eventually blown away, while losing to Denmark should hurt for multiple reasons. Yes, it was their opponents first win since the 1990s, but Romania actually started very well and were up by double-figures. That makes it so painful to collapse in the way that they did and lose by 17 points. Yes, they didn't have star player Ashley Walker and had some other absences, but then again, Denmark had only one professional player on their roster.

Russia RUS A

Current Record: 3-1 (1st in Group C)
November Window: v Estonia 98-42 ; v Bosnia and Herzegovina 72-68

They reacted well under immense pressure, having lost the first meeting with Bosnia and Herzegovina and then going down by double-digits in this one. The momentum-shifting triple by Anastasiia Shilova to end the second quarter was the spark. They showed composure to avoid a disastrous double-defeat to take the top spot in the group, with Raisa Musina particularly excellent.

Serbia SRB A-

Current Record: 4-0 (1st in Group E)
November Window: v Lithuania 82-71 ; v Turkey 83-76

They showed amazing heart to follow up the win against Lithuania with that epic double overtime success against Turkey. They looked beaten at key points, but showed resilience to recover. Sonja Vasic made big plays to show why she is a deal-breaker in the clutch, while the addition of Yvonne Anderson looks to be a masterstroke in the mould of their former naturalized pick Danielle Page, who famously helped them win their historic first FIBA Women's EuroBasket title back in 2015.

Slovakia SVK A+

Current Record: 1-1 (3rd in Group H)
November Window: v Netherlands 84-64

Hugely impressive win as an 0-2 record would have left their hopes hanging by a thread. Under huge pressure against the Dutch when trailing early, they recovered to rack up a super victory. Barbora Balintova showed what a leader she is and Sabina Oroszova continued her rich vein of form from the first window. They also did it without star baller Zofia Hruscakova.

Slovenia SLO A

Current Record: 4-0 (1st in Group A)
November Window: v Iceland 94-58; v Greece 77-70 

Breezing past Iceland as expected, the Greece game proved problematic without the extra quality of the absent Nika Baric. With foul trouble mounting, they just got over the line in a team effort. You just can't argue with the 4-0 record which has taken them to the edge of qualification again. The best thing? They are good enough to win ugly now and will keep getting better.

Sweden SWE A

Current Record: 3-0 (1st in Group B)
November Window: v Israel 90-51

A completely dominant win that leaves Sweden with one foot and four toes in the Final Round. Without a wealth of big-hitters including Regan Magarity, Amanda Zahui and Kalis Loyd, the players who were present showed that Sweden have got depth. Frida Eldebrink was sensational and the strong first-half allowed head coach Marco Crespi to give valuable minutes to some younger players which was a real bonus and an additional positive. A job well done by everyone.

Switzerland SUI A-

Current Record: 2-2 (3rd in Group C)
November Window: v Russia 42-98 ; v Estonia 63-60

This was a big window for Switzerland who had an absolute horror show in their opener against Russia and were swamped completely. They also went down in the crunch game against Estonia and looked to be drifting towards double defeat. But showing great strength of mind, they fought back and managed to take the win and complete the double over their rivals. 

Turkey TUR B+

Current Record: 1-2 (2nd in Group E)
November Window: v Serbia 76-83

It was a heart-breaker as they fell in that double-overtime classic against Serbia. So why do they still get a B+? Well, rumors of a rapid demise may be premature. Helped by having legendary Isil Alben back, they could, and maybe should have won. Some younger players showed they can compete at this level and they stayed competitive and intense. Sadly, they could now miss out on Final Round for the first time in almost 20 years, but in this window at least, they could barely have done more.

Ukraine UKR B-

Current Record: 2-2 (2nd in Group G)
November Window: v Finland 84-66; v Belgium 65-87

The script was all too familiar as Alina Iagupova posted another insane line to take Top Performer honors on Gameday 3 against Finland. But the defeat to a short-handed Belgium was under-par as Ukraine ran out of gas. They're still likely to make it to Final Round again, but you have to question what the future hold with all eggs in the Iagupova basket - as brilliant as she is.

*The gradings are entirely subjective. All comments are purely those of the author.

Paul Nilsen

Paul Nilsen

The FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2021 Qualifiers 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.