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13 Janelle Salaun (FRA)
28/06/2023
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Eight breakout performers from the FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2023

MUNICH (Germany) - The FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2023 provided the usual big stage for ballers to shine and a number took full advantage to post breakout tournament performances.

Here are just some of those that caught the eye.

Janelle Salaun - France 

While Salaun didn't rack up big numbers, the 21-year old showed that she can become a permanent fixture for some time to come. Her size, mobility, smart shot selection (and resulting efficiency) are all things that really shone through. Salaun finished with 7.6 points per game, only taking 25 shots in the competition and showed her shooting range. But this was all about her team play, including her defense and she will only get better. Yes, yet another bright young French star just arrived nicely on the big stage!

Virag Kiss - Hungary

The forward posted a very strong club season in 2022-23 and continued that into this competition as Hungary posted their best campaign at the event since the late 1990's. Getting out of a tricky group was the key and Kiss came alive in the crunch game against Serbia with her best ever display, made all the more impressive by the fact she had to cover for the absent Goree. She showed that with almost 15 points and 6 rebounds per game, she's a leader already for her country.

Yarden Garzon - Israel 

Highlighted as someone to watch before the tournament tipped off in Tel Aviv, Garzon lived up to expectation in terms of her own displays, even if Israel crashed badly. Winless and barely competitive, the big bright spot of their campaign was the emergence of the versatile Garzon. So much so, she was credited with being her team's MVP and she did lead the way in scoring with 11.3 points per game as well as in efficiency. Still balling in the college game Stateside, she has the capacity to grow more and become Israel's leader. 

Ajsa Sivka - Slovenia

This was always going to be a case of Slovenia having to throw Sivka in at the deep end of the pool due to their lack of depth and options. Despite the co-hosts finishing 0-3, she coped well and her 8 points, 6 rebounds and almost 4 assists per game was a healthy return. As one of the most exciting young guns around, the fast-tracking she experienced showed she can be a leading player on the continent in the future. First, she is off to the FIBA U18 Women's European Championship in Konya where she could dominate.

Marija Lekovic - Montenegro

This was a tournament when the skills and ability of Lekovic to be influential at the senior level received universal endorsement. Montenegro had a very encouraging tournament as they made the Quarter-Finals and only just missed out on an OQTs berth. The guard finished with a double-digit scoring return of more than 10 points per game, something which made her second top scorer on the team. Maybe the only thing that she didn't quite manage was to create as much as she may have liked, but still a very nice showing.

Olbis Andre - Italy

As Italy fell painfully short in the Qualification for the Quarter-Finals and headed for Rome rather than Ljubljana, their premature exit shouldn't mask the fact that Andre stepped up and posted something of a breakthrough competition. Finishing second in efficiency, scoring and rebounding with 11.8 points and 5.3 boards per game, she was clinical and that impressed most. Andre finished as one of the best shooters on display with almost 60 percent from the floor and in a more general sense, she needs to continue on an upward trajectory and show she can develop into a go-to player for Italy moving forward.

Sevgi Uzun - Turkey

A silver lining in the cloud of disappointment as Turkey crashed out at the Group Phase was the performance and production of their guard. Uzun delivered almost 14 points per outing and showed her creative side too, by passing the rock more than 4 times per game. She only just missed out on finishing as Turkey's highest scorer in the tournament and that was the same case for efficiency - something that speaks volumes about how she can and should be a leader in all future tournaments from this point onwards.

Natalie Stoupalova - Czech Republic

With the centerpiece of their team Julia Reisingerova ruled out with injury, Czech Republic needed someone to step in and close that void. Stoupalova did a great job doing this as she posted her best ever tournament display. With her team high 10.7 points per game and also leading the way in efficiency, she was an essential part of the young Czech Republic team winning an army of admirers for their basketball and never-say-die spirit. They made the Quarter-Finals and were just one basket away from both the Semi-Finals and a spot at the FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournaments. 

FIBA