15 - 25
June 2023
What grade did each nation receive for their FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2023 campaign?
to read

What grade did each nation receive for their FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2023 campaign?

MUNICH (Germany) - With the dust beginning to settle on the FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2023, it's time to take a look at how each nation performed against expectations.

The respective displays and results of each country have been reviewed, with any mitigating circumstances taken into account and that has led to the following grades. 

Belgium BEL A+

Tournament Record: 6-0

They did it. Together. The dream come true. With a brilliant leader and TISSOT MVP in Emma Meesseman, they always had a great shot, but this was such a collective effort to make history. The display of Kyara Linskens was typical of that as she erupted in the Final. Meanwhile, Julie Allemand and Julie Vanloo were excellent in the backcourt and deserved TISSOT All-Star Five berths. Coach Rachid Meziane and his staff deserve all the plaudits too. And remember, it was not just the nice basketball Belgium played. The Cats had a serious defensive edge to them too. To be crowned champions and most importantly get an A+ in our rankings, you need to do it at both ends!

Czech Republic CZE

Tournament Record: 3-3

What a tournament for this young team as they checked into 'Heartbreak Hotel' not once, but twice in dramatic circumstances. They missed out on a place in the Semi-Finals by just one missed shot, they missed out on the OQT's by one basket and that came after Germany had forced overtime with that bucket with just 0.4 seconds left. No team showed as much heart or character. Every time you thought the Czechs were down and out, they came back. The number of young fearless players means the future is bright and if there was a podium for coaches, Romana Ptackova would be stood on it. A stunning job with no standout stars and so much inexperience. 

France FRA B+

Tournament Record: 5-1

France may have been unbeaten in the Group Phase, but it was a seriously difficult watch in terms of entertainment levels. They labored badly offensively, even if their defense was great. Maybe to be expected without big-hitters like Marine Johannes and Gabby Williams. But as the tournament unfolded, it felt like the team grew nicely - despite Iliana Rupert missing some court time with injury. Sandrine Gruda led so well and that was very impressive, as was Janelle Salaun breaking out. Taking a bronze medal with the fine win against Hungary saw them finish on a high and overall it was a nice job without being spectacular, as their silver streak came to an end.

Germany GER B+
Tournament Record: 4-3

You have to hand it for Germany for returning after 12 years and reaching the Quarter-Finals and then the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments. But did any team ride their luck as much? They could and probably should have lost to Great Britain and that Czech Republic game to make it to the OQT's? Incredible. But they say you make your own luck and nobody can take away from that shot by Leonie Fiebich in regulation with 0.4 seconds remaining or the 'four point play' by Svenja Brunckhorts in overtime. They came out with a B+ and there's more to come. Props to Marie Guelich and Fiebich, plus a good start for Coach Thomaidis in her first tournament.

Great Britain GBR B

Tournament Record: 1-3

It was an up and down experience for Great Britain in Ljubljana. They were highly competitive but arguably too under cooked in preparation - especially with so many new faces coming together. They lacked a pure point guard which was a factor that fed into not being able to make the last eight - even if young Holly Winterburn did a good job as a combo in trying to solve that headache. Captain and leader Temi Fagbenle played well and with changes in the right places and better preparation, the future could be bright.

What might have been? GB were left to rue some close defeats

Greece GRE B-

Tournament Record: 1-3

Making it out of the group was positive as they had been stuck as the 16th ranked team in the Power Rankings pre-tournament. That victory against Latvia either side of losses to Montenegro and Spain was enough. But when presented with an incredible opportunity to make the last eight against Czech Republic they let it slip through their fingers. That was frustrating because Mariella Fasoula and Artemis Spanou put up big shows and they turned up the offensive output nicely. But at times they went away from team basketball and over complicated things. Not enough defensive pressure or steals was an also an issue. 

Hungary HUN A- 

Tournament Record: 3-3

Maybe this rating is generous with no winning record, but their last top four finish was in 1997. They also have a young and aspiring team that can grow so much more. The bronze medal game took the shine off and it was a big let down. But this is the cut-throat nature of punching at a higher level. Kill or be killed. To claim an OQT ticket can only be classified as a success. Plus, you could also argue the younger players learned so much with that tough finish to the campaign. Captain Debora Dubei did a lot for the team, Virag Kiss arguably had a breakout tournament, Cyesha Goree was a rock and now it's all eyes on Paris 2024. There's so much excitement ahead!

Israel ISR D+

Tournament Record: 0-3

How can a team that beat Sweden twice in the Qualifiers, pushed Latvia hard, as well as bolstering their roster fall so horribly flat? It was a bit of a disaster for a co-host who on paper at least, had a shot at even making the Quarter-Finals. But whether it was stage fright or just being overwhelmed by the task, they didn't fire at all - except maybe for Yarden Garzon and Daniel Raber, Their biggest players simply never showed up and that was both a mystery and devastating for everyone involved with Israeli basketball. 

Italy ITA C

Tournament Record: 1-3

The faith shown in the Power Rankings to finish 5th was clearly misplaced. With Italian basketball on a high after Schio made a historic trip to EuroLeague Women Final Four and with a roster that looked a lock for the last eight and maybe more, Italy's balloon burst. Not breaking 50 points against Montenegro to go to the Quarter-Finals was inexcusable. There was no 'dog mentality' taking care of the intangibles, the defense evaporated. The leaders in this team need to take responsibility as well as the coach. It's a serious underachievement. No toughness or answer when challenged. You can't expect to qualify just because you have Italia on your jersey.

Latvia LAT C+

Tournament Record: 1-2

Latvia missed a big opportunity to make the Quarter-Finals, instead taking an early flight home after the Group Phase. Beating number one power ranked Spain and then losing to bottom ranked Greece, plus Montenegro was inexcusable. While the reaction has been about bouncing back, the bitter pill to be taken is that they arguably celebrated too much, too soon. The scenes of joy after beating Spain maybe subconsciously meant they took their foot off the pedal. Anete Steinberga, Kitija Laksa and Aleksa Gulbe did their best, but collectively the team shot so badly and simply messed up. Just seven players featured in all three games, which didn't help. 

Montenegro MNE B+

Tournament Record: 3-3

How do they keep doing it someone asked? Well, it is a minor miracle that a minnow like Montenegro with their small population and vastly restricted talent pool can punch a ticket for seven consecutive editions and they also made a third Quarter-Finals slot. It is a superb achievement and they were not far from an OQT spot either, only just edged out by Serbia. Jelena Skerovic showed why she is such a highly rated coach. Natasha Mack proved to be a priceless and hard working naturalized selection, the still young Marija Lekovic showed she can compete and deliver at this level and overall, there was a lot to admire. 

Serbia SRB B-

Tournament Record: 5-2

Both Aleksandra Crvendakic and Marina Maljkovic stressed how this was about "staying on the map" after they scraped into the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments. They were nowhere near their best at both ends of the floor. It was ugly stuff almost from start to finish. The trademark defensive intensity appeared all too little and there was no rhythm at all offensively. Losing to Hungary was a disappointment, while they were borderline humiliated in the Quarter-Finals against Belgium. But they bounced back. Outside of Yvonne Anderson, few people got near their level. Collectively, Serbia did the bare minimum and a 5-2 record papers over some big cracks.

Slovakia SVK B

Tournament Record: 1-3

If it feels generous, then ask yourself - did you really predict Slovakia to get out of a group containing Serbia, Hungary and Turkey? Yes, they were poor in the opening two games with big defeats but found their shooting range to take a fabulous victory against Turkey before bowing out to Germany in the Qualification For The Quarter Finals. So not a massively negative or positive showing, probably as expected - hence B. The quartet of Barbora Wrzesinski, Alica Moravcikova, Ivana Jakubvcova and Terezia Palenikova were all solid.

Slovakia sent home Turkey before missing out on the Quarter-Finals

Slovenia SLO B-

Tournament Record: 0-3

Some people will argue it's too generous with a winless record and not least because they were placed 8th in the third volume of the Power Rankings. However, that was more in hope than expectation. Things could have gotten ugly but despite some key absences, a very young team and not many options off the bench, they could have beaten Germany and Great Britain. Teja Oblak did her best to inspire, Eva Lisec and Zala Friskovec contributed and Ajsa Sivka showed she is going to be some baller. It was a tough experience, but when you stack up all the factors, at least they were in games and got somewhere near to where they realistically expected to be. 

Spain ESP A-

Tournament Record: 4-2

They came so close to a fifth FIBA Women's EuroBasket Women's title but will be kicking themselves that they blew a double-digit lead and didn't get it done. But it's hard to be too critical. They lost to Latvia and almost, just almost had the last laugh. Without Astou Ndour and without Maria Conde for the most part, there was strong mitigation in their favour as to why they just couldn't quite get it done. But after 7th place on home soil just two years ago, bringing home a silver medal seems like something to still celebrate. And what about Alba Torrens? Now Spain's All-Time Women's EuroBasket top scorer after passing Amaya Valdemoro. What a legend. 

Spain had to settle for silver as they came up short of a 5th title

Turkey TUR C

Tournament Record: 1-2

Too harsh? Maybe. Especially since Turkey lost Tilbe Senyurek to injury and did beat Hungary - although even that victory was gift-wrapped by their opponents. Something just didn't sit right with their displays. Not least because of Teaira McCowan being so up and down in her approach. There was a chaotic feel at times and they never looked like a team that deserved to be making the top eight. Being soundly beaten by Slovakia kind of epitomized where Turkey are at right now. It's worrying.. Whatever any debates are about their naturalized player, there is no doubt that their issues go way deeper than that. What about all the other players on the roster?

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

Paul Nilsen

Paul Nilsen

The FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2023 Team Grades 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.