09 - 17
July 2022
to read

Semi-Finals Preview: the scramble for medals and glory!

DEBRECEN (Hungary) - The Semi-Finals are now set in Debrecen, but with four teams fighting it out for three podium steps, which teams will finish with FIBA U17 Women's Basketball World Cup 2022 medals?


Spain ESP  v France 

Tournament Tradition: perfect balance

France followed up their silver from 2010 with the same outcome at the last edition in Minsk

Spain made the Final of the competition in 2012 and 2014, having to settle for silver on both occasions after being beaten by USA. Similarly, France made the very first Final in 2010 and also the last one in 2018, also succumbing to the might of the four-time champions. Both were expected to challenge for the podium coming into the competition and with perfect 5-0 records, both have lived up the billing. 

Key Match Up:  Fam Thiam v Malonga

Awa Fam Thiam of Spain has got it all - but she will go up against someone else who can claim that too

Two senior stars of the future, and maybe of the very near future, in the shape of Awa Fam Thiam and Dominique Malonga will go up against each other. Both are a colossus for their respective teams, possessing stength, althleticism and skills. They look to have huge futures and this is a matchup worthy of a title game, let alone a Semi-Final. You had all better be glued to this one! This could be the first chapter of a rivalry that last decades.

Who could be the 'X-Factor' ballers? Téa Cleante or Ariadna Termis Casas?

While both teams have some obvious go-to players and headline stars who have put up big numbers, who else could be a momentum-shifter or difference-maker?  Tea Cleante is starting to grow in influence for France and her smooth game is something that could help France get it done in the big clutch moments that may be coming. Meanwhile Ariadna Termis Casas is a forward who is deadly from distance. She is only averaging 5 points per game but has made 12 of 24 from downtown in the competition, so has the ability to deliver a dagger blow to France.

Number crunching: France has the edge but...

Spain do have an edge in terms of their depth of scoring options off the bench

On paper at least, France have the edge. Not least in the fact that have the fewest turnovers in the competition with 15 per game and that will limit opportunities for Spain to get out in transition for some easy buckets. France also leads the three-point shooting percentages too after dropping 34.3 percent from downtown. Spain has one slight advantage in slightly more bench scoring. Both teams are struggling from the free-throw line with sub 58 percent.


Canada  v USA 

Tournament Tradition: complete domination for USA

Led by Kia Nurse, Canada finished with a bronze medal in  2012 after they had met USA in the Semi-Finals

USA have won the silverware at every edition except 2016 when they had to settle for bronze. The Semi-Final loss to Australia remains their only ever defeat. Although they were almost upset by Spain in 2014 when they only won the Final by one basket. Canada are looking to replicate their only podium finish which was 3rd place in 2012 in Amsterdam. They also played USA that year in the Semi-Final, so while maybe not a good omen in terms of this next game, they might feel history is repeating in terms of that third podium step.

Key Match Up : Jadyn Donavan v Tobey Lee Fournier


Forward Jadyn Donovan may be tasked with helping to shut down the in-form Toby Lee Fournier

Toby Lee Fournier has done a great job for Canada and while the dunk was the headline, maybe her massive 14.8 point and 13.2 rebound tournament double-double should be the main talking point. She will be central to Canda even trying to keep pace, while it might be a combination of Jadyn Donovan and Breya Cunningham that tries to slow her down as they have both done an eye-catching job for the current champions.

Who could be the 'X-Factor' ballers? Cassandre Prosper or Juju Watkins?

While Cassandre Prosper is very much a headline act, she could still be considered as the 'X-Factor' because she is the one that sets the tone at both ends of the floor and really brings the energy. She can't afford to be subdued in this game if Canada want to at least stay competitive for the majority of the game. As for USA, take your pick because they have an entire roster of ballers who can all step in and make the difference on any given night. But, it feels like Juju Watkins has come alive like all top young ballers when it matters most. Her Quarter-Finals display against Japan looked very much like a warning.

Number crunching: big advantage for USA

USA are unbeaten and have represented their nation with pride as the favorites move closer to title number five

USA are the tournament's leading scorers with 98.4 points per game and also lead in rebounding, although Canada are only just behind in this category. It's similar in steals, with USA just ahead of their North American rivals. Overall though, every single number you can possibly crunch results in USA having the edge - or a big advantage. As you might expect.