22 - 30
July 2017
Paul GORISS (Head Coach-Australia)
to read

Goriss preparing Gems for tricky test of credentials

CANBERRA (FIBA U19 Women's Basketball World Cup 2017) - They may be one of the pre-tournament favorites but that doesn't mean Paul Goriss is expecting his Australia side to get an easy ride at the FIBA U19 Women's Basketball World Cup.

With a core of the squad coming from last year's triumphant and history-making gold-medal team at the FIBA U17 Women's World Championship in Zaragoza, Australia are being tipped to make a big splash in Udine and Cividale Del Friuli.

"Any tournament at this level is always going to be competitive and tough, as we have the best countries represented from each FIBA region around the world and so the competition is always at a high level," warned Goriss.

I am expecting a very even and close tournament with maybe some upsets.Paul GorissPaul Goriss

"We have been drawn in Group D with Hungry and Japan and at this point as a coaching staff, we are gathering as much information as we can on both of those two teams and individuals. Obviously we are waiting for another nation to be added to our pool as well.

"We know a lot about the Asian style of play and in particular what Japan are renowned for. They are quick to put the ball on the floor and create for a lay-up or kick it out for three-point scores and they are obviously very good shooters that stretch your defense.

"This is the first time I have coached against Hungary, so we are getting information about their style of play."

"In regards to other teams in contention, we finished the 2015 FIBA U19 Women's World Championship with a bronze medal, which was a great result for our country and team.

"Russia are a very strong and talented team who pushed USA in the Final and they will have a few players back from that team - so they will be very tough. Especially with center Maria Vadeeva back after she has been playing EuroLeague Women and several of their U19 women's team are playing senior women’s basketball in EuroLeague or EuroCup Women.

"USA will always be athletic, physical and a tough match-up for anyone, while France and Spain are always very good - as well as the host nation Italy! I am expecting a very even and close tournament with maybe some upsets."

So what will be the recipe for success and enable the Gems to record a third consecutive podium finish - or maybe even get back to the title game for the first time in two decades?

"The focus for any Australian team is our toughness, togetherness and our pride to wear the green and gold singlet," declared Goriss.

"We pride ourselves on playing hard-nosed defense and a very up-tempo game. If you are to win a medal at this level, you need to have depth, size and the ability to be able to defend and have a good basketball IQ as you are playing different styles of basketball from one game to the next, so you need to be adaptable.

"I believe three-point and free-throw shooting percentages need to be high, as well as the ability to take care of the ball with a minimum of turnovers, along with solid defense are the key ingredients to being successful," concluded the play-caller.