Canada vs Serbia: Women’s Basketball Preview

Canada vs Serbia in Tokyo will take place on July 26. The Canadian women’s basketball team will face the Serbian women’s basketball team to open their FIBA Women’s Olympic campaign. Serbia will be a tough team as they are defending bronze medalists.

Canada vs Serbia – Tokyo 2020 Olympic Basketball

Canadian Women’s Basketball – Miranda Ayim named a flag-bearer

The Canadian women’s basketball team is ranked fourth in the world. They qualified for the 2020 Summer Olympics after finishing first in the Olympic qualifying group. They defeated Belgium, Sweden, and Japan in their three group stage games in Belgium.

Canadian basketball player Miranda Ayim was named as one of the two flag-bearers according to The Canadian Press. This is what Ayim said about the honour according to Myles Dichter of CBC News.

“I feel so honoured to represent Team Canada and lead Team Canada in the opening ceremony alongside Nate,” Ayim said Monday in a video conference. “This past year and a half has demanded a high level of teamwork, and Canadians from coast to coast to coast stepped up and demonstrated togetherness, resilience and solidarity.”

Ayim is the captain of the Canadian women’s basketball team. She played for the Tulsa Shock in 2011. She averaged 2.7 points and 2.3 rebounds per game with the team.

The Canadian women’s basketball team is healthy

Some good news on Team Canada. There was a possibility of two absentees in Kim Gaucher and Natalie Achonwa. Both players will represent the Red and White come Thursday. Gaucher and other breastfeeding moms can bring their baby to Tokyo according to Gemma Karstens-Smith of CBC. There is then Achonwa, who currently plays for the Minnesota Lynx. It was also revealed by Kent Youngblood of Star Tribune that Achonwa will play for Team Canada. Achonwa had recently recovered from a knee injury.

In the 2021 WNBA season, Achonwa, the power forward averaged 3.8 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. Canada also has two other WNBA players. Kia Nurse is considered their best player. She is a point guard who averaged 9.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.8 assists. Nurse also made the WNBA All-Star Game in 2019.

Lastly, there is Bridget Carleton, the small forward who currently plays for the Minnesota Lynx. The same team Achonwa plays for. She averaged 4.8 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.0 assists per game.

Serbian Women’s Basketball

Serbia is ranked eighth in the world. They were in a relatively easier FIBA Women’s World Cup qualifying group than Canada. Yes, Serbia’s group had the U.S. in their group. but they had already qualified for the FIBA Women’s Olympics. Two of the teams – Serbia, Nigeria, and Mozambique – would make it to the Olympics. Serbia won against both teams. They clinched their ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics with a win over Mozambique on February 9, 2020, by a scoreline of 76-48. The Serbians would lose to the U.S. by a scoreline of 88-69.

Players to watch for Canada are Ana Dabovic and Sonja Petrovic (also known as Sonja Vasić). Dabovic is a shooting guard, who averaged three points and 1.3 assists per game in the 2016 WNBA season. She is currently a shooting guard for Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomération in Ligue Feminine. Her last season in the WNBA was in 2016 with the Los Angeles Sparks. She was part of the WNBA All-Rookie Team in 2015.

There is also small forward Petrovic. Her last season in the WNBA was in 2016 for the Mercury. In that season, she averaged 5.1 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. Of the two players, Petrovic might be the better player. She was the EuroBasketball Most Valuable Player of the Year in 2021 as a member of the Uni Girona Club de Basquet team. This is a big deal and shows the quality of players the Serbians have. This is despite not having any WNBA players. They are also the defending bronze medalists. So this team will be a tough one for Canada.

Canada-Serbia Game Overview

The Canadian women’s basketball team embark on a journey that can possibly inspire a nation just like the Toronto Raptors did two years ago by winning the NBA championship. Winning a medal in this event would create a huge number of fans interested in the game of basketball in Canada. Both teams faced each other in 2016. In that game, Canada won 71-67 against Serbia.

Prediction: Canada wins by six points

As of right now, it is one game at a time. Serbia is their first opponent. It is going to be a really tight game. However, Canada was really impressive in the Olympic qualifiers. They also have the edge in WNBA players and are higher ranked than Serbia.

The game kicks off at 4:20 A.M. ET on July 26 and will be shown to Canadians on CBC. This game like all games for Team Canada will take place at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

 

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images


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