Can Neftchi repeat in star-studded FIBA 3x3 Women’s Series 2023 Fribourg stop?
FRIBOURG (Switzerland) - A loaded two-day extravaganza has us thinking, can Neftchi continue their dominant march in the FIBA 3x3 Women’s Series 2023 Fribourg stop on July 6 - 7?
Let’s look into the tenth stop of this season.
With numerous teams with stop wins in their record competing in Switzerland, it’s impossible to call who takes home the win, but few teams stand out.
Neftchi were undeniable in Netanya, going unbeaten on their way to the finals win. Their squad led by Brianna Fraser makes its return this time around with their sights set on a repeat. With the offensive partnership of Fraser and Arica Carter along with the crucial defensive grit from Dina Ulyanova and Alexandra Mollenhauer, the commercial team from Azerbaijan might just be hitting their stride.
Though without the Plouffe sisters, Canada are the top seed. Led by Kacie Bosch and bucket-getter Paige Crozon, they’ll be joined by Carly Ahlstrom and Samantha Cooper. They won most recently in Poitiers and have shown just why they were crowned the FIBA 3x3 Women’s Series 2022 winners.
Will Malaysia shock any of them and advance to the knock-out?
France lead in seedings for group B, having won two stops already. They will be represented by fresh talent, boasting almost an entirely new side. Marie Milapie will be returning, last competing in a winning effort in Clermont-Ferrand. She will be joined by Noemi Brochant, Camille Droguet and Anna Ndjock.
They’ll take on Gyor and hometown side Fribourg in group B.
China will be hoping to shake off the finals loss against Neftchi in Netanya, running it back with the same squad led by Talisman Lili Wang and ZhiTing Zhang. They have been the most successful side in the season so far as they’ll be hoping to add another stop to their tally. Their path would be far from straightforward as they face the fiery Italian side in group C. Not to mention one of Portugal, Israel and New Zealand will join the fray from the qualification rounds.
Group D has Sc. Yuanda who have found a rhythm in the Women’s Series, being the most active competitor this season. Juntong Hao and the women from China have their sights set on turning their consistency into a stop win. In their way will be Japan as well as one of Latvia, Ukraine and Switzerland.
While Neftchi came away with the win in Netanya, home side Israel brought it. Scoring machine Drew Edelman and Alyssa Baron were just one hot streak away from winning it all before losing to eventual winners Neftchi. They will have a chip on their shoulder heading into Fribourg in the qualifying rounds.
Speaking of qualifiers, the superbly entertaining Portugal had a magical run, defeating Spain and everyone who stood in their way. They were just one shot away from beating the French juggernauts in the semi-finals but it wasn’t meant to be. It’s gonna be a night of redemption in Switzerland, and it starts with the qualifying games.
If we’re talking wild cards though, look no further than Italy. Led by the thrilling Raelin D’Alie, Italy have shown time and time again that they are not afraid of the moment or the opposition. They shone in the 2023 World Cup recently and the Europe Cup qualifiers, even finishing third in the Poitiers stop of the Women’s Series where they lost to China in the semi-finals. They’ll have a chance to exact some level of revenge with both teams drawn in the same group. With Sara Madera’s size along with the midrange scoring proficiency of Chiara Consolini and Debora Carangelo, they will be looking to make waves in Fribourg.
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Pool A: Canada, Malaysia, Neftchi
Pool B: France, Gyor (HUN), Fribourg (SUI)
Pool C: China, Italy, QD A winner (New Zealand/Israel/Portugal)
Pool D: Sc. Yuanda, Japan, QD B Winner (Ukraine/Latvia/Switzerland)
How to watch
The action goes down in Fribourg on July 6 - 7 and you can catch it all on the FIBA 3x3 YouTube channel and Facebook pages.