2006 FIBA Women World champions, Australia have managed 4 podium finishes 1998, 2002 and 2014 taking Bronze in each of the 3 outings in their 15 appearances at the World Cup.
Tenth ranked China is making her 10th appearance at the World Cup but will be looking at doing better than their outing in 1994 were they lost in the final to host Brazil. They won Bronze prior to that in 1983, but are yet to make any significant impact ever since.
Australia boasts of the best player of the tournament, 6 foot 8, Elizabeth Cambage and they will be hoping she puts up an MVP performance against China in the quarter finals. It is a battle between 4th and 10th in this quarterfinal match up.
HEAD TO HEAD
China and Australia have clashed 5 times at the World Championships. Though China have a better record of 3 wins, Austrialia have won the last 2 meetings.
China 77-57 Austrialia (Soviet Union 1986 )
Australia 67 – 87 China (Brazil 1994)
Australia 65-66 China (Brazil 1994)
Australia 101-72 China (China 2002)
China 68-91 Australia (Czech Republic 2010).
KEYS TO WIN
Inside scoring: Elizabeth Cambage brought the form that saw her dominate and set a WNBA single game scoring record (53 points). She is the leading scorer and rebounder in Spain averaging 27.7 points and 8.3 rebounds.
Ezi Magbegor and Alex Burtona will also be key for Australia.
Rebounds: It would be a battle for the boards and second chance points. China have averaged more 11.3 per game than Australia who is averaging 10.3 per game. They will have to do more because a rebound may just be the difference between winning and losing. If you don’t agree, just ask Nigeria or Greece.
Interior Defense: Teenage sensations, Xu Han (6 foot 9 inches) and Yueru Li (6 foot 7 inches) will have only one assignment, stop Liz Cambage from scoring. 6’6″ Forward Sun Megran the twin tower will be the pinnacle of the Chinese offense, especially on the pick and roll, and 2nd chance points.
3 points shooting: China is shooting 41.8% from behind the arc in Spain. That’s the highest by any team in Tenerife. They’ll need to maintain that efficiency well against Australia.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Australia: Elizbeth Cambage, Samantha Whitcomb, Bec Allen.
China: Ting Shao, Xu Han, Sun Mergan.
Written by Femi Adefeso. Twitter: @IncredibleFemi