The reigning Eurobasket champions Spain, surprisingly had to qualify for the Semifinals via the quarterfinal qualifiers after falling to world cup debutants Belgium.
The hosts have made it to the podium in the last 2 world cups: Bronze and Silver in Czech Republic 2010 and Turkey in 2014 but will have to overcome world number 5 Canada if they hope to win their first elusive world cup title in front of their home crowd.
Canada meanwhile is making her 11th appearance at the world cup since making her debut in 1971. They’ve made two 3rd place finishes in 1979 and 1986. But this perhaps is the best assemblage of stars that could make a push to the championship game and give them a push for the title.
HEAD TO HEAD
Spain and Canada have met just twice at the FIBA Women World cup, with both teams sharing the spoils
Canada 70-65 Spain (Australia 2006)
Spain 85-57 Canada (Brazil 1994)
KEYS TO WIN
3 Points Scoring: Spain is averaging 32.8% from long range. Ana Cruz and Martha Xargay have proven to be one of the most dangerous shooters in the tournament. But must ready for some tough defense against Canada.
Points in the paint: Astou Ndour and Laura Nicholls will battle hard in traffic to get the high percentage shots over Canada who would look to cause some traffic in the paint.
Transition Offense: Canada is a highly productive on the transition play powered by the athleticism of Kia Nurse, Nanyo Rancock-Ekunwe. And Natalie Achonwa. Canada can rely on their quick offense .
3points Scoring: Canada just like Spain are a good 3 points scoring team. Averaging 7.0 three points made per game, they tie China for the highest average in the tournament. The long range onslaught is led by Miah –Marie Langlois (66.7%) and Nirra Fields (55.6%) both in the top four 3 points scorers in Tenerife will be one to watch.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Spain: Martha Xargay, Astou Ndour, Laura Nicholls
Canada: Kia Nurse, Natalie Achonwa, Nanyo Rancock-Ekunwe
Close call Canada win
Written by Femi Adefeso. Twitter: @IncredibleFemi