USA, who to justify their dominance in the women’s world basketball scene, will start their road to the gold medal against Canada, who finished fourth in Group B.
Despite their obvious advantage, talent-wise, USA guard Sue Bird remains wary of the Canadians, who ended the preliminary round with a 2-3 record, but showed how competitive they are, losing in their three games by just an average of six points.
“Canada’s a very tough team,” Bird said. “They are a team that plays together very, very well. They run their offense. If they have 23 seconds, they will use 23 seconds to get that shot off. It’s not easy to guard them. And they have proven themselves this tournament.”
After the USA-Canada showdown, the Australian Opals will try to reach the semifinals once again, but their road won’t be easy for they will be going up against a dangerous Chinese women’s squad.
The Opals, who have finished second in the past three Olympics, will be favored to win, but China, who started the tournament with three-straight wins, is ready to give them a run for their money.
On the other hand, Group-A second-placer Turkey will have a tough road to the semifinals as they collide with Russia in the third game of the day.
But despite the experience advantage of their quarterfinal foe, Turkish star Nevriye Yilmaz is confident about their chances against the Russian squad.
“We are playing very well as a team and playing great defense. We want to show our talent and win this game,” Yilmaz said.
In the final game of the day, France, who is arguably the most surprising team in the tournament, will try to keep their unblemished record when they face a familiar rival – Czech Republic in the final eight.
Gaining a lot of momentum from their undefeated run in the preliminary round, French forward Jennifer Digbeu expressed excitement with their upcoming showdown with the Czech squad, knowing that a win will push them closer to a medal finish in this year’s Olympics.
“It’s encouraging for us to play against the Czech Republic because it’s a rival we know perfectly well and we know it’s possible to beat them,” Digbeu said. “Right now, we are in a cloud and the future is unknown. If we win against the Czechs, then we can start dreaming of a medal.”
The winning teams will advance to the semifinals that will take place on Thursday.
2012 London Olympics Women’s Basketball Quarterfinals Schedule
- USA vs Canada – 14:00 (GMT+1)
- Australia vs China – 16:15 (GMT+1)
- Turkey vs Russia – 20:00 (GMT+1)
- France vs Czech Republic – 22:15 (GMT+1)