World champs France regain superstar Guapo for FIBA 3x3 Women's Series Bordeaux Stop
BORDEAUX (France) - France will be strengthened by the return of World Cup MVP Laetitia Guapo as the host aim to win more silverware at the Women's Series Bordeaux Stop on July 6-7.
But 11 other teams are aiming to take down the Crelan FIBA 3x3 World Cup 2022 champs in the fourth stop in this year's Women's Series.
After thrillingly won the World Cup in Antwerp, Les Bleues proved they have serious depth with their young talent powering them to the title at the Ulaanbaatar Stop.
MVP Maud Stervinou was sensational as the 25-year-old led from the front and she threatens to be even more dangerous in Bordeaux with the return of Guapo, Hortense Limouzin and Myriam Djekoundade, who had a deserved breather after their heroics in Antwerp.
France will also have the support of passionate local fans strengthening their favoritism but there are other contenders in this loaded draw.
No.1 seed Germany are top of the rankings for good reason after starting the season bang, bang with Ws in Tel Aviv and Poitiers. But their chances of a third straight title in 2022 look far more difficult without No.1 ranked Sonja Greinacher.
They still have Alexandra Wilke, who was a key part of those successes but she will be relied upon to do more for the shorthanded Germany.
With the Germans looking vulnerable, the door has opened for other teams. Namely European power Spain, who are hoping to shake off a tough start to 2022 including a heartbreaking 15-14 loss to France in the quarters of the World Cup.
No.2 seed Spain will be seeking revenge and there is no one better when adversity strikes than inspirational leader Sandra Ygueravide, who is poised for a big tournament, with a new-look Spain team.
No.3 seed Lithuania have made a move in 2022 after being runners-up in Tel Aviv and just missing out on a World Cup medal to finish fourth. They have three World Cup players lining up in Bordeaux, including flame thrower Kamile Nacickaite who couldn't miss in Antwerp.
All they need is a title to cement their rise into a powerhouse.
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Underlining France's crazy talent, they have two other teams boasting a lot of emerging stars - France U24 and commercial team Bordeaux Ballistik, who boast the dynamic Heriaud sisters.
If you want a dark horse then Israel might be the tip having made the semis in Poitiers, with the towering Alexandra Cohen.
Romania will enter confident having reached the semis in Ulaanbaatar, where they beat France in pool play before falling to them in the final four. They have three players remain from that squad but star Ancuţa Stoenescu will be missing in a blow for Romania.
Hungary should also enter with big dreams after making the semis in Poitiers, where Vivi Borondy dominated from inside the arc. She will spearhead Hungary's charge in Bordeaux and if the 27-year-old heats up then they could go on a deep run.
Pool A: Germany, Slovakia, France U24
Pool B: Lithuania, Romania, Hungary
Pool C: Spain, Israel, Latvia
Pool D: France, Austria, Bordeaux Ballistik
How to watch
The two-day extravaganza is on July 6-7 and you can follow it live on the FIBA 3x3 YouTube and Facebook pages.