from Maurizio Roveri
Impetuous, overwhelming, inexorable the “basket machine” of the United States national team. It progressively demolishes the even courageous resistance of a China that for twenty minutes had proudly clung to the game, creating an appreciable and organized basketball.
But America has an edge. Decidedly. And when coach Cheryl Reeve’s squadron picked up the pace in defense, ramping up the intensity and unleashing her “transition” basketball, the difference was evident. In terms of talent, reactivity, pressure, racing.
And so the Americans won the final of this Australian edition of the Fiba Women’s Basketball World Cup with a margin of 22 points (83-61).
A “World Cup” with all the victories. Undefeated and unbeatable, the American Dream Team.
US-branded women’s basketball takes the throne for the eleventh time in world championship history.
It produced an intense and tactically very clever game, the US formation. He had patience and perseverance in the initial phase of this final, when the enthusiasm, courage and energy of Tontong Wu, Siyu Wang and Yueru Li allowed China to attack with good ball circulation. Taking good shots. The group coached by coach Wei Zheng saw the sunlight for a moment (4-2 and 6-4) on the first corners of the match. Managing not to let the Americans run away, in a first quarter of the game in which China was up to the most popular opponents. Ten minutes of strong balance, Yueru Li and companions down by 1 on 11-12 and 3 (13-16). Even China was able to get the Americans to commit an infraction of 24 ”.
Cheryl Reeve’s girls remained calm and focused. By letting the opposing team vent and gradually taking measures. In particular, minute by minute, the American defense grew in intensity and physicality. And from a humble and substantial defensive work, the US girls have seized the initiative. Forcing more and more the Chinese to attack away from the area.
The protection of the “painted” is truly extraordinary. Quick hands for interceptions and steals, “help” always ready, strong pressure on the “cuts”. And quick feet to attack in transition, to run on the break.
China was still close, at -4 at 26-30 and at -5 (28-33) in the middle of the second period.
With an intense and continuous work on the sides of the opponents, the American Dream Team has progressively stretched. On the assaults of a Chelsea Gray “on fire”, by Jevell Loyd, A’Ja Wilson, Kelsey Plum and the delicious “readings” by Breanna Stewart (very good at attracting the Chinese defense and then unloading sublime balls to her teammates in cut inside the area) the American team has sent the opponents into trouble. Beginning to create cracks – increasingly disturbing – in their resistance.
When the US girls entered in full swing, the World Cup final had only one protagonist. And the 16,000 spectators of the “Sydney SuperDome” applauded the technique, the freshness, the enthusiasm, the physicality, the athleticism of this American squadron.
A much renewed team compared to the Tokyo Olympic Gold, yet equally effective and spectacular.
Chelsea Gray was named “Player of the Game”: 10 points (5 out of 9 shooting, 5 out of 6 in free throws, 4 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals, 21 for Efficiency).
Alyssa Thomas put a lot of intensity into the areas by clawing 9 rebounds, backed by a Breanna Stewart to be admired for her tactical intelligence and spirit of sacrifice. Yes, the “queen” did not seek the scene, the “queen” put herself at the service of the team. And in this game of great humility and availability, Breanna has further demonstrated her Greatness.
A’ja Wilson, young, fresh, energetic, fast, once again produced an offensively important performance. Assault. Her teammates have given her wings. And when she can spread out at speed, she A’ja becomes elusive. Wilson was awarded the MVP title of this 2022 World Cup.
The unbeatable American Dream Team has had many merits along the stages of this winning path. In the final, the main merit is having limited the danger of the “tower of China” Xu Han. He held only 8 points (3 out of 7 shooting).
It is clear that in the long run it has become impossible for the Chinese national team to withstand the impact, with Xu Han never in the thick of the game and with the important absence of Li Meng due to injury.
Anyway, credit to this China. Arrived for the second time in history at the World Cup final. A very difficult final, faced with courage against a team of enormous talent.
In the “final” for the bronze medal, Australia overwhelmed Canada 95-65.
THE FINAL RANKING
- United States
- Puerto Rico
- Bosnia Erzegovina