Men usually take the spotlight in the world of basketball but their women counterpart are already gaining respect worldwide. And in the 2016 Rio Olympics, women’s basketball is expected to gain more popularity.
The top teams in the world will look to dethrone USA in the Rio Olympics 2016 women’s basketball competition. Two of the dark horses — Australia and Brazil — will kick off their campaign on Saturday.
Australia are perennial contenders in major competitions, as they have been producing world-class talents over the past decades. It will not be different in Rio Olympics 2016, where the Opals are considered among the medal contenders and one of the top threats to United States’ reign.
Elizabeth Cambage will draw a lot of attention in her second Olympic appearance. The 24-year-old center, who plays in China for the Shanghai Baoshan Dahua, is the first woman to dunk in a women’s Olympic basketball game.
Cambage will be boosted by her supporting cast, including veterans Penny Taylor of the Phoenix Mercury, Erin Philipps of the Dallas Wings and Leilani Mitchell of the Mercury. The Opals are favored to win in their tournament opener but Cambage said they will not relax against the host.
“We are just taking every game as it comes and that’s our main focus right now,” Cambage said via FIBA.com. “The home nation. it’s going to be loud, and it’s going to be full of energy.”
On the other hand, Brazil will be led by WNBA players Erika Souza and Clarissa Santos of the Chicago Sky along with veteran international players Iziane Castro and Adriana Pinto. The 37-year-old Pinto is aware most fans are already counting them out but she is confident they can pull off surprises in Rio Olympics 2016 women’s basketball tourney.
“Women’s basketball in Brazil is not getting good results at the world level, but we have an experienced team,” Pinto told FIBA.com. “We are confident that we can surprise some teams.”
The Australia vs Brazil Rio Olympics 2016 women’s basketball match will start at 4:30 p.m. ET at the Youth Arena in Rio de Janeiro. Basketball fans can watch live stream on NBC Olympics and NBC Sports Live Extra. The complete Rio Olympics 2016 women’s basketball schedule can be seen on this link.