SYDNEY (Australia) – As the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Sydney moves ever closer, we’re checking out previous editions and 2010 was one to remember for host nation, Czech Republic.
While there was huge focus on the USA climbing back to the top of the tree after their shock loss at the 2006 edition, the headlines were also made by Czech Republic. They made a glorious and historical run to the Final in front of their adoring fans as FIBA Hall of Famer, Hana Horakova was crowned MVP.
The best team: USA back on top step, Czech team shines
No gold, but Czech Republic felt like winners after their epic run to a historic silver on home soil
– USA showed that 2006 was a blip as they took title number 8 without losing a game and nobody even getting within single digits of them in any of their 9 outings. Beating Czech Republic in the title game 89-69, they underlined their dominance in a campaign that was led by Diana Taurasi who landed herself a spot in the All-Star Five.
– She was joined in the lineup by Yelena Leuchanka of Belarus. Sancho Lyttle of Spain who had took her team to bronze, plus home favorites Eva Viteckova and Hana Horakova. And, it was the latter who unusually took MVP honors, despite not being on the championship team. However, it was a universally popular choice that she got the thumbs up, with Czech Republic having had their best ever campaign at the event.
The best game performance: Sancho Lyttle
Lyttle had an amazing tournament and made the All-Star Five
– The Third Place Game saw Spain take down Belarus 77-68 and that was largely down to a fabulous 22 points and 11 rebounds from Lyttle. Made special not only because it delivered Spain a medal, but the double-double came up against the imposing twin towers of Yelena Leuchanka and Anastasiya Verameyenka.
The best game: Czech Republic 81-77 Belarus
– This was an incredible and memorable contest, perhaps one of the best in the competition’s history. Not least because of the tension and importance with it being a Semi-Final in front of the home fans as both teams tried to make a historic first ever Final.
– In the end. it went to overtime and the host nation got it done. Eva Viteckova poured in 21 points for Czech Republic as they just edged it, with Anastasiya Verameyenka dropping 24 points in defeat.
The hidden star: Maki Takada (Japan)
Takada was a colossus at the Olympics in Tokyo as Japan took a historic silver medal
– It was an incredibly modest first global senior outing for the forward, who averaged 3.6 points per game in around 15 minutes of court time. Little did we know that 11 years later, she would be taking Japan to an historic Olympic Final on home soil in Tokyo as one of the top couple of players in the team.