EuroBasket Women 2013 draw took place at the UNESCO House in Paris, France.
Tournament will be played from June 15 to June 30, mainly in northern part of France – Lille, Orchies, Trelaze, Vannes, Vendespace.
The groups are as follows:
Group A: Turkey, Slovak Republic, Montenegro, Ukraine
Group B: Russia, Italy, Sweden, Spain
Group C: France, Great Britain, Serbia, Latvia
Group D: Czech Republic, Croatia, Lithuania, Belarus
Groups A and B will play their first round games at Vannes. Groups C and D and Trelaze.
Upon a quick look it seems that C and D group pair is the tougher one – it has 5 of 2011′s top 8 teams along with Belarus (4th in 2010 Worlds, 4th in EuroBasket Women 2009).
Group of death would easily be group D in which all four teams can be seen making the quarterfinals. While Czech Republic are the main favorites there’s really nothing to separate Croatia, Lithuania and Belarus right now. A lot will depend on who will decide to play and the injury situation with those three teams.
Hosts French might have it a bit easier – Latvia is having a change of guard (though the French haven’t defeated them since 2005), no one really ever knows who will agree to play for Serbia, and Great Britain could be without their main weapons – coach Maher isn’t under contract, Kim Butler has retired and Jo Leedham has already mentioned she will try to make the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun roster in 2013.
If Spain get everyone healthy and start preparing together early they can take on Russia, who aren’t famous for their strong starts to tournaments, easily in Group B. Key there will be early incorporation of Sancho Lyttle. Sweden proved they can take on Spain so don’t be surprised if they provide an upset or two. Of the four teams Italy is relatively the weakest with a recent major roster overturn.
Group A on paper seems to be the weakest with teams like Ukraine and Slovak Republic who could have been considered the worst of their respective seeding pots. At early stages Montenegro should be hard to beat if the coach will continue to use a very short bench, but that will hurt them later on in the tournament. Turkey should be able to play without any pressure – EuroBasket Women 2013 will be a preparation for the 2014 World Championship which they are hosting. There will not be a dire need to have Quanitra Hollingsworth skip a WNBA season.