June 13, 2016
The final qualifying process for the Olympics started on Monday. The hosts and defending champions were joined by the five continental champions last summer. Those continental tournaments also provided the twelve teams to play in this tournament for the final five spots. Any country participating in the tournament was allowed to bid to host and France was picked with Nantes as the chosen site.
The first stage of the tournament divides the countries into four groups of three teams with no teams from the same continent in the same group. Over the first three days, each of the teams plays the other two teams in the group. The top two teams in each group advance with the last place team eliminated from Olympic contention. They key games are on Friday as the winners of the four quarterfinals will qualify for the Olympics and will not need to play any further games. The winner of Group A will face the runners up in Group B and vice versa with the same pattern holding for the Group C and Group D teams. The quarterfinal losers will play on Saturday with the winners of the two games meeting on Sunday to determine the last team.
The hosts finished the first day of games by leading Cuba throughout on the way to an 83-67 win. Endy Miyem led the way in the win as Clenia Noblet had a solid effort in the loss.
Cuba vs France 67-83 CUB Noblet 17/11r Galindo 15 Casanova 11 Gelis 10 Romero 9 Cepeda 3/8r Oquendo 2 Avila 0 Povea Chacon 0 Ochoa 0 Martinez Valdes DNP Thompson DNP FRA Miyem 19/6r Yacoubou 10/7r Ayayi 10 Johannes 8 Dumerc 7 Gruda 6 Epoupa 5 Michel 5/8a Skrela 4 Amant 4 Kamba 3 Ciak 2
This group opened play in the second timeslot of the day as Argentina made it clear that they had played competitively more recently as they built a lead early. Cameroon fought back in the second half to trim the deficit, but still lost 75-64. Former Memphis player Ramses Lonlack nearly helped her team to the win, but they could not offset the more balanced attack from Argentina.
Cameroon vs. Argentina 64-75 CMR Lonlack 25 Starling 12 Mbiandja 8 Ngo Ndjock 8 T. Weledji 6 Dongmo Teinkela 5/7r Mbong 0 Tamboue Makwegat 0 Ghane Yenou 0 N. Weledji 0 Mfoula 0 Abenkou 0 ARG Vega 15/9r Gretter 15/7r/6a Thomas 12 Boquete 11 Santana 10 Burani 8 Pavon 2 Llorente 1 Fiorotto 1 Rosset 0 Gonzalez 0 Cabrera 0
A battle between teams expected to rely on frontcourt play was the third game of the day. Belarus eventually built a lead with strong post play on their way to a 71-60 win. Former Texas A&M player Adaora Elonu led they way in the loss.
Belarus vs. Nigeria 71-60 BLR Leuchanka 15/13r Verameyenka 13/12r Papova 13 Harding 11 Likhtarovich 8 Troina 7 Snytsina 4 Ziuzkova 0 Trafimava DNP Anufriyenka DNP Malashka DNP, Rytsikava DNP NGR Elonu 19/7r Madu 10/7r Ugoka 8/9r Ogoke 7 Amukamara 6 Kalu 6 Ibiam 4 Udeaja 0 Sanni 0 Ekworomadu 0 Ogunjimi 0 Atosu DNP
China started the day’s action in impressive fashion, building a big early lead on Venezuela and rolling to the 77-59 win behind Sun Mengxin. Waleska Perez had another great game, but Venezuela will need more contributions from more than the former junior college player to win the next game and keep their hopes alive.
Venezuela vs. China 59-77 VEN Perez 23/6a Wallen 11/7r Garcia 6/6r Corrales 6 Renault 5 Silva 4/9r Ortega 4 Landaeta 0 Marquez 0 Garate 0 Duran 0 Rivas DNP CHN Sun MX 21 Shao 14 Sun MR 11 Huang SJ 10 Gao 5 Huang HP 4/7r Lu 4 Zhao 2/9r/8a Chen XJ 2/6a Wu 2 Chen 2 Li DNP