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FIBA Women’s World Cup: Can Senegal Upset the Odds In Spain?

Senegal seek to make a mark in the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Senegal’s last appearance in the FIBA Women’s World was in 2010 where they performed dismally. They finished last in the tournament after failing to win a single game out of five. Spain 2018 will mark the Lionesses return to the World Cup for the first time since 2010.

With less than 50 days left to the World Cup, the Senegalese are expected to commence training camp on August 14 after conducting several camps with local based players in April.

Recently, head coach Sheikh Sarr announced a 24-player preliminary squad for the campaign. The squad include 11 home-based players, 12 overseas players and an unattached player.

Placed in Group D among tough opponents including Olympic and World champions USA, China and Latvia, a huge task lies ahead of coach Sarr and his team.

Excluding Latvia that the Lionesses will be going against for the first time, they do not have a good record against the USA and China. This will be their fifth meeting against USA, fourth against China. Unfortunately, they are yet to secure a victory against the two teams.

However, Coach Sarr remains upbeat since he took over the team earlier this year. After causing one of the biggest upset in the men’s category of the FIBA World Cup in 2014, his hope is to cause another in Spain next month.

In the 2014 FIBA World Cup, Sarr led the Lions to the Second-Round of the competition for the first time after defeating two European heavyweights Croatia and Puerto Rico in the Group Phase.

“Our mindset is different. We are not going to the World Cup to make numbers, we are going there to win,” Sarr told during an interview in March.

Going with such mindset in Spain next month, can coach Sarr and his team upset the odds?

24 Players Preliminary Squad

Bintou Dièmé (France), Ndèye Khadidiatou Dieng (Senegal), Maty Fall (Senegal), Ndèye Fall (Senegal), Elma Kinta Malou (Senegal), Couna Ndao (Senegal), Ndèye Fatou Ndiaye (Senegal), Ndèye Sène (Senegal) , Oumou Khaïry Thiam (Portugal), Fatoumata Diango (Senegal), Mame Diodio Diouf (Spain), Yacine Diop (USA), Astou Traoré (Spain), Dado Faye (Senegal), Ndèye Fatou Ndiaye (DUC, Senegal), Yaye Mame Diagne (USA), Aminata Fall (Spain), Oumoul Khaïry Sarr (Spain), Sokhna Ndiaye (Spain), Oumoul Kalsoum Toure (France), Aïcha Sidibé (Senegal), Aïda Fall (France), Maïmouna Diarra (no club), Madjigène Sene (Senegal).

Image: FIBA

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