The FIBA Women’s World Cup 2018 is all set to tip off in Tenerife on Saturday.

And the USA will bid to defend the trophy over the nine days of competition on the Spanish island.

In the first round, the Olympic champions – with Sue Bird making a record fifth appearance – have a relatively easy ride against Latvia, Senegal and China and will be outstanding favourites.

“I feel real good about this team and what it can do to help us defend gold at the World Cup,” said Dawn Staley, their head coach. “We have great experience. We have some up-and-coming younger players who need to get experience playing at this level.

“So, we have a great mix of both, and we are looking forward to forging ahead, getting as much time together as possible before we start and as we continue throughout the tournament.”

Winners of back-to-back World championships and four of the past five titles, the USA has an all-time 103-21 record at the event. In 2014, the most recent World Cup, the USA took the gold medal, while Spain captured silver and Australia won bronze.

First round

Group A: Korea, Greece, Canada, France
Group B: Australia, Turkey, Argentina, Nigeria
Group C: Japan, Puerto Rico, Belgium, Spain
Group D: Latvia, USA, Senegal, China

The competition culminates with the Final on Sunday, September 30. The games take place across two venues: the Pabellón de Deportes de Tenerife Santiago Martin in San Cristóbal de La Laguna and the Palacio Municipal de los Deportes Quico Cabrera in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Photo: FIBA

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