By Yarone Arbel
There's no doubt which Group F team comes into qualifying round play with the most momentum.
Belarus shocked everyone with two 26 point wins in the closing two days of the preliminary round, one against Croatia and the other against Serbia.
France is coming off a good finish against Italy on the third day and their only loss so far was a four point defeat to the gold favorites from Russia.
|Gruda's play in the paint will be crucial in controlling tempo.|
This one will probably be the most interesting game of the day, as it features two athletic teams that each plays the game in a different way.
Only the Czech Republic allowed less points than France in preliminary round while Belarus scored more than any other team.
Last Time Out: Belarus demolished Serbia pretty easily with a 79-53 win while France kept Italy behind with a 64-48 win.
Key Match Up: While Belarus likes to run France like to take it slow, but they do have the players to match the Belarus. Edwige Lawson-Wade, the French point guard, will have a key role in this game maintaining the fast pace her colleague on the other side - Volha Padabed will try to set.
X-Factor: Belarus has no less than three players scoring in the 10-10.7 ppg range and in a wider picture seven players who score six points per game and more. That team play comes with a fast pace style that is very difficult to handle. Surely Belarus will try to run but their x-factor will be to keep their team share going.
Statistics: Belrus is going big. Whatever they do there's more of it thanks to their fast pace game style. They score more, they obviously dish more assist, they steal more balls and block more shots but then turn the ball over more often and commit more fouls.
What It Means: A win here would be another step towards the quarterfinals for Belarus while Italy need every win they can get to have a chance of moving on to Chieti.