Every second week leading up to EuroBasket Women 2013, fibaeurope.com's undercover expert ranks the 16 teams headed for France. The 9th edition is the first under the impression of the beginning test games.
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A clean sweep in your three opening games over Italy? Way to start your mission. 5,000 spectators in Roanne demonstrate how big the hype is in the host country.
All big names are there and the youngsters are knocking on the door of the senior team, making sure the establishment stays on their toes.
Spain do not open their preparation games before Thursday when they host Finland in Aguilas, but with Alba Torrens smiling again, Spain are certainly on a high right now.
Coach Vainauskas has plenty of work ahead of him, but certainly has the talent for a semi-final appearance. We'll know more when Russia start testing their new-look team next week.
A dominant 83-60 display over Ukraine indicates the Czechs might not be as weak as others could have hoped after the loss of Horakova and Viteckova.
Coach Bralic has to deal with heightened expectations after the Olympic appearance and without test game results; it is difficult to predict how the Croats will cope with that.
After opening the test-games with a win over Serbia, the Slovaks split the series with only Lucia Kupcikova racking up double-figures in scoring. It remains to be seen how this Slovak team will look in France.
Montenegro have their group from 2011 back, including Anna DeForge, who seemed to be out last year but is back to form the most experienced back-court together with Jelena Skerovic. Questions remain about their - particularly Jelena Dubljevic's - durability.
Belarus opened their preparations with a statement, brushing aside Latvia and Great Britain with their trademark defence, never allowing more than 50 points, before experiencing set-backs against Lithuania and Ukraine.
Though maybe not at full strength, Frida Eldebring and Louice Halvarsson are on board, making Sweden a serious contender for the quarter-finals, even without Farhiya Abdi.
Running over Belarus to open the test-game phase must have felt great, but Petronyte and co. fell to Poland just one day later. A solid win over Ukraine put them back on track and potentially even further up in the next rankings.
Bouncing back from their defeat to the Slovaks by dominating them in Krajnska Gora in the re-match makes you wonder if we had the Serbs too low in this ranking in the last weeks.
Maybe choosing to play in France for three straight days was not all that good, leaving coach Ricchini to re-establish the self-confidence of his players following three nasty defeats.
Ukraine fell to both Poland and Lithuania in a tournament in Poland, but will focus more on their win over Belarus as something to build on in the coming weeks.
On a positive note, Latvia have won back-to-back games over the Netherlands. But coach Nerips will not be too excited about it, given the roster he is working with and the quality of the teams Latvia will face in France.
Getting pummeled twice by Belarus to start your preparation will be difficult to cope with, especially with the next test game coming twelve days later, meaning no chance to get the bad taste out of your mouth.
HONORARY MENTION: POLAND
Beating both Ukraine and Lithuania indicates the Poles are the strongest team to be left out of the final round. Not that this helps Polish fans, but it will certainly boost hopes that they grab the one spot available for EuroBasket Women 2015.