It’s official: Sara Guerreiro is headed to China.
The Cleveland State senior guard, a native of Seixal, Portugal, has been named to her home country’s final 12-player roster for the 2021 World University Games in Chengdu, the Federação Académica do Desporto Universitário (FADU), Portugal’s federation governing university-level sports, announced on Friday.
Guerreiro, who spent her first two collegiate seasons at South Florida before joining the Vikings in 2022-23, survived a cutdown from a 16-player preliminary roster announced in May. Others who successfully navigated a sequence of three camps and a couple exhibition games over the last month include NCAA alumnae Ana Faustino (Western Kentucky), Carolina Benardeco (Old Dominion/Queens) and Joana Alves (Seattle). Susana Carvalheira, who stayed home for college, was named the Portuguese delegation’s opening ceremonies flag bearer on July 13th.
Carvalheira, Alves and Maianca Umabano are the roster’s three returners from Portugal’s bronze medal effort at the 2019 World University Games, and they’ll now look to equal or better that result in what should be a wide-open tournament following a two-year COVID delay.
Meanwhile, the International University Sports Federation (FISU) nicely complemented Portugal’s roster announcement with one of their own this week, the full event schedule.
Portugal’s quest for gold gets underway this coming Friday, July 28th, at 10:00 am locally (Thursday night at 10:00 pm in the eastern United States, as it’s a nice, clean 12-hour time difference) against host China, followed by a game the next day at 7:30 pm Chengdu time against Poland.
With a finish in the top two of that three-team Pool D, Portugal would advance to the quarterfinals and a crossover game on August 1st against Pool C, a group that includes Finland, Brazil and Romania. Incidentally, Team USA was originally slated to be part of Pool C, but the unknown NCAA team selected for the honor was forced to withdraw, and no replacement was found. Brazil moved over from Pool B to balance things out after the deletion.
From there, the semifinals take place on August 3rd, followed by the gold and bronze medal matches on August 5th. Simultaneous to all of that, there are also four-team consolation mini-tournaments to settle the placements of the teams that do not qualify for the quarterfinals, as well as those who fall in that round. That means that Guerreiro and Portugal will ultimately play four or five games together, regardless of outcomes.