Friday, 22 March, 2019

Canada grouped with strong squads Lithuania, Australia for FIBA World Cup

Canada drawn into tough World Cup group with Lithuania, Australia and Senegal U.S. draws Turkey, Czechs, Japan in FIBA group
Cassandra Castillo | 17 March, 2019, 08:10

Turkey men's basketball team will meet Czech Republic, the USA and Japan in the Group E in 2019 FIBA World Cup group stage.

For the first time ever the top seven teams from the FIBA Basketball World Cup will earn direct qualification to the Olympics.

Each team plays against the other three teams in their group once.

Greece got a smooth draw for the first group stage of the 2019 Basketball World Cup in China on Saturday, and will likely meet Team USA in the second group stage, which means it will avoid it at least in the first knock-out round. It was known Friday, a day before the draw, that Turkey had to be in the same group as the Americans because of the way that other teams from the Americas were placed into pods. This second-stage group will be held in Shenzhen and its top two teams will reach the quarterfinals.

China will be placed in Group A with all their group matches to be played in Beijing and reigning world champions US will be allocated to Group E in Shanghai.

From a disappointing bronze-medal finish in the 2004 Olympics, Team USA reclaimed its lost glory by winning back-to-back gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Games with Bryant in the fold.

The U.S.is the top-ranked team in the world and coach Gregg Popovich - taking over for Mike Krzyzewski, whose run as head coach ended with three Olympic gold medals and the last two World Cup championships as well - will head to China with a roster filled by National Basketball Association talent.

More news: Solskjaer Says Man Utd Have Quality To Win Champions League

Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Turkey and Venezuela are in Pot 4 while Germany, Czech, Poland and Iran are in Pot 5.

The U.S. won the World Cup in 2010 and 2014.

"You might say we have been better in those situations, when no one expects us to do well, we love to be in the fight as an underdog".

At stake for teams in the World Cup: The Naismith Trophy, which longtime National Basketball Association star Kobe Bryant brought onto the stage Saturday and handed to Yao for safekeeping, as well as a berth in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Team USA, who have named the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry in their 2019-2020 roster, will be strong favourites to retain their crown at the August 31-September 15 showpiece in China.

"It's a real sense of honour to be playing for your country".

Group F teams will play in Nanjing, Group G in Shenzhen while Dongguan is the preferred city for Group H teams. Japan, Jordan, Tunisia and the last African team to qualify, Ivory Coast make up teams in Pot 8.

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