USA draws Turkey, Czechs, Japan in FIBA group

Annette Crawford
Марта 17, 2019

The draw for the 32-team tournament was held on Saturday in Shenzhen, China, which will be one of the sites for the event that starts on August 31.

The tournament format is cut throat, with the top two from each Group advancing to the round of 16 and a shot at the medals, while those finishing third and fourth will play in classification 17 to 32 matches.

Canada's men's team hasn't made an Olympic appearance since the 2000 Games in Sydney.

Should New Zealand progress from Group play, they will cross over with Group E, those teams being USA, Turkey, Czech Republic and Japan.

France, ranked third in the world behind top-rated United States of America and then Spain, are in Group G with the Dominican Republic, Jordan and European rivals Germany.

Shea Ili on the drive for the Tall Blacks
SuppliedShea Ili on the drive for the Tall Blacks

Far from fearing the draw, Tall Blacks head coach Paul Henare welcomed the challenge of a fifth consecutive World Cup for his team, and the prospect of continuing a run that has seen the Tall Blacks alongside world powers the USA, Argentina, Serbia (formerly Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro) and Spain as the only teams over the past four tournaments to qualify for knock-out play.

On the other hand, Italy was the second placed team in Group J. It will most likely field Los Angeles Clipper Danilo Gallinari and San Antonio Spur Marco Bellineli.

"As a basketball player, that's one of the highest points you can get for basketball", Harden said.

"In my experience, the World Cup is not about the first round - it's all about the second round", Ilyasova said. Third-ranked France drew the Dominican Republic, Germany and Jordan as its early opponents. "So if we have a chance to go for it this summer, we will".

Lithuania will enter the World Cup with a world rank of 6th overall, Australia will enter with a rank of 11th after just falling outside the top 10 in the latest FIBA World Ranking list.

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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.

The U.S. will be the favorites at the World Cup. Bryant said he expects competition to be stiff, even for the Americans.

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

The Philippines was slotted in Pool D and will play its games in Foshan, China.

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