Finally, the countries participating in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup now know which nations they should prepare for the international basketball world championship set Aug 30 to Sept 13, 2014, after the official draw was announced by FIBA early on Tuesday.
In the preliminary round, the 24 participating teams are divided into four groups A, B, C and D of six teams each. Each country will play other nations in its own group—a guarantee of at least five games played in Spain.
A total of 60 games will be played in the preliminaries with the top four teams in each group qualifying for the next round.
New Zealand was picked to join Group C, which has basketball superpower United States of America (USA) along with Ukraine, Dominican Republic, Turkey and wildcard qualifier Finland.
Meanwhile, Australia may have lucked out after getting picked in a group seen as the easiest among the four sets. They join Lithuania, Angola, South Korea, Slovenia and Mexico in Group D.
2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup Official Preliminary Groups:
Group A: Spain, Egypt, Serbia, Brazil and France Group B: Philippines, Argentina, Senegal, Croatia, Puerto Rico and Greece Group C: United States of America, Finland, New Zealand, Ukraine, Dominican Republic and Turkey Group D: Lithuania, Angola, South Korea, Slovenia, Mexico and Australia
Here are some reactions from various NT coaches and team officials upon learning which teams they’ll initially play in the later part of 2014:
Andrej Lemanis (Head coach, Australia basketball NT):
Jim Tooley (CEO, USA basketball)
Juan Antonio Orenga (Head coach, Spain basketball NT):
(All videos via the official YouTube page of FIBA)