The FIBA World Cup will take place later this year but on Saturday we will find out who will be paired with who.
At the Shenzen Bay Arena in China, the draw for the group stage of the competition’s final round will take place, with the participation of legendary athletes Kobe Bryant and Yao Ming.
The 32 teams that have already advanced will be separated into four pots and from then eight groups of four teams will be formed (in a format similar to that of the FIFA World Cup or the UEFA Champions League.)
Greece has been placed in pot one alongside the USA, Spain and other top level teams, while Australia’s fate still remains unknown as FIBA have not announced the classifications of the rest of the teams.
Yet considering their position in the worldwide ranking (they barely missed out on the top-10), it would be hard to imagine the Boomers missing out on pot two.
After the phase one stage games are completed, teams that took the top two spots in their respective groups will move on to the second group stage, while those placed in third and fourth will go to the 17-32 classification rounds.
The second round will be done in a similar format, with teams that qualified from phase one being paired in four groups of four.
From the second round, the top two teams of each group will advance to the quarter-finals, where the winners move on to the semis while the losers play for positions five to eight.
There will also be a mini-final to determine who gets placed third and fourth.
The position of each nation in the World Cup will be crucial since the tournament serves as a passage way to next year’s Olympics, which is why so much emphasis has been put on who is placed where.
There are only so many “tickets” provided to each continent, which could mean that even if a team from Europe is placed higher than one from Asia or Africa, if there are no more positions available for European teams then it’ll be the team from another other continent advancing to Tokyo.
The tournament begins 31 August, with the final taking place on 15 September.
Below are listed the 32 participating teams at this year’s FIBA World Cup per continent:
EUROPE: Spain, Serbia, Russia, Italy, France, Turkey, GREECE, Lithuania, Germany, Montenegro, Czech Republic, Poland
THE AMERICAS: USA, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela
ASIA & OCEANIA: China (host nation), AUSTRALIA, Japan, New Zealand, Iran, Jordan, Philippines, South Korea
AFRICA: Tunisia, Angola, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Nigeria