Published: Mon, March 18, 2019
Sports | By Juana Wells

USA Basketball Draws Turkey, Czech Republic, Japan In FIBA World Cup

USA Basketball Draws Turkey, Czech Republic, Japan In FIBA World Cup

For Canada to qualify directly to the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020 via the FIBA Basketball World Cup they must finish as one of the top two teams from the Americas zone. Team USA tore their way through the Olympics, winning each of their six games by at least 38 points en route to a Gold Medal.

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.

The stage is set for the 18th FIBA World Cup as China hosts the first round of eliminations in eight different cities starting August 31 with the Philippines bracketed in Group D with Serbia, Italy and Angola, each hoping to survive at the 14,700-seat Foshan International Sports and Cultural Center.

Senegal will enter with a world rank of 37 overall, but hold a regional rank of 2 in Africa.

The 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.

Italy is no slouch, as they are the 13th ranked country in the world.

The U.S. will be the favorites at the World Cup.

"I'm not going to say that this is the group of death but like I said, we're overwhelming underdogs but maybe this is the group of near death", Guiao told reporters Sunday night a day after the 2019 Fiba World Cup draw.

The other four will reach Tokyo through qualifying tournaments over the next year. Bryant said he expects competition to be stiff.

Now that the group is set, Team Canada can now start the preparation for the Basketball World Cup knowing their first three opponents.

"It's a greater sense of honour to be playing for your country", Bryant said.

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.

Eight teams of the 32 will make the Quarter-Finals and will play single elimination games until a champion is crowned.

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