Twenty-four teams came, and only eight remain at the 2013 Eurobasket. The pressure to qualify for the World Cup has lessened, but the pressure to bring home the gold is sinking in. At this point, one win in the Round of 16 (taking place today and tomorrow) gets you into the World Cup next summer, with only the 8th place team not gaining an automatic bid. (If Spain finishes sixth or higher, the seventh place team is in. The eight remaining
In case you missed it, Mexico won the Tournament of the Americas. Yes, Mexico, which hadn’t qualified for a World Championship Cup in 40 years. Gustavo Ayon of the Atlanta Hawks was the tournament MVP. What does this have to do with Eurobasket ’13? Only the fact that you never know what is going to happen in a FIBA tournament, as witnessed by what we are currently seeing in Slovenia.
The 2013 FIBA Eurobasket is upon us, beginning today in Slovenia. Which NBA stars will dominate the tournament? Which Europeans will burst onto the NBA scene? Who will earn the right to challenge Team USA in next summer’s inaugural World Cup? We have all that for you, and more.The most prestigious continental basketball competition in the world, this year’s competition will feature 24 teams competing for 6 berths to the inaugural 2014 Basketball World Cup in Spain next summer. (It
Group A Likely To Advance 1. France With likely MVP candidate, Tony Parker, leading the way for the French squad, Les Blues are the runaway favorites to take group A. While France may be missing a trio of NBA bigs, Joakim Noah, Ronny Turiaf and Kevin Seraphin, they have by far the most talented roster in this group, and are a virtual lock to earn a bid to the World Cup. After getting knocked off by Spain in the quarterfinals of the Olympics,
Group B Likely to advance 1. Lithuania One of the most fully loaded squads in his year’s Eurobasket, the Lithuanian squad is poised to be one of the juggernauts of this year’s competition. Veteran point guard Sarunas Jasikevicus will be sitting this one out, but the Grateful Dead’s favorite European basketball team will be a force to be reckoned with. Starting with Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas, the Lithuanians will be loaded with horses in the paint. Valanciunas had a solid rookie season, but seems
Group C Likely To Advance 1. Spain Known as the most powerful basketball country outside of the United States, the winners of the past two Eurobaskets will once again be the favorites to win gold in Slovenia this summer. What is really crazy is that Spain is the favorite to win the tournament, but their list of players absent this year, which includes Pau Gasol, Serge Ibaka, future Chicago Bull and Spanish league MVP Nikola Mirotic, Juan Carlos Navarro, Victor Sada and Felipe
Group D Likely To Advance 1. Greece Greece is another squad showing up without some of their best players but still remain a contender for the gold. Even without pick-and-roll master Dimitris Diamantitis, Grizzlies guard Nick Calathes, Nuggets center Kosta Koufos and Maccabi Tel Aviv center “Sofo” Schortsanitis, the Greeks are poised to compete for their first medal since 2009. Italian coach Andrea Trinchieri, who recently moved from Cantu to Unics Kazan in Russia, will have no shortage of weapons throughout this campaign. Back-to-back
The 2013 FIBA Americas Championship is set to kick off tonight in Caracas, Venezuela, with 10 teams vying for four spots in the Basketball World Cup (formerly known as the World Championship) next summer in Spain. Who is going to win? Who are the players to keep an eye on? We’ve got you covered on both fronts.