2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup Previews


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The 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup will be the 17th edition of the FIBA Basketball World Cup, The tournament previously known as the FIBA World Championship, To be hosted by Spain. It will be the last time the tournament will be held on the current four year cycle. The next FIBA World Cup will be held five years later in 2019 to reset the four year cycle on a different year that the FIFA World Cup. The winner will automatically qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. If Brazil wins the tournament the runner-up will qualify for the 2016 Olympics as Brazil is already qualified as host country of the Olympics.

Group A


The brazil national basketball team represents brazil in FIBA's basketball competitions. they have been a member of the international federation of basketball (FIBA) since 1935. Basketball was initially introduced to brazil by professor augusto shaw in 1912, he began organizing the first state tournament and in 1922 the first national team made its debut at games against argentina and uruguay. in following years brazil became a regular at major international competitions. its basketball squad participated in the first official basketball tournament at the summer olympics1936 in berlin. one of the fundamental pillars of Brazilian basketball was the boldness of its coaches. the father of them all is togo renan soares "kanela" (so nicknamed for this thick whie hair). working in the shadow of the giant football, kanela (1906-1992) understood that basketball would add more followers if it could only offer new emoticons. he aimed to get the influential media involved, so the game was conceived as a spectacle based on its dynamism and aesthetics. the unstoppable rise of basketball was confirmed at the second world championship in rio (1954). the brazillian team, coached by kanela reached the final undefeated and proclaimed runner-up after losing to the global hegemonic basketball power from the US. the brazillian team was equipped with experienced players who won the bronze medal london 1948 and supported through the arrival of two young men. the hard work of kanela consisted of giving these players basic fundamentals and then lecture them on team concepts. amaury and wlamir were his most successful students. especially their jump shots dazzled at the 54 fiba world cup. "their scoring was smart and technically perfect" said the brazillian journalist fabio balassiano.


Egypt has secured a place at the FIBA World Cup 2014 for the first time since 1994, after defeating Senegal 70-63 in the semi-finals of the FIBA Africa Championship. Egypt joined the International Federation of Basketball (FIBA) in 1934 and has africa's longest basketball tradition.Team Egypt has a remarkable achievements. its 9th place finish at the 1952 summer olympics as well as its 5th place finish at the 1950 fiba world championship remain the best results ever of an african nation at each tournament. at the fiba championship, egypt holds a record number of 17 medals.


The team is the current reigning champion of europe. france has been a regular at eurobasket, with 37 apearances with its best being a gold medal at eurobasket 2013 and silver medals at eurobasket 1949 and eurobasket 2011. the french squad has also won two silver medals at the summer olympics, in 1948 and 2000. france's best result at the FIBA World Cup came in 2006, when it finished in fifth place. france has qualified for the FIBA Eurobasket a total of 36 times, more than any other nation.


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As of 2013 , Iran is the reigning basketball champion of asia. overall, the team won three out of the last four FIBA Asia Championship tournaments. The Iranian national team has had limited success on the international stage, with the most international experience being that of their 1948 Summer Olympics qualification, although they did not manage to make it past the group stage. winning the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship at Manila, Philippines was a sign that the Iranian team has forgot the tragedy of their loss to Jordan in the last tournament 2011 FIBA Asia Championship, and reclaimed the top place in the FIBA Asia. Iran defeated the charged up hosts Philippines by an 85-71 win in the final. Iranian center Hamed Haddadi, who played a stellar role in Iran's triumph at the 27th FIBA Asia Championship, became the most accomplished individual players of the competition winning two awards, including that of the MVP. Iran was the only team with two awards in the ALL Starts with Oshin Sahakian named for the Power Forward position.


Serbia is currently ranked eleventh in the FIBA World Rankings. It was known as the Yugoslavia national basketball team until April 1992 and the FR Yugoslavia/Serbia and Montenegro national basketball team until June 2006. When Serbia became Independent, it became the successor state to the Serbia and Montenegro and therefore the results of previous state FR Yugoslavia/Serbia and Montenegro rightfully belong to it. However FR Yugoslavia/Serbia and Montenegro is not considered to be the succesor of SFRY so the results before 1992 dont belong to the current team.


The first game in the history of the selection was a friendly game before the 1935 EuroBasket. where Spain faced the selection of Portugal. This event which was held in Geneva in the summer of 1935 was the first EuroBasket game in history. Spain finished 2nd and qualified for the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin where basketball was introduced for the first time. After this, the team disappeared from the Euro Basket competition for over 20 years and reappeared at the 1959 EuroBasket in Turkey. where it finished 15th. In the following years the selection slowly but surely worked its way up into the medal ranks again and appeared on the podium six more times between 1959 and Seville and Granada. Then at the next EuroBasket, Spain went to win the gold medal in this competition for the first time in its history. In EuroBasket 2011 Spain returned to win the continental title for the second consecutive. Altogether Spain has won ten EuroBasket medals, two gold, six silver and two bronze in 2013 however Spain lost to surprising France in the semifinals allowing the French team to claim its first title forcing the Spanish to claim the third place.


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Group B


The practice of basketball in Argentina was started by Young Men's Christians Association un 1912. Canadian Professor Paul Phillip was in charge to teach basketball at the YMCA headquarters in Paseo Colon Avenue Buenos Aires. The first basketball clubs in Argentina were YMCA, Hindu and Independiente. Argentina played its first international game against Uruguay in 1921. In 1930 the first Campeonato Sudamericano was organised being Argentina runner up. The first clubs championship was held in 1936. The Argentina representative was also the first to defeat a United States national team with a full squad of NBA players. They did so by 87-80 in the 2002 FIBA World Championship held in indianapolis. In that tournament, Argentina came second behind FR Yugoslavia losing the final in overtime. Due to the series of good results since the beginning of the 2000s (decade). Argentina reached the first position in the FIBA Men's Ranking at the end of the 2008 Olympic games.


The biggest success Croatia has achieved was at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics when the team reached finals against the Dream Team and won the silver. Croatia has also known one bronze medal at the FIBA World Cup and two bronze medals at the FIBA EuroBasket. after independence of Croatia in 1991,the first official tournament played by Croatians were 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. Croatia defeated CIS team and reached the finals against USA Dream Team led by Michael Jordan. USA won but Croatia won its first medal at major tournaments in history.


Basketball has a long tradition in Greece,as the country was one of the eight founding members of the International Basketball Federation, more commonly known by its French acronym FIBA in 1932. However, the men's national team was considered as a second-class power in international basketball for several decades and only came into prominence in the mid 1980s by winning the EuroBasket 1987. It was the first major ever major international title won by a Greek national team in any sports. As a result basketball became extremely popular in the country and since the Greece has been placed in the high level on the basketball stage. Greece basketball team was organized and run by the Hellenic Basketball Federation. Traditionally, Greece is considered among the world's top basketball powers, they were runner un in the 2006 FIBA World Championship after beating the 2006 Team USA of Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony in the tournaments semifinal. They have also won the FIBA EuroBasket twice in 1987 and 2005. They are currently placed fifth in te FIBA World Rankings.


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The Philippines first participated in international basketball in the Far Eastern Championship Games from 1913 to 1934, winning all but one championship. The games were not under the supervision of FIBA at that time. The Basket Association of the Phililppines (BAP) was founded in 1936 and became a part of FIBA later that year. The current national team nicknamed Team Pilipinas or Gilas Pilipinas is sponsored by Smart Communications. The Team won bronze medal in the 1954 FIBA World Championship for men, the best finish by any team outside the Americas and Europe and a fifth-place finish in the 1936 Summer Olympics, the best finish by any team outside the Americas, Europe and Oceania. The Philippines has the most win in the Olympics and the best winning percentage in the World Cup. Aside from the bronze medal at the World Championships and the fifth place Olympic finish the Philippines has won five FIBA Asian Championships for Men four Asian participated in four FIBA World Cups and seven Olympic Basketball Tournaments.

Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rican Basketball Federation joined FIBA in 1957. Puerto Rico has participated in nine Olympics and 12 World Championships, although they have won a medal at either competition. Puerto Rico's first appearance at a World Championship was in 1959 in Chile where led by Juan "Panchin" Vicens who averaged 22 points per game the tea, finished 5th with a record of 3-6 in 1963 at Puerto Rico's second World Championship appearance which took place in Brazil the tram led by Rafael Valle and Juan "Panchin" opened the tournament winning two straight games. yet after losing other six games back to back ended its participation with a win over italy obtaining 6th placed.


With its historic qualification for the 1968 Summer Olympics, Team Senegal gained international attention for the first time. The following years were marked by an at times, dominating performance on the African continent. Senegal has had many world elite basketball players especially at the center position which helped the team to compete at many major international tournaments. At times however the team was overly dependent on its NBA players. An example was in the mid 2000s when it struggled with injuries. Having finished as the runner up to Angola in the 2005 FIBA Africa Championship Senegal qualified for play in the 2006 FIBA World Championship where the squad finished last in Group D and twenty-second amongst the twenty four sides to have contested the championship having lost to the United States, Italy, Slovenia, China and Puerto Rico.


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Group C


The Dominican Republic national basketball team is the men's basketball team that represents the Dominican Republic in international competition. 2011 and 2012, John Calipari the head coach of the University of Kentucky men's basketball team served as the head coach of the team. The team placed third in the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship and fourth in the 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament. one position shy of qualifying for the 2012 Olympics.


The Finnish national basketball team, represents Finland in international basketball. it will make its FIBA World Cup debut in the 2014 edition, having qualified as a wild card. it has played at 13 EuroBasket tournaments. Its best finish being 6th in 1967 on home soil. Finland first competed in the European championship in the third installment at Eurobasket 1939. In the round robin there, they lost to each of the other seven teams in sequence finishing with a 70-541 overall point differential.

New Zealand

The Tail Blacks competed at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and finished with a 1-5 record their only win coming against Angola. in the playoff for eleventh place in 2001 they defeated Australia. in a three game series to qualify for the 2002 FIBA World Championship in Indianapolis, United States at the tournament they finished fourth after beating Puerto Rico in the quarter finals before losses to Serbia and Montenegro and Germany. Tail Blacks captain Pero Cameron was the only non-NBA player named to the All-Tournament team in Indianapolis. The Tail Blacks also for the 2004 Athens Olympics but again finished with a 1-5 record and lost to Australia in the playoff for ninth place. their most noted moment was on the 7th day of the games when they defeated reigning the World Champions Serbia and Montenegro by a score of 90-87.


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The turkey basketball team also known as 12 dev Adam meaning 12 Giant Men. Through 2014 it has won two silver medals in major international tournaments. One at FIBA EuroBasket 2001 and one at the FIBA World Cup 2010. Further it won multiple medals at minor tournaments such as the Mediterranean Games. Currently Turkey stands 7th in the FIBA World Rankings. Ahmet Robenson was known as being the first organizer of basketball in Turkey. In 1936 turkey played their first ever basketball match against Greece winning 49-12. For many years basketball was the second most popular sport in Turkey but the national basketball team was never successful until the late 90s. Efes Pilsen was the the first Turkish team to win a European Cup in any sports by clinching the Korac Cup. Since then basketball in Turkey has grown constantly as the national basketball team began to play a major role in international tournaments.


Ukraine did not qualify for EuroBasket 2011 as one of the top two teams of their qualifying group, but did qualify by the FIBA decision of expand the tournament from 16 to 24 teams.The Ukrainian national basketball team is the national basketball team of Ukraine. The team participates at FIBA Europe competitions. According to the FIBA Ranking it belongs to the six elite teams that resulted from the division of Soviet Union national basketball team alongside Team Lithuania, Team Russia, Team Latvia, Team Kazakhstan and Team Georgia. Their best result to date was getting 6th at FIBA EuroBasket 2013 with six wins. The team has qualified for the 2014 FIBA World Cup after defeating Team Italy in the 5th-8th place tournament. The only major global event that the team has not yet qualified for are the Summer Olympic Games.


The United States possessed a clear advantage in the early decades of international play (though they were defeated by Argentina in the First FIBA World Championships in 1950). The US men were dominant from the first Olympic tournament to hold basketball held in Berlin in 1936 going 5-0 to win the gold and joined by continental neighbors Canada and Mexico on the medal platform. Through the next six tournaments the United States went undefeated collecting gold while not losing a single contest in the games held in London, Helsinki, Melbourne, Rome, Tokyo, and Mexico city. Participation in these tournaments were limited to amateurs but the US teams during this period featured players who would later go on to become superstars in professional basketball including all time greats Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West and Jerry Lucas, the latter three competed on the 1960 Rome team often credited as the best US roster until the formation of the 1992 Dream Team.


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Group D


Angola has been a member of FIBA since 1979. Ranking 15th in the FIBA World Rankings, Angola is the top team of FIBA Africa and a regular competitor at the Summer Olympic Games and the FIBA World Cup. Angola has competed in many international competitions including the 1992,1996,2000 and 2002 Summer Olympics, 2006 and 2010 FIBA World Championship as well as the FIBA Africa Championship where the team has won 10 of the last 12 championships with the first coming in 1989 and the most recent in 2009 they won the tournament for Basketball at the 2007 All-Africa Games.


The team is known in Australia as the Boomers, an Australian slang term for Kangaroo. Australia is currently is currently ranked 9th in the FIBA World Rankings and finished 7th at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Australia is a regional power in all forms of basketball. Placed in the relatively weak FIBA Oceania region, the Boomers qualification for the Summer Olympic Games and FIBA World Cup is often a three match competition against the other regional power, the New Zealand Tall Blacks. Traditionally the Boomers have been selected from the teams making up the Australasian National Basketball League. This has changed in recent years with many Australian players heading to the stronger EuroLeague to play and several heading to the National Basketball Association in the United States. Australia is the nation that has participated in the most Olympic men's basketball tournaments (13) without winning a medal it has also participated in 10 FIBA World Cups without a medal.


Based on the number of overall medals won, South Korea is the major force among basketball teams of FIBA Asia. The team has won a record number of 23 medals at the FIBA Asia Championship. Furthermore South Korea is the only nation that has qualified for this event every year since it was first held in 1960. Throughout its basketball history, South Korea has always been among the top teams in Asia. Despite often considered as standing in the shadow of China, the team has its moments of glory. The first major accomplishment was at the 1948 Summer Olympics when it finished 8th better than any other Asian nation and ahead of teams such as Canada, Argentina and Italy. Later in 1969 and 1970 the team enjoyed a brief period to shine when it won the 1969 Asian Championship and ultimately qualified for the 1970 FIBA world Championship. There as the only Asian team South Korea finished ahead of Australia (champion of FIBA Oceana) and Egypt champion of (FIBA Africa).


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Lithuanian men competed in two of the pre-war FIBA EuroBasket competitions for the European championship. They won both the EuroBasket 1937 and EuroBasket 1939 competitions. The 1939 team was led by Frank Lubin who helped popularize basketball in the country and was called the "Grandfather of Lithuanian Basketball". Having been part of the Soviet Union, Lithuanian players frequently formed the core of the Soviet national team. This was especially so for the 1988 Olympic basketball gold medal winning team which go most of its scoring from four Lithuanians. After the restoration of Lithuanian independence in 1990 the national team was resurrected . Lithuania won bronze medals in the first three Olympics to include NBA players. The Lithuanian team won the FIBA EuroBasket for the third time in 2003. It also won the bronze medal in the 2010 FIBA World Championship and became vice champions in EuroBasket 2013.


As of 2013 Mexico is the reigning basketball champion of the Americas.Until the late 1960s team Mexico was a major force at the world stage. The team won the bronze medal at the 1936 Summer Olympics, finished 4th at the 1948 event and 5th in 1968. At the FIBA Americas Championship 2009 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mexico finished 7th ahead of Panama, Venezuela and the United States Virgin Islands. On individual performances, Gustavo Ayon finished among the tournament's top performers in steals,blocks and minutes per game. Both Eduardo Najera and Earl Watson expressed their interest in representing Mexico internationally. However neither received permission by their teams to participate at the FIBA Americas Championship 2009 in San Juan,Puerto Rico. In 2013 Mexico beat Puerto Rico in the Gold Medal game to win the FIBA Americas Championship.


Slovenia ended in the 6th place in the EuroBasket 2005 and thus qualified for Basketball World Championship 2006. Since the independence of the country in 1991, the team competed at every FIBA EuroBasket but failed to advance to the next group until 2005.

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Wow! Happy to see Philippines here! Thanks for this information BrandonRush! You sure did a brief achievement overview of each country. I am from the Philippines and extremely proud of our country's players. Not only do we have shorter men compared to the other international players, but we also do not have much in terms of the high-tech basketball amenities and facilities that other countries' players enjoy. Yet, we thrive and end the best outside America, Europe and Oceania. This is pure talent, hard work and perseverance to do the best in the sport. Filipinos love basketball apart from boxing where our very own Manny Pacquiao flourishes and can be lined up with the best of the best boxers from around the world.