GB LEARN WORLD CUP PATH

Great Britain have learnt their opponents for the first phase of qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

The draw, made in Guangzhou, China on Sunday, pitted GB against Greece, Israel and one team coming through August’s additional qualifying tournament for a campaign that will start in November.

GB, who will face both their confirmed opponents in friendlies this coming summer, will open up with a home game against the Greeks on November 24  and then complete the group with a home tie against the qualifier on June 29 2018 followed by a visit from Israel on July 2.

The away ties will be against the qualifier on November 27, at Israel on February 22 2018 and in Greece on 25 February.

With GB set to be under a new coach following the anticipated departure of Joe Prunty after this summer’s EuroBasket, it will see the national side attempt to reach a World Cup for the first time.

However, following a switch to the new international basketball schedule that sees qualifiers take place in-season, it will rule out North American-based players for the fixtures in November and February at least with the windows in June and September likely to be the only time full squads are available.

Three teams from the group will advance into the second round of qualifying which starts in September 2018.

At the end of the campaign in February 2019, 12 spots for Europe will be filled among the 31 nations joining hosts China at the first-ever 32-team edition of FIBA’s flagship event.

The qualifiers also lead directly to the next Olympic Games, in Tokyo, with seven teams earning direct berths and the other vacancies filled through an additional tournament in 2020.

British Basketball has indicated it will take the qualifiers around the country with Glasgow’s Emirates Arena and Leicester Riders arena understood to be in pole position to host games.

European Draw

Group A: Montenegro, Slovenia, Qualifier, Spain

B: Qualifier, Turkey, Latvia, Ukraine

C: Poland, Qualifier, Lithuania, Hungary

D: Italy, Qualifier, Croatia, Romania

E: Qualifier, Belgium, France, Russia

F: Qualifier, Czech Rep, Finland, Iceland

G: Germany, Serbia, Qualifier, Georgia,

H: Israel, GREAT BRITAIN, Greece, Qualifier

 

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