Great Britain are Istanbul-bound next summer after learning their fate for EuroBasket 2017.

Joe Prunty’s men, who were in the sixth and lowest pot of seeds, will play the first round of the tournament at the Fenerbahce Arena in a group that includes Rio 2016 silver medallists Serbia, hosts Turkey, plus Russia, Latvia and Belgium.

It is a relatively favourable draw for GB who avoided old foes Spain, the defending champions, with the system destined for them to be in either Pool B in Tel Aviv or Group D in Turkey.

“It’s going to be a very tough group but I’m excited,” said GB guard Andrew Lawrence via Facebook Live. “The draw is tough. Group D is probably one we didn’t want to be in. It’s very tough teams in that group but we look forward to it because we’ll be playing against top teams.

“It’s going to be hard to get out of it with teams like Turkey, Russia, Serbia, Belgium and Latvia – all very strong teams with very good domestic leagues and guys who play in the NBA or at Euroleague level or around Europe at very good clubs. it will be a very tough competition but it’s something we look forward to. Playing against the best brings out the best in you.”

The provisional schedule will see GB open against Belgium on 1 September. Then, it continues on the 2nd vs Turkey, 4th vs Latvia, 5th vs Serbia and finally on the 7th against Russia before the top four teams advance to the knockout stages.

Size will matter, as will the availability of long-term absentees Luol Deng and Joel Freeland and 2016 opt-out Myles Hesson.

“Great Britain is supposed to be on this level of basketball so we’ll really get after it and compete,” Lawrence added. “I really hope a lot of the older guys, the more experienced guys, come back and play so we can make a push for. because I think we have a chance to get out of the group if everyone plays.”

Group A (Helsinki): Poland, Greece, France, Finland, Lithuania, Slovenia

Group B (Tel Aviv): Israel, Iceland, Georgia, Italy, Germany, Ukraine

Group C (Cluj): Croatia, Czech Republic, Spain, Montenegro, Romania, Hungary,

Group D (Istanbul): GREAT BRITAIN, Russia, Serbia, Latvia, Turkey, Belgium

Watch the draw ceremony again here (warning: fast forward to 1:08 to avoid mind numbing boredom)

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