The World Basketball Championship begins Saturday (August 31st) in China. From the American title holder, favorite and decimated, to the team of France, via the calendar …, all you need to know about the competition.
The gratin of the orange ball settles in China. From Saturday, August 31st and for fifteen days, the Middle Kingdom welcomes the 18the edition of the Men's Basketball World Cup. The formula of the competition has been largely overhauled, with now 32 teams vying to raise the world title. Round table after five years of waiting, and before the start of the World Cup.
Eight Chinese cities will host the competition: Beijing, Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan and Dongguan.
As before, the global meeting takes place every four years, but it has been shifted to odd years, "To no longer compete with the World Cup".
In 2017, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) chose to drastically change its competitive formula, ushering in a new – and controversial – qualifying window system, with the establishment of international qualifying windows.
For the first time, 32 teams (against 24 until then) will compete for the title: twelve from Europe, seven from the Americas, six from Asia, five from Africa and two from Oceania.
Even the trophy has been changed, and he too is now bigger.
Regarding the formula, FIBA did not take advantage of the general remodeling of the competition to simplify it. We remain on a system at least convoluted: eight groups of four teams will play the first phase of groups.
The two best of each group will climb into a second phase, where two pools will cross, keeping the points acquired in the first phase.
Then the two best of these four remaining groups will qualify for the quarter-finals. And so on until the final.
Group A – Beijing: China, Ivory Coast, Poland, Venezuela
Group B – Wuhan: Argentina, South Korea, Nigeria, Russia
Group C – Guangzhou: Spain, Iran, Puerto Rico, Tunisia
Group D – Foshan: Angola, Italy, Philippines, Serbia
Group E – Shanghai: Japan, United States, Czech Republic, Turkey
Group F – Nanjing: Brazil, Greece, Montenegro, New Zealand
Group G – Shenzhen: Germany, la France, Jordan, Dominican Republic
Group H – Dongguan: Australia, Canada, Lithuania, Senegal
In addition to the world title, the World Cup will award seven sesames for the Olympic Games 2020. A first. The best team from Africa, Asia and Oceania and the top two teams from the Americas and Europe of this competition will directly validate their ticket for Tokyo.
The sixteen teams following these seven qualifiers will have the opportunity to play a TQO (Olympic qualifying tournament) shortly before the Games – with eight other guests per geographic area. Twenty-four teams will see Tokyo next summer.
If the United States land in China in a disorganized order, after many desertions of stars of the NBA (not LeBron James, neither Stephen Curry nor James Harden …), the title holders remain the favorites of the competition, that they have won five times (a record, tied with Yugoslavia-Serbia), because of the importance of their pool of players.
Behind them, the Serbian giants (2.05 m average for the team) have sharp fangs and assume their ambitions. On the wings of their pivot Nikola Jokic, the Serbs, who finished second of their last three international competitions (World Cup 2014, Olympic Games 2016, Euro 2017) aspire to win the title.
A stronghold of European and World basketball, Spain, even deprived of its Pau Gasol tower, also aims high.
La Roja leads an ambitious pack of outsiders, including Australia – who made the United States fall in preparation, for the first time since 2006 – France or Greece the phenomenon Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The schedule of the France team
Sunday 1st September: France -Germany (14.30 hours French time, on Canal + Sport Week-End)
Tuesday, September 3: France – Jordan (2:30 pm French time)
Thursday, September 5: France – Dominican Republic (14:30, French time)