MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Tuesday, February 4 (Manila time) has officially been drawn to a group for the FIBA World Cup. The national men's basketball squad was drawn to Group B which the preliminary game will be hosted by Sevilla, the Fourth Largest City of Spain and among the home of largest Filipino Community and will be pitted against Senegal, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Greece and Croatia. Coach Reyes says "We are very proud to be drawn in a group with Argentina and some really superpowers like Croatia playing in Sevilla. We like the fact that we're playing in the city of Sevilla. We know we have quite a big Filipino population in Sevilla so we expect a lot of our countrymen to watch live apart from the people from the Philippines who will fly over to Spain,"
Philippines coach Chot Reyes is all smiles these days as he looks ahead to his team's opportunity to take part in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
The play-caller has not only been given a thumbs-up on Thursday by the PBA Board of Governors to have a longer preparation (six weeks) for the tournament, but he has also revealed the possibility of having a very good NBA player in the squad. Reyes says that Denver Nuggets center Javale McGee or Brooklyn Nets big man Andray Blatche may suit up for the team as a replacement for Marcus Douthit, a member of the squad at the last two FIBA Asia Championships.
"This is a tough group. We don't have any disillusions about our group. We are going to prepare, we are going to work very hard," Gilas coach Chot Reyes said in an interview after the official draw held in Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona Spain early Tuesday (Manila Time).
Here are the full draw results, which split 24 teams into four groups of six teams. FIBA rankings for each team are in parentheses.
Group A: Spain (No. 2), France (No. 8), Brazil (No. 10), Serbia (No. 11), Iran (20), Egypt (46)
Group B: Argentina (No. 3), Greece (No. 5), Croatia (No. 16), Puerto Rico (No. 17), Philippines (No. 34), Senegal (No. 41)
Group C: United States (No. 1), Turkey (No. 7), New Zealand (No. 19), Dominican Republic (No. 26), Finland (No. 39), Ukraine (No. 45)
Group D: Lithuania (No. 4), Australia (No. 9), Slovenia (No. 13), Angola (No. 15), Mexico (No. 24), South Korea (no. 31)
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