All You Need to Know about the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup
This August 31st, the 18th edition of FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 will kick off at China, and this year’s World Cup will be the biggest edition of all time with a record participation of 32 teams. Initially, it was planned to be conducted in 2018, but was rescheduled to 2019 as FIFA World Cup and FIBA World Cup cannot happen in the same year.
This year, unlike the past years, no wild card entry & Olympic Champions were guaranteed a spot in the tournament. Also, Montenegro and Czech Republic will be featuring in the World Cup for the first time after qualifying with other ten European teams. Asia and Oceania have eight teams including the host country China. From the Americas, United States, the current champions and other six teams compete and five from Africa sums up to a whooping 32 teams this time around. Each team participating in the FIBA World Cup will be having 12 players including one naturalized player according to the FIBA eligibility rules.
Group A: Cote d’Ivoire, Poland, Venezuela, China (hosts)
Group B: Russia, Argentina, Korea, Nigeria
Group C: Spain, Iran, Puerto Rico, Tunisia
Group D: Angola, Philippines, Italy, Serbia
Group E: Turkey, Czech Republic, USA, Japan
Group F: Greece, New Zealand, Brazil, Montenegro
Group G: Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Jordan
Group H: Canada, Senegal, Lithuania, Australia
The first round or the group phase will start from Aug 31st till September 5th, and the top two teams will advance to the second round. The bottom two teams from each group will compete for the places 17 to 32.
The second round will begin on September 6th and see four groups of four teams playing against teams they did not face during the first round. Eventually, the top two teams advance to quarterfinals.
The quarterfinals start on September 10th and the losing teams move to Classification Round for places No. 5 to 8. The final will be played on September 15th in Beijing. Over the 16 days, there will be 92 games played.
With a total of eight venues, this year’s World Cup will be hosted in eight different cities namely Foshan, Shanghai, Wuhan, Dongguan, Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Nanjing. The following centers will be hosting the basketball games:
Beijing - Wukesong Sport Center (cap: 18,000)
Nanjing - Gymnasium of Youth Olympic Games Sport Park (cap: 19.164)
Shanghai – Shanghai Oriental Sports Center (cap: 18,000)
Wuhan – Wuhan Sports Center (cap: 11,700)
Dongguan – Dongguan Basketball Center (cap: 16,000)
Guangzhou – Guangzhou Gymnasium (cap: 11,609)
Foshan - Foshan International Sports & Cultural Arena (cap: 14,700)
Shenzhen – Shenzhen Bay Sports Centre (cap: 12,381)
Mascot, Ball, Logo & Global Ambassador
The official mascot for the tournament was chosen from a design competition and Yan Xu’s design, a Chinese dragon inspired named Son of Dreams, was selected. The mascot’s magical horns have the ability to give the dragon ‘the power to see in the future, envision the plays before they actually happen’. The official ball used for the tournament would be Molten BG5000, which is designed by Japanese sports equipment company, Molten. The logo for the World Cup was inspired from the Beijing Opera that symbolizes concepts such as wisdom, persistence, power and perfection in order to succeed. It was Shanghai based agency named Flagship who created the logo. Kobe Bryant was chosen as the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 global ambassador as he is considered as one of the best players in history of basketball. With a huge fan following in China, Kobe was chosen for his popularity and class. In addition, Kobe has around 6.84 million followers from China and this made him the global ambassador as Yao Ming was chosen earlier as the first ambassador.
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