2019 FIBA WORLD CUP DRAW REACTIONS

2019 FIBA WORLD CUP DRAW REACTIONS

Following the 2019 FIBA World Cup draw over the weekend, Basketball Australia and the Boomers coaching staff are continuing their preparations for the tournament to be held in China from August 31-September 15.

The Boomers (ranked 11th in the world) have been drawn into Group H where they will face Lithuania (ranked 6th), Canada (ranked 23rd) and Senegal (ranked 37th).

“The reality of the World Cup is that you are going to play against good teams,” said Boomers head coach Andrej Lemanis.

“Basketball is such a global game these days that there is no such thing as an easy match-up. The group stage sets up an interesting situation as we will face three different styles, playing teams from Europe, the Americas and Africa but an international tournament is all about being amorphic and that’s part of the challenge.

“We are going to need to play at our best to advance and that’s a good situation to be in – we have to be ready to go from game one and be extremely focused with our preparation.

“With the draw having taken place, the World Cup becomes a bit more real for everyone as we can see the path ahead of us. We can now set our sights on doing what we need to do preparation wise in order to win a gold medal.”

Boomers assistant coach Luc Longley, who also attended the 1990 FIBA World Cup, is ready for the team to embrace the challenge.

“No doubt we have drawn a tough group but there are two ways to cut it; we can be worried or see it as an opportunity,” Longley said.

“I choose to look at it as a positive. You have to beat tough teams to win medals and our claws will be sharp when we reach the crossover round.

“All reports coming out of China is that they are pouring in the resources to make this an incredible tournament and we are looking forward to bringing home some hardware.”

Basketball Australia Chair Ned Coten and Boomers team manager Mark Bradtke attended the 2019 FIBA World Cup draw in Shenzhen on Saturday night.

“Our overall feeling after attending the draw is that this will be the most impressive World Cup ever,” said Coten.

“With a sold-out stadium and the presentation of the draw, it is evident FIBA are going to every length to ensure this tournament will be the best possible showcase for our sport.

“The venues, technology, support from the Chinese community and hospitality programs for all federations are world-class.”

Having been drawn into Group H, the Boomers will play their pool games in Dongguan which is situated in the South-East of China.

“The location of our group games is closer to home than some of the other possible cities so we are pleased,” said Bradtke.

“We will now work closely with FIBA to learn about the surrounding hotels and venues for where our team will be staying and playing.”

The Australian Boomers 2019 FIBA World Cup Schedule (times TBA):

September 1: Boomers vs. Canada
September 3: Boomers vs. Senegal
September 5: Boomers vs. Lithuania
September 7 & 9: Round of 16
September 10/11: Quarter-Finals
September 13: Semi-Finals
September 15: Medal Games