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Gilas Pilipinas to face European powerhouses in FIBA World Cup

17 March 2019

The Americans are in Group E for the tournament that begins in China on August 31.

New Zealand are ranked 38th in the world, Greece are eighth, Brazil 12th and Montenegro 28th. "We are a very young team".

Eight teams of the 32 will make the Quarter-Finals and will play single elimination games until a champion is crowned.

Saturday's draw in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen pitted a biggest-ever 32 teams from five continents and placed the US in Group E in Shanghai alongside the Czechs, minnows Japan and Turkey - the team the U.S. beat in the 2010 final.

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France, ranked third in the world behind top-rated United States of America and then Spain, are in Group G with the Dominican Republic, Jordan and European rivals Germany.

Gilas Pilipinas, which needed to win its last two assignments and a Korea victory over Lebanon to push through, is making its second straight appearance in the World Cup. It was known Friday, a day before the draw, that Turkey had to be in the same group as the Americans because of the way that other teams from the Americas were placed into pods.

The toughest group, on paper, looks to be Group H where No. 6 Lithuania, No. 11 Australia, No. 23 Canada and No. 37 Senegal will vie for two spots in the second round. Angola is the lowest-ranked team in Group D at 39th.

Lastly, Group F is made up of Dominican Republic, France, Germany and Jordan.

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The U.S. will be the favorites at the World Cup.

"It's a greater sense of honor to be playing for your country", Bryant said.

The top seven teams at the World Cup will punch their tickets to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"At the start of the game you hear your national anthem being played, you see everyone in the arena with their flags, representing their country and colour".

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The Philippines was slotted in Pool D and will play its games in Foshan, China. This should not bring about any defeatism as, at their best, Canada Basketball has reached the point where they should feel confident beating just about any country in the world.

Gilas Pilipinas to face European powerhouses in FIBA World Cup