Canada draws 'group of death' with Australia, Lithuania, Senegal


The United States' quest for a third straight FIBA World Cup championship will begin with matchups against Turkey, the Czech Republic and Japan this summer. Kobe Bryant believes Team USA will be hard to beat in the 2019 FIBA World Cup if players leave their egos at the door.

Greece topped a super-group including Serbia and Germany in the World Cup qualifiers. No nation has ever won it three consecutive times.

Turkey is the second-ranked team in Group E, USA Basketball's group.

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

For the first time, the FIBA Basketball World Cup will qualify seven teams directly for the following year's Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Hosts, China, are in Pot 1 alongside the top three teams in the world: USA, Spain and France.

Group leaders and runners-up will qualify for the World Cup's second round.

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"You might say we have been better in those situations, when no one expects us to do well, we love to be in the fight as an underdog".

"It's a real sense of honour to be playing for your country".

Team USA, who have named the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry in their 2019-2020 roster, will be strong favourites to retain their crown at the August 31-September 15 showpiece in China.

The U.S. roster won't be decided until after the National Basketball Association season, although James Harden has expressed his desire to play. 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. "Obviously, you've got the National Basketball Association and you have winning a championship and all that good stuff, but with this, you're not just playing for your respective cities or where you're from, you're playing for an entire country you represent", said Harden. "So, it's pretty awesome to be a part of it".

Teams were slotted into one of eight groups. The Chinese are paired with Venezuela, Poland and Ivory Coast.

Pot 2 houses Serbia, Argentina, Lithuania and Greece while Russia, Australia, Brazil and Italy complete Pot 3.

Group C consists of Spain, Iran, Puerto Rico and Tunisia.