The EuroBasket 2011 draw took place recently in Vilnius. The EuroBasket tournament will feature 24 teams for the first time. Twenty-two National teams are already qualified and the last two spots will be decided in a three team pre-Eurobasket play-in tournament with Finland, Hungary and Portugal.
Group ‘A’ presents the most challenging cluster. In fact, this grouping was the biggest news of the selection process. As in soccer nomenclature, it already has the moniker, ‘The Group of Death’.
GROUP A: Spain, Turkey, Lithuania, Great Britain, Poland.
This assemblage has already been considered by many as the toughest. The strength of this pairing, which includes the reigning European Champion and World runner-up, will be decided by the possible roster absences. Spain and Turkey have some players in the NBA, and Lithuania did not have some of its best players on their National team roster in the past.
However, being the host nation, most of the Lithuanian elite players are expected to join the national squad next summer. Great Britain hopes to have Luol Deng and Ben Gordon on its roster in order to prepare for the 2012 Olympics.
It will be interesting if any of the up and coming Polish National Juniors, Mateusz Pontika, Filip Matczak and big guy Przemyslaw Karnowski will be named to the EuroBasket roster.
GROUP B: Serbia, France, Germany, Israel, Italy and Latvia.
GROUP C: Greece, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina
GROUP D: Slovenia, Russia, Belgium, Georgia, Bulgaria and Ukraine.
The tournament will be played from August 31st to September 18th. The championship round will be played in Kaunas, Lithuania.