Fri. Sep 29th, 2023

New Zealand’s Flynn Cameron, USA’s Anthony Edwards, Greece’s Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Jordan’s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. ART/MARLO CUETO

MANILA, Philippines—All eyes will probably be on Workforce USA and its assortment of NBA abilities once they make their 2023 Fiba World Cup debut on Saturday at Mall of Asia Area.

America, bannered by All-Star guard Anthony Edwards, finds itself slotted in a comparatively mild Group C with an ailing Greece facet, New Zealand and Jordan.

Greece and Jordan open Group C play at 4 p.m. whereas the US battles New Zealand at 8:40 p.m.

Inquirer Sports activities took a deeper have a look at Group C in a sequence of previews for the primary spherical of the group section held in Manila.


Anthony Edwards leads star-studded US staff within the Fiba World Cup.

America is the odds-on favourite to win the Fiba World Cup—and for good motive.

Even minus their finest gamers, the Individuals stay a pressure to be reckoned with as a result of the truth that they nonetheless assembled fairly a group of stars led by NBA All-Star Anthony Edwards.

A testomony to its potential, the US swept its six-game exhibition slate with victories over Puerto Rico, Spain, Slovenia, Serbia, Greece and Germany regardless of having been collectively for 2 and a half weeks.

In opposition to the Germans in Abu Dhabi, the US confirmed its skill to battle by way of adversity after getting back from 16 down within the second half to win 99-91.

Edwards validated his standing as USA’s go-to man with 34 factors.

However make no mistake, Workforce USA is much from a one-man present with the likes of Austin Reaves, Tyrese Haliburton, Jalen Brunson, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Mikal Bridges having their moments as properly all through its buildup.

Rounding out the squad are Brandon Ingram, Paolo Banchero, Bobby Portis, Walker Kessler, Cam Johnson and Josh Hart.

The US, decided to redeem itself after coming off its worst end within the World Cup at seventh in 2019, is predicted to breeze by way of Group C, which additionally options Giannis Antetokounmpo-less Greece, New Zealand and Jordan.


Thanasis Antetokounmpo appears to step up for depleted Greece.

The absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo, who begged off from the worldwide showcase as a result of well being points, dealt a giant blow to Greece’s hopes of creating it far on this 12 months’s World Cup.

Making issues worse, Antetokounmpo is just not the one key participant lacking for Greece.

Veterans Nick Claathes and Kostas Sloukas are additionally out in addition to Kostas Antetokounmpo leaving Thanasis as the one Antetokounmpo obtainable.

Anticipated to start out for the shorthanded Greeks are guards Thomas Walkup and Giannoulis Larentzakis, forwards Kostas Papanikolaou and Dinos Mitoglou and middle Giorgos Papagiannis.

Thanasis, who can also be teammates along with his youthful brother Giannis with the Milwaukee Bucks, has been coming off the bench for Greece in scrimmages.

Walkup has stuffed within the void left by Calathes on the level guard spot. He was one of many few vivid spots for Greece in a 108-86 loss to the US in a tune-up sport final week.

Greece, which did not advance to the quarterfinals within the 2019 World Cup and wound up in eleventh place, beat Slovenia twice in a pair of tuneups however went winless within the Acropolis event in Athens with losses to Serbia and Italy.

Finishing the solid for the Greeks are Manolis Chatzidakis, Ioannis Papapetrou, Lefteris Bochoridis, Michalis Lountzis, Nikos Rogkavopoulos and Dimitris Moraitis.

New Zealand

Flynn Cameron is predicted to be among the many key cogs for New Zealand on this 12 months’s World Cup.

With Workforce USA tipped to safe the highest spot in Group C, the second and ultimate ticket to the following spherical will probably be up for grabs.

New Zealand is keen to achieve the second spherical particularly with Greece saddled by accidents.

Flynn Cameron, Isaac Fotu and Finn Delany are anticipated to spearhead the Tall Blacks, who’re with out NBA beginning middle Steven Adams.

The Kiwis have performed exhibition video games of their very own with their most up-to-date sport ending in an 88-81 loss to surging Italy on Monday evening within the Fiba Solidarity Cup in Shenzhen, China.

Final week, they beat the Shenzhen Leopards, one of many high groups within the Chinese language Basketball Affiliation, 77-67.

Earlier this month, the Tall Blacks took a 107-76 beating by the hands of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Canada within the DBB SuperCup Ultimate in Hamburg, Germany and dropped a 69-68 heartbreaker in opposition to China in the identical event.

New Zealand positioned nineteenth within the 2019 Fiba World Cup.


Rondae Hollis-Jefferson boosts Jordan’s World Cup marketing campaign.

Aiming for a significantly better end within the Fiba World Cup, Jordan shook its roster up and introduced in a brand new naturalized participant in Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

Hollis-Jefferson will make his World Cup debut in Manila—a spot he’s very aware of having led the TNT Tropang Giga to a championship within the PBA Governors’ Cup final April.

The previous NBA veteran, who had stints with the Brooklyn Nets, Toronto Raptors and Portland Path Blazers, will energy the Jordanians, who wish to pull off a shock or two within the group section.

Earlier than Hollis-Jefferson, Jordan was bolstered by Dar Tucker, who averaged 19.6, 7.0 rebounds and three.6 assists within the 2023 World Cup Asian Qualifiers. He additionally posted 20.5 factors and 5.7 rebounds within the Fiba Asia Cup.

Veteran ahead Zaid Abbas is again once more for an additional tour of responsibility.

Jordan went winless within the group section in 2019 and positioned twenty eighth total.


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