Team USA to play all FIBA World Cup games in Manila: Why that’s an advantage for the Americans

Team USA will play all 2023 World Cup games in the Philippines, FIBA ​​announced on Monday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • It marks a dramatic change from the previous Cup, in which the Americans played in four Chinese cities over 16 days.
  • Team Canada, possibly featuring a large roster of NBA players, will open the World Cup in Jakarta, Indonesia, while Team Slovenia, captained by superstar Luka Doncic, will open in Okinawa, Japan.
  • For the first time, the basketball World Cup, which runs from Aug. 25 to Sept. 10, is being co-hosted by three countries, with quarterfinals, semifinals and finals scheduled for the 50,000-seat arena about 40 minutes outside Manila.

USA Basketball is headed to Manila

Manila is the crazy hub of Southeast Asia, where many NBA stars have gone on solo trips as part of their international Nike or Adidas shoe tours. So it’s no surprise that, as the main host of the 2023 Cup, it chose Team USA, with its potential full roster of experienced and emerging stars, as the anchor team in the Philippines.

Four years ago, in the 2019 Cup, the Americans opened the game in Shanghai, where they stayed for about 10 days, and then moved to Shenzhen, on the southern edge of China, for more than a week. The U.S. team then had to travel by bus to Dongguan, about 90 miles away, where they lost to France, and had to make a new hotel reservation after already checking out because the loss to the French meant they had another game against Serbia the next night. The Americans lost that game as well before flying to Beijing to play for seventh place.

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“Movement takes a lot out of a team,” said Sean Ford, director of the U.S. men’s national team. “It’s a lot to pack all your things and move them, and then start a new routine in a new hotel. And then you have a new room, a new dining room, a new elevator, a new bus, a new route to the arena, a new gym, a new locker room, just like all those things. So being in one place is a good thing.

“It’s also not easy to eat in one room for 19 days,” Ford continued. “There is nothing easy about the World Cup. But there are some things that are preferred.

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The Canadians and Slovenians will play their first five games in Indonesia and Japan, respectively, and won’t have to travel to Manila until the start of the quarterfinals if they make it that far.

The full draw for the World Cup field with 32 teams will take place on April 29.

The work to be done

FIBA, the international governing body for basketball, made the announcement despite one minor inconvenience. Team USA, oh, hasn’t quite qualified for the World Cup yet.

The Americans, who send teams of G Leaguers or former NBA players from the league to play in qualifiers, are 8-2 through 10 games. A loss to Brazil last month in Washington D.C. eliminated Team USA from qualifying and knocked USAB out of the world No. 1 ranking (now held by Spain).

No one is under any illusions that the Americans will somehow fail to qualify. They have two games left in South America – against Brazil and Uruguay – in February, and could possibly lose both and still qualify for the World Cup on a tiebreaker. For example, if the Americans lost to Brazil by less than 78 points, they would likely still qualify.

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That’s why it’s a good idea to book that charter if you’re USA Basketball and keep calling stars like Bradley Beal, Trae Young and Donovan Mitchell, who are among the talented Americans who want to show interest.

What they say

“I can tell you that the emphasis we are putting together with our NBA colleagues on a great squad (for Team USA) at the Men’s World Cup next year is a priority for discussions,” FIBA ​​Secretary General Andreas Zagklis said. on Monday. “For our part, we are doing our part by constantly improving the conditions for them so that they feel that this is the moment when I represent my country, this is the moment when I am with my countrymen, playing on the pitch, this is the moment that I go to a new country and I have fantastic conditions and I also have a new cultural experience for myself.

Obligatory literature

(Photo: Kyle Terada/USA Today)


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