The teams chosen to be wildcards at FIBA´s most prestigious event include some of international Basketball´s powerhouse teams. The named teams were Brazil, Finland, Greece, and Turkey. Finland is ranked 39th in the FIBA world rankings, but Brazil (10th), Greece (5th), and Turkey (7th) are all top ten teams and their inclusion as wildcards was widely expected.
Rounding out the teams to compete at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, the board also decided to lift a ban that was imposed on the Senegalese National Team. The country has adhered to past disciplinary action and has been folded back into the international organization, paving a way to take part in the World Cup.
With the wildcards selected and the Senegalese back in the mix, the final line up for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup has now been settled. The teams heading to Spain later in the year are:
Angola, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Greece, Iran, Korea, Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Senegal, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine and USA.
FIBA Secretary General and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member Patrick Baumann explained why the Central Board had decided on the wildcards chosen, saying that it was all down to ensuring the best World Cup possible.
“Since 2006, 11 of the 12 teams that have been granted wild cards were always inside the top 24 of the FIBA Ranking Men. This proves that FIBA’s Central Board is determined to make the FIBA Basketball World Cup as competitive as possible.
Three of the recipients of the wild cards for Spain 2014 are ranked inside the top 10. Greece, fifth in the current ranking, is a powerhouse of international basketball and this is the first time they have asked for a wild card. Brazil were quarter-finalists at the 2012 London Olympics, are 10th in the world and will host the 2016 Rio Olympics. Turkey were silver medalists at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and are a regular fixture in leading international tournaments.
The fourth, Finland, impressed at EuroBasket 2013 by beating four teams from the Top 15 in FIBA’s Ranking Men as they finished ninth in Slovenia. The Finns are enjoying massive support with their fans travelling in big numbers to their games.
The current growth of Finnish basketball is the result of a solid long-term strategy being executed by the Finnish Basketball Association and still has a lot of potential for development.
All four teams have confirmed the total commitment of their best players to participate at Spain 2014.
These picks have also been backed by the Local Organising Committee.”