By Aris Barkas/ email@example.com
DONGGUAN – The expanded format of the FIBA World Cup to 32 teams gave to more countries than ever the chance to showcase their best basketball.
Some did great, some others not so much – especially those from Asia and Africa – and now the real party is about to start.
Due to the new format, every game was significant, and every misstep could come back and haunt you as it happened in the case of Greece, which practically paid the price of the first-round defeat by Brazil and missed the quarters.
But now, every game is a matter of life and death, and there are no second chances or point difference calculations.
And how can you calculate anything on a phase that starts with a classic in the making between Serbia and Argentina and also includes the USA versus France, plus Spain against Poland and the Czech Republic trying to make it against Australia?
If you skipped the first two group phases, you missed a lot, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t jump in now that the stakes are high.
Poland and the Czech Republic are worthy cinderellas and the rest of the teams which make it that far were considered top contenders from the get-go.
We are just five days away from the final, and it remains to be seen if the USA will become the first team to achieve a World Cup three-peat, or the rest of the world can be considered one more a real threat to the champs.
Photo credit: FIBA.Basketball