In the lead-up to the World Championships (which are still many a month away) you’re going to hear more and more updates on the prospective situations for all of the top teams and the most interesting ones. In short, you’re going to hear about a lot of teams right here at A Stern Warning.
I’ve filled you in on how the draw has fallen for the Boomers. Here is a quick update on Australia’s situation with light to comments made by those in at Basketball Australia and in the media.
From the Sydney Morning Herald:
Basketball Australia’s general manager of high performance, Wayne Carroll, said the Boomers should be aiming higher than just scraping through to the round of 16.
“We’re in a group where we can do really well – we can compete with all these teams,” said Carroll who was present at the draw in Istanbul.
“What you want is your destiny in your own hands and that’s what we have.”
Australia would be keen to avoid the likes of the US, Spain and Greece if they progress past the group stage and Carroll said the Boomers would be looking at trying to be one of the top two teams in their pool to improve the odds of drawing a less credentialled opponent.
The Boomers beat Angola 70-60 in the Stankovic Cup in August but had had their moments and Carroll said he was taking little for granted against the African team after he was part of an Australian side embarrassed by them 22 years ago at the World Championships.
“I have haunted memories of Angola in `86, it was a match we were supposed to win and didn’t,” he said.
Boti Nagy at Adelaide Now:
The seeding value of the Oceania Series men’s world basketball championship qualification is in serious question with the Boomers rated ahead of New Zealand.
The Tall Blacks gave a Australia butt-kicking at Oceania for an allegedly better seeding for next year’s world titles in Turkey from August 28 to September 12.
Instead the Federation of International Basketball Associations which governs the sport’s 213 nations, had Australia on the third line of seedings for the championship draw, conducted overnight in Istanbul.
New Zealand was on the fifth line, making a mockery of its Oceania rout of the Boomers.
The spotlight first shone on the validity of the Oceania seeding before the 2006 world championship.
The Tall Blacks had finished in the bronze medal playoff at the 2002 worlds in Indianapolis while Australia had failed to qualify.
Despite the Boomers winning the Oceania qualification series for the higher seeding, New Zealand still was awarded the better rating for the 2006 championship.
The same appears to have occurred now for the 24-nation tournament into which FIBA added four wildcards – Germany, Lebanon, Lithuania and Russia. The draw allegedly ensures a balanced representation from the five continents in each group.
Basketball Australia via Aussie Bball:
Basketball Australia Chief Executive Larry Sengstock was pleased with Australia’s positioning in the draw but warned that there would be no easy-beats at the event.
“You look at the 24 nations and all the groups are evenly tough, but you’d have to say the draw has worked out pretty well for us,” Sengstock said.
“There are a few teams on paper that you’d say we could beat but the top four teams in each group are so strong that no matter which group you’re in you could say it is a tough group.
“Argentina is a deserving top seed and Serbia is always tough, going against Dirk Nowitzki and Germany will be interesting, Jordan is a new challenge and I remember losing to Angola in 1986 at the World Championship so they’re not to be taken lightly.
“It’s nice to have the draw in place so we can now get on with the real preparation that we need to do if we’re going to have any success.”