US puwedeng masilat – Kobe, FIBA official
IBA NA ANG GIYERA
IBANG klase na ang level ng basketball ngayon, pati ang USA ay kayang masilat sa 18th FIBA World Cup 2019 sa Shenzhen, China sa darating na Agosto 31-Setyembre 15.
Si dating NBA star Kobe Bryant ng Estados Unidos na nangasiwa sa draw Sabado ng gabi sa Shenzhen Bay Arena, may abiso sa mga kababayan.
Inuwi ng USA ang huling dalawang World Cup crowns, hahabulin sa China ang pangatlo.
“I think the parity is unlike it’s ever been before,” ani Kobe sa phone interview, ayon sa ulat ng The Associated Press. “You know how tournaments go – one team gets momentum and gets hot, then off you go.”
Kasama ng USA sa Group E ang Turkey, Czech Republic at Japan.
Mga NBA players pa rin ang ipapadala ng US, hahawakan ni coach Gregg Popovich.
Naniniwala si Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio na hindi basehan ang mga inilaro sa World Cup Qualifiers sa totoong angas ng 32 team sa World Cup.
“I think 75 percent of the NBA players in different national teams didn’t play in the Qualifiers but we’re expecting them all to show up at the World Cup,” ani Panlilio, kasama ng delegasyon ng Pilipinas na sumaksi sa draw.
Sinuwerte aniya ang Korea na napunta sa Group B kasama ng Russia, Argentina at Nigeria. Gayundin ang host China na napadpad sa Group A kasama ng Ivory Coast, Poland at Venezuela.
“I was told Russia and Argentina are in transition so South Korea was lucky to draw them in the same group,” dagdag ni Panlilio. “It would’ve been the luck of the draw if we made it to South Korea’s group instead but you’ll never really know which players will show up in the end. Russia and Argentina might be just as strong or stronger than before.”
Nasa Group D ang Pilipinas (world No. 31), Angola (No. 39), Italy (No. 13) at Serbia (No. 4).
“We know Italy isn’t as strong as Serbia and Italy and Angola aren’t in the top 10 in the world rankings,” puna ni PBA chairman Ricky Vargas na nasa draw din. “We met with FIBA treasurer Ingo Weiss before the draw and I asked him if the US is beatable and if the other teams are just playing for the silver medal. Ingo told me the US can be beaten, that it can happen with teams like Spain and Serbia.”