Slovenia draw Venezuela, Georgia and Cape Verde in Basketball World Cup
Quezon City, 29 April - The Slovenian men's basketball team will face Venezuela, Georgia and Cape Verde in Group F of the preliminary round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup in the summer, a draw in Quezon City, Philippines determined on Saturday.
Should Slovenia advance from the preliminary round as one of the top two teams in the group, they will enter the second round with the top two teams from Group E, consisting of Germany, Finland, Australia and Japan.
Slovenia will play the preliminary round in Okinawa, Japan as part of the tournament that is also hosted by the Philippines and Indonesia from 25 August to 10 September.
The preliminary round will be played until 30 August, the main round from 1 to 3 September. and the final, knock-out round consisting of eight teams, from 5 to 10 September, when the final match will be played in Pasay, Philippines.
Slovenia will open the tournament against Venezuela on 26 August, followed by encounters with Georgia on 28 August and with Cape Verde two days later.
This year's FIBA Basketball World Cup also serves as a qualifying tournament for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. In addition to the hosts France, seven teams from the tournament will make it to Paris under continental criteria.
Slovenian basketball team captain Edo Murić commented on the draw by saying that "we mustn't deal with the opponents too much", adding that "we have to think only about or own game and take the tournament step by step, game by game."
We have owed a lot to our loyal fans since last summer, and it will be our task and obligation to show our true face on the court", he added in a statement for the website of the national basketball federation.
Guard Klemen Prepelič said that Slovenia had been drawn in a "pretty favourable group". He said that Georgia had experienced veterans and excellent young players, and that Venezuela were a very tough team that played fast basketball.
"Then there are Cape Verde with my good friend Edy Tavares. They are debutants at the World Cup and they can be unpredictable." he added.
Prepelič believes that Slovenia is the strongest team in the group on paper, which they will have to show on the court. "We will keep a eye on the developments in Group E, which is certainly a 'group of death'," Prepelič concluded.