Canada Draws France, Lebanon and Latvia for The FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup 2023
MANILA, Philippines (April 29, 2023) – FIBA (International Basketball Federation) held the FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup 2023 Draw presented by Wanda Saturday night in Manila to finalize eight, four-team preliminary round groups, and game schedule for this summer’s FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup.
Canada was drawn into Group H and will face France, Lebanon and Latvia in Jakarta, Indonesia.
“Following today’s draw, we now know the three opponents we’ll face in the first round at this summer’s FIBA Basketball World Cup,” said Rowan Barrett, General Manager / Executive Vice-President, Senior Men’s Program. “With France, Lebanon, and Latvia joining us in Group H, each will present a unique set of challenges and varying styles of play.”
“Having connected recently with each of our coaches and players, the team remains committed and focused on achieving the goals we’ve established as a program,” Barrett said.
The FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup 2023, set to take place from August 25 to September 10, will feature the best 32 men’s teams in the world chasing glory. The Group Phase will take place in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia with the Final Phase to follow in the Philippines capital city of Manila.
“I’m excited to get back together as a group in August and continue building on a strong performance during the Qualifiers,” said Nick Nurse, Head Coach of Canada’s Senior Men’s National Team. “We’ve built a challenging exhibition schedule against some of the top federations in the world, which will prepare our team for the tough competition we’ll face in Group H and throughout the World Cup.”
– FIBA World Ranking: No. 5
– Qualifiers: 10-2 — first in Group K in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 European Qualifiers
– Key Player: 11-year NBA pro Evan Fournier has been a fixture with the France national team since 2014, when he helped the country win bronze at the 2014 FIBA Basketball Men’s World Cup. In his time with the national team, he has won a pair of World Cup medals, and an Olympic silver, as well as a silver medal this past summer at the FIBA EuroBasket 2022. At EuroBasket, Fournier led France in scoring with 15.3 points-per-game, including a 23-point performance in the gold medal game against Spain.
– World Cup history: Fresh off back-to-back third-place finishes in 2014 and 2019 — the country’s best-ever pair of finishes in a Men’s World Cup — France will be looking to break through this summer. While France has been part of the last four Men’s World Cup’s dating back to 2006, this figures to be the World Cup debut for Victor Wembanyama, the presumptive number-one overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, who has starred for the National Team in World Cup qualifying.
– FIBA World Ranking: No. 43
– Qualifiers: 7-3 — second in Group E in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Asia Qualifiers
– Key Player: FIBA Asia Cup 2022 MVP Wael Arakji figures to play a big role this summer for Lebanon. Arakji, who suited up for the Dallas Mavericks at the NBA Summer League in 2019, led the way for Lebanon in World Cup qualifying. His 16.7 points-per-game was a team-best during qualifying, as well as fourth-best in the Asia Region.
– World Cup history: Lebanon is set to return to the FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup for the first-time since 2010. Following a second-place finish at the FIBA Asia Cup 2022 this past summer, Lebanon is looking for their best finish at the tournament when they finished 16th.
– FIBA World Ranking: No. 29
– Qualifiers: 9-1 — first in Group I in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 European Qualifiers
– Key Player: Washington Wizards forward Kristaps Porziņģis starred for Latvia in two of the country’s World Cup qualifiers this summer, averaging a team-leading 25.5 points-per-game. Porziņģis returned from a five-year absence with the Latvian National Team to star this past summer, helping them pick up wins in each of the qualifiers he suited up in.
– World Cup history: Latvia is set to make their FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup debut this summer, following a tremendous 9-1 record in qualifying. After a fifth-place finish with Porzingis at the EuroBasket 2017, Latvia will be hoping for similar success with their star this summer.
All 32 teams who qualified for FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup 2023 were assigned to groups for this summer’s tournament.
Canada has scheduled five exhibition games across Europe ahead of the FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup 2023. The team will face Germany on August 9 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, before heading to Hamburg for the 34th Basketball Supercup August 12-13 at the edel-optics.de Arena. Canada will then travel to Spain for a two-game exhibition series, August 17-18 at the Palacio Municipal de Deportes de Granada where they will face Spain and Dominican Republic before departing for Indonesia.
The Senior Men’s National Team will gather in Toronto for training camp in early August.
Canada qualified for FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup 2023 with an 11-1 record, the top mark in the FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup 2023 Americas Qualifiers and tied for the best globally.
This will be Canada’s 15th appearance at the FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup 2023 and the first time with back-to-back appearances since a run of nine consecutive showings from 1974 to 2002. Canada will be looking to surpass the country’s best result in the tournament which came in 1978 and 1982 with a pair of sixth place finishes.
Fans in Canada can tune-in to the FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup 2023 exclusively on Sportsnet and stream on SN NOW.
Canada can directly qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games with a top-two finish amongst teams from the Americas at the FIBA Men’s Basketball World Cup 2023.
Canada is currently ranked 15th in the FIBA World Ranking presented by Nike.
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