Qualified: Third place at the 2013 FIBA Americas championship. No Manu Ginobili in this team and while still a threat to make the knockout stages, there are a long shot for medal contention.
Qualified: Fourth place at EuroBasket 2013, a good, organised outfit, likely to run into trouble at least once in group play but certainly in with a shot at a medal if they get the right draw.
Qualified: Wild card recipients after a disappointing 11th place finish in EuroBasket, they travel to Spain weakened by the absence of Vassilis Spanoulis and Kosta Koufos.
Qualified: Making their first appearance at the big one since hosting in 1978, the basketball mad nation qualified as silver medal winners at the 2013 FIBA Asia championship.
Qualified: Silver medal winners at 2013 FIBA Americas championship, a capable outfit and one that will see anything less than the second round a failure.
Qualified: After taking third place in 2013 FIBA Africa championship, Senegal was suspended by FIBA over fabricating the ages of players in the World Under 19 championships. That suspension was later lifted and they’re heading to Spain.
The venue: Palacio Municipal de Deportes San Pablo
Home to CB Sevilla, this arena is designed to hold 7,626 people but can be expanded to hold 10,200 fans. It was first built in 1988 and hosted the World Indoor Athletics championships in 1991 and the final of the European men’s Handball championship in 1996.
Game that could disappoint: Argentina vs Greece
Big time disappointment potential. It’s the very last game in the group, both teams could know their fates before they take the floor and with the rosters weakened for differing reasons, it could end up being a glorified exhibition.
Game that won’t disappoint: Croatia vs Puerto Rico
Two teams who see this group as a launch pad for a deep run in Spain, this promises to deliver the most intensity of any match-up in Group B. Like Argentina vs Greece, it will be in the final round but I expect more to be at stake when this pair take the floor.
Party spoiler: Puerto Rico
It all comes down to their final roster but if Puerto Rico can send their core to this tournament, they should be able to leap one of the three teams favoured above them in the standings.
Any other business
If you aren’t happy the Philippines are here, you really don’t get international hoops. It’s more than likely they go 0-5 but their fans are going to go nuts anyway. They’ll bring the party to Sevilla.
Fearless prediction time
The qualifiers, in order, will be
4. Puerto Rico
Picking the four was disappointingly easy. The order, I have to be honest, is a mess. I’m confident Croatia top the group. could easily see any combination of the other three. We’ll have our Group C preview up next Wednesday.