Group A has already been called the, \"The Group of Death\".
By Raymond Rolak
The EuroBasket 2011 draw recently took place in Vilnius, Lithuania. In fact, this grouping was the biggest news of the selection process. Group ‘A’ presents the most challenging cluster.
The EuroBasket tournament will feature 24 teams for the first time. Twenty-two National teams are already qualified and the last two spots will be decided in a three team, pre EuroBasket play-in tournament with Finland, Hungary and Portugal.
GROUP A: Spain, Turkey, Lithuania, Great Britain and Poland.
This assemblage besides being considered the strongest has great international experience. The strength of this pairing, which includes the reigning European Champion and World runner-up, will be decided by the possible roster absences. In the past, Spain and Turkey allowed some players to stay in the NBA. Also, Lithuania did not have some of its best players on their National team roster.
However, being the host nation, most of the Lithuanian elite players are expected to join the national squad next summer. It will be interesting if any of the up and coming Polish National Juniors, Mateusz Pontika, Filip Matczak and big guy Przemyslaw Karnowski will be named to the Senior roster. Great Britain hopes to have Luol Deng and Ben Gordon on its roster in order to prepare for the 2012 Olympics.
GROUP B: Serbia, France, Germany, Israel, Italy and Latvia.
GROUP C: Greece, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina
GROUP D: Slovenia, Russia, Belgium, Georgia, Bulgaria and Ukraine.
The tournament will be played from August 31st to September 18th. The championship round will be played in Kaunas, Lithuania.