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FIBA WORLD BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS

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Greece, our Eurobasket Champs, will play in FIBA World Basketball Championships

19 August 2006 until September 3 in Japan

Following 24 teams are the participants in the 2006 World Championship.

Africa: Angola, Nigeria, Senegal

Asia: Lebanon, China, Qatar, Japan (host)

South America: Argentina, Brasil, Venezuela

Oceania: Australia, New Zealand

Europe: France, Germany, Greece (Eurobasket Champ), Italy, Lithuania, Slovenia, Turkey, Serbia&Montenegro, Spain

North and Mid America: Panama, Puerto Rico, USA

Draw will be on January 15 in Tokyo.

4 groups of 6 teams

Top 4 will advance to next round and teams then will draw in pairs till the final.

Will be a good tournement.

Wish our Eurobasket Champs Good Luck!!!

FIBA RANKINGS OF ALL TEAMS INVOLVED IN THE TOURNAMENT

Team Rank Points

1. USA 832.2

2. YUGOSLAVIA*(SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO) 708.0

3. ARGENTINA 700.0

4. LITHUANIA 460.0

5. SPAIN 439.0

6. ITALY 433.0

7. RUSSIA 362.0

8. GREECE 304.0

9. AUSTRALIA 279.0

10. FRANCE 273.0

11. PUERTO RICO 247.6

12. CANADA 231.0

13. GERMANY 227.0

14. CHINA 209.0

15. BRAZIL 203.0

16. NEW ZEALAND 178.0

17. ANGOLA 156.0

18. TURKEY 129.0

19. CROATIA 125.0

20. VENEZUELA 99.6

21. NIGERIA 80.8

22. SLOVENIA 71.0

23. KOREA 66.5

24. ISRAEL 62.0

25. JAPAN 54.2

26. LEBANON 50.1

27. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 43.8

28. QATAR 40.2

29. ALGERIA 36.0

30. SENEGAL 35.8

31. URUGUAY 34.4

32. EGYPT 34.0

33. LATVIA 33.0

34. PANAMA 29.6

35. MEXICO 25.6

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Previous Tournaments (final-four)

2002 (Indianopolis, Indiana)

Rank Team

1 Yugoslavia

2 Argentina

3 Federal Republic of Germany

4 New Zealand

1998 (Athens, Greece)

Rank Team

1 Yugoslavia

2 Russia

3 United States of America

4 Greece

1994 (Canada)

Rank Team

1 United States of America

2 Russia

3 Croatia

4 Greece

1990 (Argentina)

Rank Team

1 Yugoslavia

2 Soviet Union

3 United States of America

4 Puerto Rico

1986 (Columbia)

Rank Team

1 United States of America

2 Soviet Union

3 Yugoslavia

4 Brazil

1982 (Columbia)

Rank Team

1 Soviet Union

2 United States of America

3 Yugoslavia

4 Spain

1978 (Phillipines)

Rank Team

1 Yugoslavia

2 Soviet Union

3 Brazil

4 Italy

1974 (Puerto Rico)

Rank Team

1 Soviet Union

2 Yugoslavia

3 United States of America

4 Cuba

1970 (Yugoslavia)

Rank Team

1 Yugoslavia

2 Brazil

3 Soviet Union

4 Italy

1967 (Uruguay)

Rank Team

1 Soviet Union

2 Brazil

3 Yugoslavia

4 United States of America

1963(Brazil)

Rank Team

1 Brazil

2 Yugoslavia

3 Soviet Union

4 United States of America

1959 (Chile)

Rank Team

1 Brazil

2 United States of America

3 Chile

4 Formosa

1954 (Brazil)

Rank Team

1 United States of America

2 Brazil

3 Philippines

4 France

1950 (Argentina)

Rank Team

1 Argentina

2 United States of America

3 Chile

4 Brazil

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Next week, Friday, January 13th, will be the draw for the FIBA World Basketball Championships. Hopefully, we get a favorable draw and go far...

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Giannakis to receive holy honour

ATHENS (FIBA World Championship) - Greece are putting their faith in a little divine intervention in the hope of landing a favourable draw for the 2006 FIBA World Championship as the countdown to this weekend's draw continues (Sunday, January 15th, not the 13th as I assumed).

With the lottery for the big event in Japan later this year set to take place on Sunday, the Greeks' European Championship-winning coach Panagiotis GIANNAKIS is to be honoured by the Greek Church.

The Maroussi coach, who masterminded the Greeks' second EuroBasket title in Serbia & Montenegro last September, will receive a Golden Cross dedicated to St Paul on Thursday - an honour reserved for those who "possess separate personalities from all the spectrum of human activities".

The ceremony will take place on Thursday at 1pm local time at the Palace of Holy Sessions in Athens.

Giannakis said: "I feel particularly moved by this honour. For me this is a great honour to be recognised by the Church for my achievements.

"Faith is a motivational force in our lives and especially for Greeks the relationship with the Church is deep and fundamental."

Greece are currently ranked eighth in the FIBA world rankings with the United States leading the way at the top. Serbia & Montenegro are the highest ranked European team in second place with Argentina representing South America in third spot.

Edited by plato-ny

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Here's the competition format for the tournament:

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The draw will be live on fiba.com on Sunday.

The draw is 3 pm Japanese time and 7 am CET (central european time). I'm assuming 8 am in Greece and 1 am in New York....

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Here are the results:

Group A

Argentina

Venezuela

France

Serbia & Montenegro

Lebanon

Nigeria

Group B

Spain

Panama

Germany

Japan

New Zealand

Angola

Group C

Lithuania

Brazil

Greece

Turkey

Australia

Qatar

Group D

USA

Puerto Rico

Slovenia

Italy

P.R. of China

Senegal

Big test for Greeks: Papaloukas

ATHENS (FIBA World Championship 2006) - Greece point guard Theodoros Papaloukas admits his side have a fight on their hands to progress beyond the first round of the 2006 FIBA World Championship following Sunday's draw in Japan.

Greece, the European champions, were handed a tough opening assignment at the tournament after being paired alongside the might of Lithuania, Brazil, Turkey and Australia in Group C - with one of the quintet destined to fall at the first hurdle.

"These five teams are all good," Papaloukas said.

"But one of them will be on the outside. One will finish their tournament early. But that's life. You have to play all the games."

While the draw threw up some tough opponents for Greece, Papaloukas was happy to avoid some of the tournament's bigger sides - Team USA, Olympic champions Argentina and defending world champions Serbia & Montenegro - and admits he and his team-mates are just concentrating on making it through the group.

"The first goal is the top four (in the group). Anything after that will come," added the CSKA Moscow ace, whose side will also have to meet Qatar in the opening phase.

"It's better to qualify high to play 'better' opponents in the next round. But you never know how it's going to go."

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I aqdded the Athens 2004 results as a "reference"

Basketball - Men's Standings

Group A Wins Losses

Spain 6 1

Argentina 6 2

Italy 5 3

Serbia and Montenegro 2 4

China 2 5

New Zealand 1 5

Group B Wins Losses

Lithuania 6 2

United States of America 5 3

Greece 4 3

Puerto Rico 3 4

Australia 2 4

Angola 0 6

Basketball - Men's Games

Sunday, August 15

Final

Angola 73

Lithuania 78

Sunday, August 15

Final

Italy 71

New Zealand 69

Sunday, August 15

Final

China 58

Spain 83

Sunday, August 15

Final

Argentina 83

Serbia & Montenegro 82

Sunday, August 15

Final

Puerto Rico 92

USA 73

Sunday, August 15

Final

Greece 76

Australia 54

Tuesday, August 17

Final

China 69

New Zealand 62

Tuesday, August 17

Final

Angola 59

Australia 83

Tuesday, August 17

Final

Lithuania 98

Puerto Rico 90

Tuesday, August 17

Final

Serbia & Montenegro 74

Italy 72

Tuesday, August 17

Final

Spain 87

Argentina 76

Tuesday, August 17

Final

USA 77

Greece 71

Thursday, August 19

Final

Serbia & Montenegro 87

New Zealand 90

Thursday, August 19

Final

Italy 63

Spain 71

Thursday, August 19

Final

USA 89

Australia 79

Thursday, August 19

Final

Puerto Rico 83

Angola 80

Thursday, August 19

Final

Argentina 82

China 57

Thursday, August 19

Final

Greece 76

Lithuania 98

Saturday, August 21

Final

Australia 82

Puerto Rico 87

Saturday, August 21

Final

Spain 76

Serbia & Montenegro 68

Saturday, August 21

Final

New Zealand 94

Argentina 98

Saturday, August 21

Final

China 52

Italy 89

Saturday, August 21

Final

Lithuania 94

USA 90

Saturday, August 21

Final

Angola 56

Greece 88

Monday, August 23

Final

Spain 88

New Zealand 84

Monday, August 23

Final

Lithuania 100

Australia 85

Monday, August 23

Final

USA 89

Angola 53

Monday, August 23

Final

Serbia & Montenegro 66

China 67

Monday, August 23

Final

Italy 76

Argentina 75

Monday, August 23

Final

Greece 78

Puerto Rico 58

Tuesday, August 24 - 11TH PLACE GAME

Final

Angola 62

Serbia & Montenegro 85

Tuesday, August 24 - 9TH PLACE GAME

Final

Australia 98

New Zealand 80

Thursday, August 26 - QUARTERFINALS

Final

USA 102

Spain 94

Thursday, August 26 - QUARTERFINALS

Final

China 75

Lithuania 95

Thursday, August 26 - QUARTERFINALS

Final

Puerto Rico 70

Italy 83

Thursday, August 26 - QUARTERFINALS '

Final

Argentina 69

Greece 64

Friday, August 27 - SEMIFINALS

Final

Argentina 89

USA 81

Friday, August 27 - SEMIFINALS

Final

Italy 100

Lithuania 91

Saturday, August 28 - 7TH PLACE GAME

Final

Spain 92

China 76

Saturday, August 28 - 5TH PLACE GAME

Final

Greece 85

Puerto Rico 75

Saturday, August 28 - BRONZE MEDAL GAME

Final

USA 104

Lithuania 96

Saturday, August 28 - GOLD MEDAL GAME

Final

Argentina 84

Italy 69

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Eurobasket 2005 results

GROUP STANDINGS

GROUP A W/L Pts

RUS 2 - 1 5

GER 2 - 1 5

ITA 2 - 1 5

UKR 0 - 3 3

GROUP B W/L Pts

LTU 3 - 0 6

CRO 2 - 1 5

TUR 1 - 2 4

BUL 0 - 3 3

GROUP C W/L Pts

SLO 3 - 0 6

GRE 2 - 1 5

FRA 1 - 2 4

BIH 0 - 3 3

GROUP D W/L Pts

ESP 2 - 1 5

SCG 2 - 1 5

ISR 2 - 1 5

LAT 0 - 3 3

PRELIMINARY ROUND

C/1 Slovenia 74 - 65 Bosnia & Herzeg.

D/1 Latvia 65 - 74 Israel

A/2 Germany 82 - 84 Italy

B/1 Croatia 88 - 84 Bulgaria

C/2 France 50 - 64 Greece

D/2 Serbia & Montenegro 70 - 89 Spain

A/1 Russia 86 - 74 Ukraine

B/2 Turkey 75 - 87 Lithuania

C/4 Bosnia & Herzeg. 62 - 79 France

D/3 Spain 114 - 109 Latvia

A/3 Italy 61 - 87 Russia

B/3 Lithuania 85 - 67 Croatia

C/3 Greece 56 - 68 Slovenia

D/4 Israel 77 - 93 Serbia & Montenegro

A/4 Ukraine 58 - 84 Germany

B/4 Bulgaria 89 - 94 Turkey

C/5 Slovenia 68 - 58 France

D/6 Spain 77 - 85 Israel

A/6 Italy 99 - 62 Ukraine

B/6 Lithuania 92 - 79 Bulgaria

C/6 Greece 67 - 50 Bosnia & Herzeg.

D/5 Latvia 67 - 82 Serbia & Montenegro

A/5 Russia 50 - 51 Germany

B/5 Croatia 80 - 67 Turkey

ELIMINATION GAMES

25/A Germany 66 - 57 Turkey

26/A Croatia 74 - 66 Italy

27/A Greece 67 - 61 Israel

28/A Serbia & Montenegro 71 - 74 France

QUARTER-FINALS

29/A Russia 61 - 66 Greece

30/A Lithuania 47 - 63 France

32/A Slovenia 62 - 76 Germany

33/A Spain 101 - 85 Croatia

CLASSIFICATION 5-8

31/A Russia 78 - 89 Lithuania

34/A Slovenia 89 - 80 Croatia

SEMI-FINALS

35/A Greece 67 - 66 France

36/A Germany 74 - 73 Spain

Final

Greece 78 62 Germany

Placings 3rd and 4th

France 98 68 Spain

Placings 5th and 6th

Lithuania 79 70 Slovenia

Placings 7th and 8th

Russia 74 92 Croatia

9 Israel

10 Italy

11 Serbia & Montenegro

12 Turkey

13 Bosnia & Herzegovina

14 Bulgaria

15 Latvia

16 Ukraine

Edited by plato-ny

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Greeks have nothing to fear - Vasilakopoulo

TOKYO (FIBA World Championship 2006) - Greece should have no fear despite being handed a tough draw for the 2006 FIBA World Championship.

That's the opinion of FIBA Europe's Greek president Giorgos Vasilakopoulos, who feels the European champions are well equipped to negotiate their way out of a difficult-looking group that includes Lithuania, Turkey, Australia, Brazil and Qatar.

Greece, ranked eighth in FIBA's world rankings, claimed their second EuroBasket title last September after coming out on top in Serbia & Montenegro and Vasilakopoulos believes it is their opponents who need to be wary of them.

Vasilakopoulos said: "Our experience has shown that good or bad draws do not exist. Our national team is the champion of Europe and they will go to the World Championship to represent our continent.

"This title and only this title, dictates the prestige and the competitiveness of a team. Don't forget that in the draw for EuroBasket in Serbia & Montenegro, there were also mixed impressions and expectations about the draw and we still managed to win the trophy."

Greece open their Group C campaign against Qatar on August 19 in Hammamatsu.

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Zisis confident of more glory for Greece

TREVISO (FIBA World Championship 2006) - Greece star Nikos Zisis is confident European champions Greece will not feel the pressure of expectation in Japan later this year.

Panagiotis Yannakis' side have been drawn in Group C alongside Lithuania, Brazil, Turkey and Australia in the first stage of the 2006 FIBA World Championship.

Greece stunned all at last year's EuroBasket by beating Germany in the gold-medal game in Belgrade and know their rivals will keep a close eye on them in Japan.

"Considering that we are European champions, everyone will be watching us," Zisis told PA Sport.

"Our rivals will be more motivated and eager to beat us and that is why we must remain together as a team."

Zisis, who joined Italian giants Benetton Treviso in September, is hoping his national team will avoid the same fate as that of their football team.

"We won the European Championships in football but failed to qualify for the World Cup," he said.

"We certainly don't want to imitate them. It was a big disappointment for the country and our aim is to go far in Japan."

Zisis, who was Greece's leading scorer at last year's EuroBasket, knows his team will face a tough challenge right from the start.

"We have the toughest group," he said.

"Lithuania are a very good team and if they have their NBA players Sarunas Jasikevicius, Arvydas Macijauskas and Darius Songaila, they are one of the contenders for the title.

"Lithuania have a great school of basketball," added Zisis, who can't forget the 98-76 defeat against Lithuania in the preliminary round of the Athens Olympics two years ago.

"They killed us at home in front of 16,000 fans.

"Brazil have a good side," Zisis continued. "Turkey are always tough opponents, they have great players."

But what the Greece team possesses is team spirit and a coach that understands them.

"We know we don't have big talented players like Lithuania or Turkey," said Zisis.

"We are a team that can do great things provided we stick together and we are humble.

"Yannakis knows the psychology of his players. He always tries to convince us that we are all equal, that we should leave our egos behind for the sake of the team.

"World champions Serbia & Montenegro had six NBA players but they couldn't be a solid team at the EuroBasket in front of their crowd while Turkey, who we will face, are always a difficult team to beat but they lack team spirit.

"The average age of our team is very low - 24 to 25 - and yet we have experienced players, who play in top European leagues and who know how to deal with pressure."

Some of those players, including Zisis, will play for the first time in a World Championship in Japan.

"It will be a very nice thing for me," said Zisis.

"It is the biggest basketball competition and just to be a part of it will be great."

Edited by plato-ny

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FIBA Europe award A "great honour" for Zisis

ATHENS (FIBA Europe Player of the Week) - Forgive Nikos Zisis if he doesn't remember Greece's triumph at the EuroBasket in 1987.

He was only four years old when the great Panagiotis Yannakis inspired the Greeks to the gold medal in Athens - the nation's first European title.

But while he may not recall too much about the historic event itself, it was to prove a hugely influential moment in the young Zisis' life.

"People in Greece were going mad about the sport after the national team's success," said Zisis to PA Sport.

"I don't remember, but my father told me that it was the first time that I asked him to take me out on a basketball court.

"Apparently, I couldn't lift the ball, not even bounce it, but it was like a virus in my body, after the first time, I couldn't let it go."

Zisis cannot hide his passion for the game.

"I love it," he said.

"I like to experience the atmosphere of the locker room before a big game, the satisfaction that comes with winning and the feeling that you get after a defeat which only makes you more determined to be a winner.

"This is all part of the experience, and I couldn't imagine my life without basketball."

The 1.96m shooting guard made sure everyone would remember his performance in last year's EuroBasket, which saw him lead Greece in scoring as they captured the gold medal - their first since the success in 1987 and only second in history.

Coincidentally, coaching Zisis during that tournament was Yannakis himself.

"I will certainly never forget it and neither will my family or friends," he said.

"To have won the gold medal is an unbelievable experience and I couldn't have asked for more.

"It has been the best experience of my career so far."

And to be named FIBA Europe Young Player of the Year and beat the likes of Spain's Fran Vazquez, Israel's Lior Eliyahu and French international Mickael Gelabale, is the cherry on the cake.

"It's a great honour for me and for Greek basketball,"

"I know the players who were competing for this award and they are young, have a lot of potential and great skills, so it makes me prouder."

Zisis has plenty of reasons to get carried away with his successes as a player.

The Thessaloniki-born player has won silver at the 1999 Under-16 European Championships, bronze at the 2000 Under-18 tournament and gold at the 2002 Under-20 edition, where he was also tournament MVP.

However, he keeps his feet firmly on the ground.

"I'm young," he said.

"And the thing about being young is that you are never satisfied with what you do and you still don't know where your limits are.

"What I know is that I can always do better, that I am at an age where I can improve and must improve."

Zisis joined Italian giants Benetton Treviso in September after five years playing with AEK Athens and so far, has enjoyed his move.

"I like Treviso," he said.

"It's very quiet, a place where you can concentrate. Benetton are a very organised club and it gives me the right atmosphere to continue to work and improve on my game."

And despite a minor setback, with Zisis having broken a bone in his wrist in December, he still finds other ways to improve his play.

"I like to watch basketball," he said.

"To see how the game develops and to see new players in action. Of course, I could have done without the injury but I will be back playing again in three weeks.

"All I ask for in 2006 is to be healthy and fit, to help my club achieve goals and to be able to play for the national team."

Greece are likely to need a fully-fit and in-form Zisis at the FIBA World Championship in Japan later this year if they are to add that title to their European crown, and Zisis is looking forward to the challenge.

"It will be a very nice experience for me," he said.

"I will be 23 in Japan and by then I will have played in all the major tournaments, having played at the Olympics in Athens and at the EuroBasket in Belgrade."

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I found the Eurobasket 2005 T-shirt on ebay.

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GRE - Katsikaris living up to big expectations

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SAINT PETERSBURG (SuperLeague) - Greek basketball has a rich tradition of success in every level and it is also known for... exporting in other countries excellent players, like it is happening nowadays with Kakiouzis, Giannoulis and Diamantopoulos in Spain, Zisis and Vetoulas in Italy, Papaloukas, Papadopoulos and Fotsis in Russia.

The only thing that was missing was a coach that could do great things outside Greece. That was until Fotis Katsikaris made the decision to accept last July the offer of Dynamo Saint Petersburg.

The 38year old Greek coach has made an outstanding job so far and Dynamo is now considered one of the upcoming forces in European basketball! In Russian Superleague they have the 4th best record with 12-3 and they have beaten traditional forces such as CSKA Moscow, Unics Kazan and Ural Great.

"This is a young team, with very talented players, that work very hard and they will become better from day to day", was the comment of Katsikaris who was the first Greek coach that tested his skills in a European club like Dynamo.

"This is a challenge from me, but I also want to show that Greek coaches are equably capable with the other European coaches. Of course I am very lucky, cause I am in a great organization like Dynamo and the conditions of work are ideal".

Yesterday Dynamo won in Constantinople FenerBahce and managed to qualify in the quarterfinals of Eurocup.

They will now face Marousi of Greek basketball legend Panagiotis Giannakis! The later was a teammate of Katsikaris in the early 80's in Ionikos Nikaias and coach of Dynamo has great respect for him.

"Giannakis was an amazing player and I was lucky to be his teammate in my first footsteps as a basketball player. He is now an outstanding coach and we have already met numerous times in Greek league when I was coaching AEK.

"I am séure that this series will be very exciting and I am very happy that once again we will meet in the court".

This will be another challenge for Katsikaris who so far has shown to the world of basketball that he can live up to the big expectations people have from him...

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Basketball Ticket Sale Starts on 23 March

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(GENEVA/TOKYO) - Fans around the world will be able to buy tickets for the FIBA World Championship 2006 in Japan via the internet as of 23rd March 2006. The Local Organising Committee announced today the policy for the ticket sales of the event.

International Sales

A ticket contingent will be available for sale to fans outside of Japan during the period from 23rd March until 30th April 2006 on www.fiba2006.com/ticket/ticket_e.html. .

Information about the second wave of international sales will be announced at a later stage.

4 Tickets Maximum

Every single customer will be able to buy a maximum of 4 tickets per session.

For security reasons, every customer will be asked to provide his passport number. Payment can only be made with credit card (VISA or MasterCard).

Ticket Prices

For the first round, a ticket is valid for the complete session of all 3 games per day and the prices range from 4,000 to 9,000 Yen per ticket. For the final round in Saitama a ticket is valid for 2 games and the prices range from 5.000 to 20.000 Yen per ticket. For reference: the exchange rate today was 119Yen/US$. All further details including detailed arena maps with ticket type can be found on www.fiba2006.com and www.fiba.com

Ticket Delivery

After the credit card of the customer has been charged, he will receive a confirmation by email with a reservation number. All tickets will be delivered upon presentation of the reservation number and the passport at the ticket counter of each arena.

More Information?

For inquiries about ticket sales, please contact:

Ticketing Department of the FIBA World Championship 2006 Organising Committee

Fax: +81-3-64184551 / E-mail: [email protected]

FIBA World Championship - One World - One Title: Event Outline

The FIBA World Championship is played every 4 years and determines the best basketball nation of the world. The first World Championship was played in 1950 in Argentina.

The 2006 edition will be played in Japan from 19th August until 3rd September in five different cities. FIBA has increased the number of teams playing at the FIBA World Championship from 16 to 24 teams because of the increased level of basketball around the world and the increasing number of competitive teams at the highest level.

The teams will play against each other in the preliminary phase in four groups of 6 teams. The 4 top teams from each group will then qualify directly for the Eighth-Finals, Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Finals. All the games from the Eighth-Finals to the Finals will be played on a one-game elimination basis in the city of Saitama.

The 2006 FIBA World Champion will qualify automatically for the 2008 Olympic Basketball Tournament for Men in Beijing.

Edited by plato-ny

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15/03/2006

USA - Greece, Memphis watch as Tsakalidis comes of age

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jake Tsakalidis

MEMPHIS (NBA) - Jake Tsakalidis is doing his utmost to force his way into the Greece squad for the FIBA World Championship this summer.

The 7ft 2in giant of the Memphis Grizzlies was not a member of the Greek team the past two years and that meant he missed out on an incredible period in national team history. He missed an Olympic Games when hosts Greece played before capacity crowds, and he was absent from last year's incredible run to the gold medal at the EuroBasket in Belgrade.

Tsakalidis, 26, had never been a dominant figure for the national team anyway and cynics had said in recent times he was never going to develop into a big-time center but in Memphis' 93-76 triumph over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, he had season highs of 19 points and 16 rebounds. It was his third double-double in four games. Tsakalidis is averaging 15.5 points and 12.3 rebounds during that stretch - form which will no doubt alert Greece coach Panagiotis Yannakis as he considers his options for Japan.

"I know I'm going to play now. That's the difference," Tsakalidis said. "The first 50 games when I was sitting the bench, I never knew when coach was going to call my name. Now, the more and more minutes I get, the more confident I get."

The Celtics are sure believers.

"We were trying to follow our schemes all night but we left Tsakalidis alone and that came back to bite us," said Celtics big man Raef Lafrentz. "He really hurt us tonight."

"They made it hard for us all night around the basket," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "I'm getting my All-Star ballot back and putting Jake on it. He was terrific."

Eddie Jones and Spain star Pau Gasol scored 13 points each for Memphis.

Dirk Nowitzki, who will lead Germany's challenge in the Far East, shrugged off a slow start to score 30 points and the Dallas Mavericks overcame 36 points by Team USA's LeBron James and a 19-point half-time deficit for a 91-87 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers and a perfect home record against the East. The victory also allowed the Mavericks (50-14) to join San Antonio as teams that have clinched a spot in the Western Conference play-offs. Cavaliers center Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 13 points in the first half and ended up with 17.

US Olympian Dwyane Wade is also in a rich vein of form. Wade scored 19 of his 25 points in the opening period, when the Miami Heat scored 41 points en route to a 121-83 drubbing of the Utah Jazz.

In the opening period, Wade was seven of 10 from the floor and made all five free throws in the best scoring quarter of his three-year career. Shaquille O'Neal added seven of his 13 points in the period as the Heat shot 70% (16 of 23). Matt Harpring scored 20 points and Carlos Boozer added 12 by shooting a combined 15 of 26 for the Jazz, who trailed by as many as 41 points.

Mike Bibby scored 29 points to lead a balanced attack and the Sacramento Kings clamped down in the fourth quarter of a 114-98 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, their 13th straight home victory. Ron Artest added 28 points for the Kings (33-31), who had all five starters in double figures and moved up one spot in the standings for the second time in as many games with their fifth straight win overall. Lamar Odom, another Team USA hopeful, had 24 points and seven assists for the Lakers, who shot 46% (38 of 82) and made 11 of 21 three-pointers.

French superstar Tony Parker scored 20 points and handed out 11 assists as the San Antonio Spurs built an early lead and cruised to a 96-81 victory over the New Orleans Hornets, who have dropped seven straight games. With the win, the defending NBA champion Spurs (50-14) posted their fastest 50-win season in franchise history and clinched their ninth straight play-off berth, the longest current streak of any team.

Darrick Martin collected season highs of 18 points and 12 assists and sparked a fourth-quarter surge to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 111-97 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers, who wilted without injured superstar Allen Iverson. Team USA hopeful Chris Bosh scored 31 points for the Raptors, who made 10 three-pointers as they won consecutive games for the first time since February 12-13.

Antawn Jamison, also in Team USA's 23-strong preliminary squad, scored a season-high 35 points and grabbed 16 rebounds and Gilbert Arenas poured in 34 points as the Washington Wizards escaped with a 119-114 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. A Charlotte native who attended North Carolina, Jamison made 13 of 19 shots, including five of nine from the arc. Arenas sank 11 of 19 shots and all 11 free throws while handing out seven assists for the Wizards, who avoided a collapse down the stretch to end a three-game road losing streak.

Ben Gordon scored 23 points as the Chicago Bulls strolled to a 95-66 victory over the punchless Portland Trail Blazers, who had their lowest offensive output of the season. Chicago (29-35) trail Milwaukee (31-32) and Philadelphia (31-32), who are tied for the seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Only two of those teams can reach the post-season, and the Bulls visit the Bucks on Wednesday in a game that could go a long way toward deciding their post-season fate.

The Phoenix Suns had four players - including newly acquired Tim Thomas - with at least 23 points as they outgunned the Seattle SuperSonics, 129-120.

Edited by plato-ny

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A Reminder...

Basketball Ticket Sale Starts on 23 March

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(GENEVA/TOKYO) - Fans around the world will be able to buy tickets for the FIBA World Championship 2006 in Japan via the internet as of 23rd March 2006. The Local Organising Committee announced today the policy for the ticket sales of the event.

International Sales

A ticket contingent will be available for sale to fans outside of Japan during the period from 23rd March until 30th April 2006 on www.fiba2006.com/ticket/ticket_e.html. .

Information about the second wave of international sales will be announced at a later stage.

4 Tickets Maximum

Every single customer will be able to buy a maximum of 4 tickets per session.

For security reasons, every customer will be asked to provide his passport number. Payment can only be made with credit card (VISA or MasterCard).

Ticket Prices

For the first round, a ticket is valid for the complete session of all 3 games per day and the prices range from 4.000 to 9.000 Yen per ticket. For the final round in Saitama a ticket is valid for 2 games and the prices range from 5.000 to 20.000 Yen per ticket. For reference: the exchange rate today was 119Yen/US$. All further details including detailed arena maps with ticket type can be found on www.fiba2006.com and www.fiba.com

Ticket Delivery

After the credit card of the customer has been charged, he will receive a confirmation by email with a reservation number. All tickets will be delivered upon presentation of the reservation number and the passport at the ticket counter of each arena.

More Information?

For inquiries about ticket sales, please contact:

Ticketing Department of the FIBA World Championship 2006 Organising Committee

Fax: +81-3-64184551 / E-mail: [email protected]

FIBA World Championship - One World - One Title: Event Outline

The FIBA World Championship is played every 4 years and determines the best basketball nation of the world. The first World Championship was played in 1950 in Argentina.

The 2006 edition will be played in Japan from 19th August until 3rd September in five different cities. FIBA has increased the number of teams playing at the FIBA World Championship from 16 to 24 teams because of the increased level of basketball around the world and the increasing number of competitive teams at the highest level.

The teams will play against each other in the preliminary phase in four groups of 6 teams. The 4 top teams from each group will then qualify directly for the Eighth-Finals, Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Finals. All the games from the Eighth-Finals to the Finals will be played on a one-game elimination basis in the city of Saitama.

The 2006 FIBA World Champion will qualify automatically for the 2008 Olympic Basketball Tournament for Men in Beijing.

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FIBA - Fans buy up tickets

TOKYO (FIBA World Championship) - If the FIFA World Cup offers the hottest ticket in town, basketball fans in Japan and around the world have discovered the FIBA World Championship is not much different.

The evidence?

Most of the tickets made available on the internet on March 23 were snapped up so quickly that they were gone almost immediately.

This will come as no surprise with the world's best players like Argentina's Emanuel Ginobili, Team USA's Kobe Bryant, Germany's Dirk Nowitzki, China's Yao Ming, France's Tony Parker and Spain's Pau Gasol among the dozens of superstars headed for the tournament.

The Local Organising Committee in Tokyo announced yesterday the Group Games in Sapporo city, Hokkaido (Group D, participating teams: Senegal, USA, China, Italy, Puerto Rico and Slovenia) were sold out in the first 10 minutes after the online sales (http://www.fiba2006.com/ticket/ticket_e.html) were launched.

Also, tickets for some Group Games in other cities, and certain types of tickets for game days in the Final Round, have already sold out.

Japanese fans will have a second chance from Saturday, May 20 until Friday, June 30 for all ticket types at all venues for all game days.

The sellouts refer to ticket sales within Japan, but sales outside of Japan are also going very well.

Tickets are available for sale to fans outside of Japan from March 23 - April 30 on.

Information about the second wave of international sales will be announced at a later stage.

Why are tickets moving so quickly?

Fans know they will see the best players in the world, and they will see more than just one game.

For the first round, a ticket is valid for the complete session of all three games per day.

The prices range from 4.000 to 9.000 Yen per ticket.

For the final round in Saitama a ticket is valid for two games and the prices range is from 5.000 to 20.000 Yen per ticket.

For reference: the exchange rate is about 119Yen/US$.

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Map of locations of arenas for FIBA World Basketball Cup.

Our team's division are playing all of their first round games in Hamamatsu.

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Teams participating in FIBA World CUP.

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Team Video about Eurobasket Champs made by FIBA for FIBA World Cup

Edited by plato-ny

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Guest Rikka

Anyone won the lottery tickets??:)

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FIBA World Basketball Weekly Draw

Every week FIBA World Basketball spectators and fiba.com users can participate in the FIBA World Basketball Competition Draw to have a chance to win fantastic FIBA prizes and to be included in the Grand Draw which will offer an all expenses paid trip for two to the Final days of the FIBA World Championship in Japan.

http://www.fiba.com/pages/en/fan/fiba_worl...l_bask_draw.asp

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Giannakis confident of further success

ATHENS (FIBA World Championship) - Greece coach Panagiotis Giannakis believes his side have what it takes to add the FIBA World Championship crown to their 2005 EuroBasket title this summer.

The FIBA World Championship is now just under two months away and the Greek camp showed they were in optimistic mood on Thursday at the presentation of the team's new vest, made by sport manufacturer Champion.

"Firstly, as a team, we believe it is just as important to walk as it is to fly," said Giannakis.

"We want to make all the people who collaborate with us proud and to follow what [Champion chairman] Saouro Mambrini said, I agree that genuine champions are not only those that have exceptional records, but also character.

"I believe that this team has such character and if this continues to stay with us then we can make our supporters very happy."

Barcelona forward Mihalis Kakiouzis and CSKA Moscow guard Theodoros Papaloukas are also eagerly awaiting the start of FIBA's showpiece event in Japan. Greece will be sporting their new vest at the tournament and both want to make it recognised the world over.

"The appearance of the vest is amazing and I hope that as a team we can continue our good course and make this vest famous around the world," said Kakiouzis.

Papaloukas added: "We will do everything we can to maintain our status as the top European team and I hope we can do well in the FIBA World Championship."

The Greek team begin their preparations next Thursday when the team will gather for the start of training ahead of their first friendly match against Canada on July 21.

That will be in a tournament in Italy, which will also feature the hosts and Serbia & Montenegro.

Greece will then play host to Italy, Croatia and France in the Acropolis Tournament from July 31-August 2, before heading to China for a final warm-up competition involving Australia, France and a yet-to-be-confirmed team from August 11-15.

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Anyone know if the tournament will be televised in North America?? Probably not here in Canada but what about the U.S.? Will ERT Sat be showing the games of our Ethniki??

Good Luck Boys!

GO HELLAS GO!!! :tup:

:gr:

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probably not.......USA thinks international basketball is a joke.....despite the last 3 years Non-American players are taking the top NBA draft spots

:whistle:

thats why theyre in for another rude awakening!!! :box:

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probably not.......USA thinks international basketball is a joke.....despite the last 3 years Non-American players are taking the top NBA draft spots..

Bargnani - Italian

Howard - ???

King James - ???

aren't the last two American?? ;)

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