Trust FIBA to announce it early. The four wild cards for the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball are in and three European teams have booked their tickets to Spain.
The wild cards are in and we came oh so close with our picks. The 11th hour surprise was China withdrawing from the application process which suddenly made three European wild cards a legitimate possibility. This morning FIBA confirmed what had been suspected overnight. Here are your four wild cards:
Brazil – Pretty much the biggest lock from the outset, although we had China on the same level, and the Olympic hosts have their ticket to the dance in Spain.
Finland – As, fearlessly, predicted by BiE the Wolf Pack are in thanks to a MASSIVE assist from Rovio. The Angry Birds developers offered FIBA a mountain of free advertising space if they accepted the Finns. Throw in 40,000 Finns living in Spain and this offer went from no-hope to in the bag.
Greece – We had them on the outside looking in despite what was reported as a particularly strong bid. The withdrawal of China took a lot of pressure off their battle and now Spanoulis is going to Spain.
Turkey – We’ve had Turkey in from day one, on the grounds of a strong bid and the sheer amount of sponsorship money Turkish companies put into basketball. The runners-up in the last championships will get to play in Spain.
Do you agree with FIBA’s wild card picks? Tell us what you think in the comments.