The Efes Pilsen’s 2009 “World Cup of Basketball” may be a bit of a misnomer for the international friendly tournament that tipped off last night in Turkey, but this show is certainly professionally done – really top marks for the organizers here – and well worth checking out.
The World Cup field is comprised of six teams: always entertaining Croatia, the curiosity of Great Britain, home team and sudden European basketball power Turkey, Latvia, Germany, and Macedonia. They’ll play it out in typical format: two pools of three, round-robin play, then elimination, yadda yadda.
All games will be played in the excellent Ankara Atatürk Sport Hall and the tournament is sponsored by well-known basketball advertiser Efes Pilsen. Best of all, perhaps, is the opportunity to watch the games for free on your computer. Seriously, check out Delicast.com/tv/NTV for live feeds in several languages.
The official page for the 2009 Efes Pilsen World Cup is sweet, but unfortunately in Turkish only. On the other hand, some excellent forum action on the tournament may be had via Interbasket.net.
All in all, this is a sweet little basketball package that’ll certainly whet the appetite for Eurobasket while offering an early glance at a few contenders. And it may be considered a tuneup for Turkey in the leadup to the 2010 FIBA World Championships as well.
In yesterday’s games, Team Croatia overcame the hosts, 82-77, while Latvia eked out a 86-84 shooting fest over Great Britain.
The remaining schedule is as follows:
Thursday, 27 Aug 18.30: F.Y.R of Macedonia v. Latvia
Thursday, 27 Aug 21.00: Turkey v. Germany
Friday, 28 Aug 18.30: Great Britain v. F.Y.R. of Macedonia
Friday, 28 Aug 21.00: Croatia v. Germany
Saturday, 29 Aug 16.00: classification game
Saturday, 29 Aug 18.30, 21.00: semifinal games