Serbia v Italy – Wednesday, 31 August at 15:15 (BST) – Watch online at FIBA TV
Italy’s first game in their return to the EuroBasket is a huge one. The opponents in the opening clash of Group B in Siauliai are Serbia. The FIBA World Rankings have Italy seventh and Serbia eighth.Results the past three years show that Serbia have been a far superior team. Serbia qualified for EuroBasket 2009 (and Italy did not) and went on an unexpected run to the Final.They left Poland with a silver medal and followed that up with a fourth-place finish at the 2010 World Championship in Turkey. Fellow NBA players Andrea Bargnani and Marco Belinelli are two reasons why Italy believe they can progress from a very difficult Group B.
All systems are ready – Countdown to EuroBasket 2011 in Lithuania is just a one day away. It will be the 37th continental championship held by FIBA Europe. The competition will be hosted by Lithuania. This will be the second time Lithuania has hosted Eurobasket, and the first since the restoration of its independence in 1990. The group matches are set to be played in four arenas, namely Alytus Arena, Šiauliai Arena, Cido Arena in Panevėžys and an arena in Klaipėda. The qualifying matches are to be played at the Siemens Arena in the capital Vilnius and the playoffs at the new Žalgiris Arena in Kaunas.
24 teams in 6 groups in the tournament and two very interesting groups this time. Group A or a.k.a “Group of Death” with Poland,Great Britain,Turkey,Portugal,Spain and host nation Lithuania. Other one group C or a.k.a “Balkan Group” with Bosnia and Herzegovina, F.Y.R of Macedonia, Croatia,Montenegro, Greece and Finland.
NBA players who’ll play in the FIBA EuroBasket 2011
NBA players (by team) playing for their national teams at EuroBasket in Lithunia.
- Spain (5 players): Pau Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers), Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies), Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City Thunder), Ricky Rubio (Minnesota Timberwolves), Rudy Fernandez (Dallas Mavericks)
- France (5 players): Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls), Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs), Kevin Seraphin (Washington Wizards), Boris Diaw (Charlotte Bobcats), Nicolas Batum (Portland Trail Blazers)
- Turkey (4 players): Hedo Turkoglu (Orlando Magic), Ersan Ilyasova (Milwaukee Bucks), Omer Asik (Chicago Bulls), Enes Kanter (Utah Jazz)
- Italy (2 players): Danilo Gallinari (Denver Nuggets), Marco Belinelli (New Orleans Hornets)
- Germany (2 players) Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks), Chris Kaman (Los Angeles Clippers)
- Montenegro (2 players): Nikola Pekovic (Minnesota Timberwolves), Nikola Vucevic (Philadephia 76ers)
- Great Britain: Luol Deng (Chicago Bulls)
- Slovenia: Goran Dragic (Houston Rockets)
- Ukraine: Kyrylo Fesenko (Utah Jazz)
- Russia: Andrei Kirilenko (Utah Jazz)
- Greece: Kosta Koufos ( Denver Nuggets)
- Belgium: D.J. Mbenga (New Orleans Hornets)
- Georgia: Zaza Pachulia (Atlanta Hawks)
Official FIBA Eurobasket 2011 website check here. Watch online all the games at FIBA TV