Rivals sense chance to end US reign at FIBA – Philippine Star

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Rivals sense chance to end US reign at FIBA world cup

(Agence France-Presse) – August 30, 2019 – 12:37pm

SHANGHAI – Basketball’s world cup launches on Saturday in China with two-time defending champions the United States missing their biggest stars and looking uncharacteristically vulnerable after surrendering their long winning streak.

The chief threat to the LeBron James-deprived Americans looks likely to come from Serbia, but Spain, France, Australia and Greece — led by NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo — are all snapping at Team USA’s heels.

A total of 32 countries will begin in eight groups of four spread across cities in China, from Shenzhen in the south to the capital Beijing, where the final will be held on September 15.

Just a few days ago, the US under respected coach Gregg Popovich is an odds-on favorite to make the final and win it for the third time in a row, no matter the opponent.

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