One of the most important event in the sporting year is the 2015 European basketball championship, ready to take place early September in four countries for the first time. Croatia, France, Germany and Latvia are set to host the tournament in this format for the first time. The knockout stages will be played in France, while the other three countries will get respective groups.
This EuroBasket will be the 39th edition of the tournament, which first took place back in 1935. It is interesting that two non-existing countries highly dominate the all-time table of most successful countries at the European basketball tournament. Yugoslavia and Soviet Union have 17 and 21 medals respectively and then follows Lithuania with three golden medals. In terms of overall medal record, Spain won 11 and is therefore considered the most successful nation at Eurobasket.
After comfortably beating Lithuania in last year’s final, France is still considered the favorite to retain the title. By winning their first title. France triumphed and put glory on a great generation of players, led by French playmaker Tony Parker and other NBA stars such as Boris Diaw, Batum and others. Alexis Ajinca will however miss the tournament due to injury, but that won’t prevent France from seeking their second title in a row. France was not that convicing at previous Eurobasket so they hope to pick up their form ahead of the tournament and perform at their best.
One of the most successful sporting nation in recent years is most certainly Spain and their basketball team truly is the part of that universe. Spain managed just third place in 2013, after losing to France in overtime in the semifinals. Spain’s main assets for yet another EuroBasket will be Pau Gasol, who most likely enjoys his last campaign with the national team. Spain will b without Barcelona’s Alex Abrines, but with plenty of other stars in the team Spain is certainly aiming high. At the 2014 World cup, they exited the tournament at the hands of France (again) and will seek to prove their worth at the upcoming Eurobasket.
While many called 2014’s World cup final a surprise for Serbian basketball team, a better informed experts will say that this could have been expected, based on their players and their respective forms. Serbia defeated reigning European champions on their way to the 2014 encounter with United States, which was a great sign of improvement and is seen as a great push towards a good result in 2015. Serbia relies mostly on European players, with Raduljica being the only NBA participant in 2015 roster. However, that gives them a huge advantage and we believe Serbia can go really far in 2015 Eurobasket.
In preparation tournaments, Croatia performed very well and many see them as a favorite from the shadows to reach the medals. In 2013 they reached the semifinals, but in 2015, supported by several NBA players, but still mostly domestic talents, Croatia is aiming high and with Serbia they might be a true discovery at the 2015 Eurobasket.
Who wins the EuroBasket 2015?