FIBA World Cup 2023 Qualifiers First Window Preview
In 4 days, the rest of the world will start their first window for the WC qualifiers.
PS: New ball looks really good!
For a brief recap, these will be the berths up for grabs.
FIBA World cup 2023 allocated berths:
Asia/Oceania: 8 (if Indonesia qualifies, there will be 5 berths up for grabs)
Total: 32 spots.
80 countries will be competing for 30 or 29 spots!
There are too many games to review for all regions, so I would just highlight games that should be a must watch for me.
November 26 2021 (17:00 GMT+1)
Ivory Coast (46) vs Angola (33)
Angola, the African powerhouse and 11-time gold medal winner, will face the surprise silver medalist of the 2021 Afrobasket, Ivory Coast. Angola will try to redeem itself from their fifth-place finish in the last Afrobasket, while Ivory Coast will look to cement their position as a top-three African team.
Angola has Morais and Bango. Morais seemed like he had not aged since the last Afrobasket (performed well), while Bango was a young and steady presence down low.
Ivory Coast will not be able to field their NP, Matt Costello, who is currently playing for Canaria in Liga ACB. Nisre Zouzoua will be available, who is a guard in the second division of the French League.
Without Costello, I predict that their big rotation will be too thin for the Angolans. I am going with the Angolans in competitive match against Ivory Coast, their lead will be about 8 at least.
November 28 2021 (19:00 GMT-7)
Mexico (24) vs Puerto Rico (19)
These are two teams that are fresh from the OQT. Both teams looked really good in the OQT and they had a genuine chance to advance. Mexico could have beaten Germany, but they just did not finish well in the 4th quarter, while Puerto Rico lost by 7 against the Italians.
It will be hard to predict this one. Both teams will essentially have the same rosters from the OQT and their rosters gave (Italy and Germany) tough games. The only difference this time will be the inclusion of JJ Barea for the Puerto Ricans, but even with him, it does not make them clear favorites.
I predict a hard, competitive game that will go to the wire. The team that makes the fewest blunders will win.
November 27 2021 (12:05 GMT+9) & November 28 2021 (18:35 GMT+9)
Japan (35) vs China (28)
China will be going to Japan in a bubble setup for the first window. They had already faced each other in the ACQ, where China got the better of them without Yuta, Rui, and Baba. Japan went on to prepare for the Olympics, where they beat France in a tune-up and lost to Spain competitively. China went to the OQT in hopes of qualifying, but they sent a team of youngsters like the Philippines against Greece and Canada, where they were outmatched.
Things will look different this time around. China will field a more competitive team than they did in the previous World Cup, where they essentially qualified. Expect to see the likes of Guo Ailun and Wang Zhelin back. Japan also has a new head coach (Tom Havasse) who last led the women's team to a silver medal in the Olympics. Plenty of new variables to look around for with different players and etc.
I predict that either China will take these two games or Japan will split them. Japan is basically qualified, but they will try their best to put out a competitive roster and play as if they are not qualified.
There are so many games in this region and plenty of quality games, but of course, since the Euro league is still running and most of the top division leagues in Europe are running, don't expect the marquee players of these teams to play.
Because of this, it gives mediocre European teams a chance to steal wins against the traditional powerhouses. Expect a few surprise defeats. Personally, I feel like Bosnia could steal a win against the Czechs.
Since there are many quality games, just choose a game that will interest you below: