Kobe Bryant reacts before the draw ceremony of 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong province, March 16, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]
Chinese fans can hope their team could go further after the host drew with Venezuela, Poland, Cote d'Ivoire in Group A in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 on Saturday.
With no team ranked higher than No 20, most people believe it is the easiest group of the World Cup. But four teams in this group are also the closest. China has chance to win every team and could also lose to any of them.
The host will play Cote d'Ivoire in their first match. The African team currently is ranked 64th, which is the lowest in the World Cup.
With the absence of top star Yi Jianlian, China won the Asian Games title in September, showing good team work and mentality. Coach Li Nan, who played for China in 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games finishing eighth, has opportunity to lead the team to a new stage in front of the home crowd.
USA will meet Czech Republic, Turkey and Japan in group E. It is obvious an easy cake for the defending champion to top the group, but the basketball giant is dreaming to become the first in history to win three consecutive World Cup titles.
Guiding by Gregg Popovich, the star-studded team will head to China with a roster that may include Keven Durant, James Harden and Steven Curry.
Spain is placed in group C with Iran, Puerto Rico and Tunisia. The world second-ranked team will hardly meet any challengers in the group stage.
Leading by Pau Gasol, who was the hero for his country to win the World Cup in 2006, Spain will still be the most possible team to end USA's dynasty.
France will also enjoy an easy start, with Dominican Republic, Germany and Jordan in Group G.
Australia is drawn in the "group of death". The world No 11 has to finish top two in Group H with world No 6 Lithuania, No 23 Canada and No 37 Senegal.