Countdown begins for World Basketball Championship in Turkey

The largest basketball event of the planet, FIBA 2010 World Basketball Championship, will begin on Saturday.

Countdown begins for World Basketball Championship in Turkey

The largest basketball event of the planet, FIBA 2010 World Basketball Championship, will begin on Saturday, August 28, in Turkey which hosts a basketball tournament of such a magnitude for the first time in its history.

The championship will take place in four Turkish cities -Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Kayseri. Around 350,000 people are expected to attend the championship, which culminates in the final on September 12.

The first round of the championship, which returns to Europe for the first time in 12 years, will feature basketball stars such as Boris Diaw, Carlos Arroyo and Anderson Varejao. However, several other superstars including Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Dirk Nowitzki will miss this year's tournament.

A total of 24 teams are qualified for the event, while the draw on December 15 divided them into four groups of six.

The team winning the FIBA World Championship 2010 will qualify automatically for the London 2012 Olympics.

The following teams have qualified for Turkey:

Group A (Kayseri): Angola, Argentina, Australia, Germany, Jordan, Serbia
Group B (Istanbul): Brazil, Croatia, Iran, Slovenia, Tunisia, USA
Group C (Ankara): China, Greece, Ivory Coast, Puerto Rico, Russia, Turkey
Group D (Izmir): Canada, France, Lebanon, Lithuania, New Zealand, Spain

The game schedule for the first round of the championship is as follows:

AUGUST 28, SATURDAY
-------------------
GROUP A (KAYSERI)
-------------------
AUSTRALIA-JORDAN (4:30 p.m.)
ANGOLA-SERBIA (7:00 p.m.)
GERMANY-ARGENTINA (9:30 p.m.)

GROUP B (ISTANBUL)
-------------------
TUNISIA-SLOVENIA (4:30 p.m.)
USA-CROATIA (7:00 p.m.)
IRAN-BRAZIL (9:30 p.m.)

GROUP C (ANKARA)
------------------
GREECE-CHINA (4:00 p.m.)
RUSSIA-PUERTO RICO (6:30 p.m.)
IVORY COAST-TURKEY (9:00 p.m.)

GROUP D (IZMIR)
-----------------
NEW ZEALAND-LITHUANIA (4:00 p.m.)
CANADA-LEBANON (6:30 p.m.)
FRANCE-SPAIN (9:00 p.m.)

AUGUST 29, SUNDAY
-------------------
GROUP A (KAYSERI)
-------------------
JORDAN-ANGOLA (4:30 p.m.)
SERBIA-GERMANY (7:00 p.m.)
ARGENTINA-AUSTRALIA (9:30 p.m.)

GROUP B (ISTANBUL)
-------------------
SLOVENIA-USA (4:30 p.m.)
CROATIA-IRAN (7:00 p.m.)
BRAZIL-TUNISIA (9:30 p.m.)

GROUP C (ANKARA)
------------------
CHINA-IVORY COAST (4:00 p.m.)
PUERTO RICO-GREECE (6:30 p.m.)
TURKEY-RUSSIA (9:00 p.m.)

GROUP D (IZMIR)
------------------
LITHUANIA-CANADA (4:00 p.m.)
LEBANON-FRANCE (6:30 p.m.)
SPAIN-NEW ZEALAND (9:00 p.m.)

AUGUST 30, MONDAY
--------------------
GROUP A (KAYSERI)
-------------------
JORDAN-SERBIA (4:30 p.m.)
AUSTRALIA-GERMANY (7:00 p.m.)
ANGOLA-ARGENTINA (9:30 p.m.)

GROUP B (ISTANBUL)
--------------------
SLOVENIA-CROATIA (4:30 p.m.)
TUNISIA-IRAN (7:00 p.m.)
USA-BRAZIL (9:30 p.m.)

AUGUST 31, TUESDAY
--------------------
GROUP C (ANKARA)
------------------
RUSSIA-IVORY COAST (4:00 p.m.)
PUERTO RICO-CHINA (6:30 p.m.)
GREECE-TURKEY (9:00 p.m.)

GROUP D (IZMIR)
-----------------
NEW ZEALAND-LEBANON (4:00 p.m.)
FRANCE-CANADA (6:30 p.m.)
SPAIN-LITHUANIA (9:00 p.m.)

SEPTEMBER 1, WEDNESDAY
----------------------
GROUP A (KAYSERI)
-------------------
SERBIA-AUSTRALIA (4:30 p.m.)
GERMANY-ANGOLA (7:00 p.m.)
ARGENTINA-JORDAN (9:30 p.m.)

GROUP B (ISTANBUL)
--------------------
CROATIA-TUNISIA (4:30 p.m.)
IRAN-USA (7:00 p.m.)
BRAZIL-SLOVENIA (9:30 p.m.)

GROUP C (ANKARA)
------------------
CHINA-RUSSIA (4:00 p.m.)
IVORY COAST-GREECE (6:30 p.m.)
TURKEY-PUERTO RICO (9:00 p.m.)

GROUP D (IZMIR)
-----------------
CANADA-NEW ZEALAND (4:00 p.m.)
LEBANON-SPAIN (6:30 p.m.)
LITHUANIA-FRANCE (9:00 p.m.)

SEPTEMBER 2, THURSDAY
---------------------
GROUP A (KAYSERI)
-------------------
ANGOLA-AUSTRALIA (4:30 p.m.)
ARGENTINA-SERBIA (7:00 p.m.)
JORDAN-GERMANY (9:30 p.m.)

GROUP B (ISTANBUL)
--------------------
USA-TUNISIA (4:30 p.m.)
SLOVENIA-IRAN (7:00 p.m.)
BRAZIL-CROATIA (9:30 p.m.)

GROUP C (ANKARA)
------------------
PUERTO RICO-IVORY COAST (4:00 p.m.)
GREECE-RUSSIA (6:30 p.m.)
TURKEY-CHINA (9:00 p.m.)

GROUP D (IZMIR)
-----------------
SPAIN-CANADA (4:00 p.m.)
LEBANON-LITHUANIA (6:30 p.m.)
NEW ZEALAND-FRANCE (9:00 p.m.)



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