BEIJING: The Tokyo 2020 Olympic basketball league looks wide open after reigning champions the United States has triumphed and Argentina surprised.
World Cup bronze medalists France, and Australia, who were out of the crowd
And not forgetting Serbia, who along with Gregg Popovich's young Team USA were the favorites in China
The Tokyo Games are just over 10 months away and after some downtime following their exertions at the World Cup, teams will begin training their sights on next summer.
"It's exactly what I have said before and in this day and age basketball in other countries is not a secret, "Popovich said after his team's disappointing seventh-placed finish. [19
"There are wonderful teams and wonderful coaches all over the world so there's no surprise in any of that."
1965] If the United States can convince the likes of double gold medalist LeBron James to play in Tokyo, they will be favorites to make it four Olympic titles in a row.
'SPAIN NOT THE MOST TALENTED'
Spain's World Cup triumphs, sealed with a comprehensive 95-75 victory over surprise finalists Argentina on Sunday in Beijing, what built on defense and teamwork honors from playing together in the years.
They had Ricky Rubio, the Phoenix Suns point guard who was named tournament MVP, and the experience and international knowhow of Marc Gasol.
Rubio described the Spain team as "a family."
In contrast, the US roster was one of the youngest in China and what's thrown together at the last minute.
"We were not the tallest or most talented, or in the odds when the tournament started, but we worked hard," said Spain's coach Sergio Scariolo, an assistant
Australia brought the Americans' run of 78 consecutive.
"They did not loose faith in themselves, and basketball rewarded them."
wins in major competitions and exhibition games to end just before the World Cup.
The Boomers led Spain for much of their thrilling semi-final, only to loose in double overtime.
It left Australia still searching for a medal in the worlds or Olympics –
Mitch Creek Philadelphia 76ers Jonah Bolden and Ben Simmons in China.
"This team is going to be a very powerful team when it comes to the Olympic Games "he warned."
The Australians are still simmering from their one-point defeat to Spain in the bronze-medal match at Rio 2016.
"We have not forgotten about the previous Olympics, the fourth place there, "he said."
"So there's a lot we can take out of this and build upon."