France and Serbia fans favourites for EuroBasket glory

France and Serbia are the favourites to contest the final at Eurobasket 2015 according to the fans who voted on TalkBasket’s Twitter page.

The 2009 and 2011 European champions Spain were also mentioned but the majority sided with current holders France, who are co-hosting this year’s tournament and the FIBA World Cup, silver-medallists Serbia.

The two nations competed in the FIBA World Cup semi-final, last year with the Serbians hanging on for a 90-85 victory.

Going on form, it’s no surprise that the aforementioned nations have been named. France have revealed a strong preliminary squad that includes 2013 MVP Tony Parker.

On the other side, Serbia will look to boast a strong team for their Eurobasket campaign and will actually face Spain in the group stages in Berlin.

The team ranked seventh in the FIBA rankings will be buoyed by the fact that Sasha Djordjevic has committed himself to the international programme until 2019. 

And for Spain, they will be light in the backcourt with Ricky Rubio, Jose Calderon and Juan Carlos Navarro absent, but the naturalised spot that usually falls to Serge Ibaka has now been handed to Chicago Bulls’ Nikola Mirotic, following the forward’s solid season in the Windy City.

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The majority of the European basketball media are also in agreement with the fans’ opinions as we are now 61 days from the event tipping off in Montpellier, Berlin, Zagreb and Riga.

Emmet Ryan, editor of Ballin Europe is one of them and he believes that Spain, despite still having a strong preliminary roster will be rebuilding for the Rio Olympics next year.

“France have the talent, the bodies they need, and they absolutely need to impress on home soil,” Ryan said.

“Serbia just look the most complete team aside from France. Lithuania are hurting, Spain with Mirotic look interesting but this screams of an off year before storming through the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Serbia to me have to most focus and in a knockout situation that will stand to them.”

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On the contrary, FIBA and Eurosport commentator Roy Birch thinks that Spain will look to do better after their disappointing quarter-final exit at the World Cup on home soil, last year.

“I think Spain will be on a mission due to World Cup disaster last year,” Birch said.

“But France playing in France will be strong and they will certainly look to repeat their glory. It will be a close call between them and Serbia for the gold with Spain making noise as well.”

Jorge Sierra, editor of popular website HoopsHype believes that it will be between Spain and France for Eurobasket glory in Lille on September 20, leaving Serbia out of contention.

“Spain and France are way above the rest of the teams in terms of talent when they are able to recruit most of their stars for FIBA duty,” Sierra said.

“With Pau Gasol, [Nikola] Mirotic, [Tony] Parker, [Nicholas] Batum and [Boris] Diaw in for the tournament, they have to be considered favorites once again.”

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John Hobbs contributed to this report.