The Tall Blacks have been drawn in Group A alongside Korea, the Philippines, and India for Round 1 of qualifying for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023

The draw was held on Tuesday evening NZT at the Patrick Baumann House of Basketball in Mies, Switzerland.

Korea, ranked 29th in the world, will be the sternest test for the Tall Blacks, while the Philippines and India are ranked 31st and 78th respectively. The Tall Blacks are currently ranked 25th in the world.

Basketball New Zealand Head of High Performance Leonard King feels the draw presents an exciting challenge ahead for the Tall Blacks, after a long time off the court.

“The recent postponement of the Asia Cup has meant that our Tall Blacks program has had to reset and adjust our campaign plans.  Our sole focus is now to qualify for FIBA World Cup 2023 .  In order to do that we must go through Korea, The Philippines, and India.

“Yes, we have had a few challenging years but excuses aren’t in our playbook, despite COVID throwing us multiple curve balls, we will head into the World Cup Qualifiers prepared and focused on achieving our goal of qualifying.

“We are expecting to introduce a number of fresh faces to the Tall Blacks team over the World Cup Qualifying competition, it will be exciting to see how well the youth complement our experienced players in the build-up to the 2023 World Cup.”

How Qualification Works

Of sixteen teams, eight will qualify from Asia/Oceania, however with all three hosts coming from the region, two of those spots will be taken by Japan and the Philippines, and a potential third by Indonesia if they reach the quarter finals of next years postponed FIBA Asia Cup 2021. This leaves six, potentially five, qualification places for the Tall Blacks to aim for.

Round 1 of the qualifiers will see the Tall Blacks play its Group A rivals, Korea, the Philippines and India on a home and away basis over three windows (Nov 2021, Feb 2022, Jun 2022).

The top three teams from each group will advance to the second round of the qualifiers, where they will join the top three teams from another group in one of two groups of six. They will then play those three teams on a home and away basis over three windows (Aug 2022, Nov 2022, Feb 2023)

The top three teams from each Round 2 group will qualify for FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.

For a detailed visual explanation of how qualifying from the Asia/Oceania region works, watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWv4Q5niGMY

The Tall Blacks expect to make an announcement around the appointment of a head coach in the next few weeks.