What Gilas is up against at FIBA Worlds
FIBA Ranking: No. 3
Argentina qualified for the 2013 FIBA Basketball World Cup after finishing third in the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship.
Among the players to watch out are Indiana Pacers power forward Luis Scola and San Antonio Spurs vet Manu Ginobili. Scola, who was with the NBA’s 2008 Rookie First Team, averages 13.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Ginobili, on the other hand, tallies 14.7 points and 4.0 assists per game.
Among the team's recent accomplishments are: a gold medal at the 2008 FIBA Diamond Ball, a bronze-medal finish at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a gold-medal win at the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship.
Juan Pedro Gutiérrez
FIBA Ranking: No. 37
Senegal nabbed a qualification for the 2014 FIBA World Cup when it won bronze at the 2013 FIBA Africa Championship.
The team is a five-time gold medalist (in 1968, 1972, 1978, 1980, and 1997), a six-time silver medalist, and a thrice bronze medalist at the FIBA Africa Championship. Senegal was also the first Sub-Saharan African team to qualify for the Summer Olympic Games.
Senegal has 7-foot-tall center Hamady N'Diaye, who was formerly with the Washington Wizards. He now plays for the Delaware 87ers in the NBA D-League. The team also has defensive specialist Mouhamed Saer Sene, who boasts of a 7-foot-8.5 wingspan. Sene had stints with the Seattle Supersonics, Oklahoma City Thunder and the New York Knicks.
El Hadji Malick Ndiaye
Pape Malick Gadiaga
3. Puerto Rico
FIBA Ranking: No. 19
Puerto Rico qualified the FIBA Worlds by virtue of its second-place finish at the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship.
It also has participated in all of the FIBA Americas Championships and has gone all the way to the semifinals in all but the 1984 and 2005 tournaments for a total of nine medals.
Puerto Rico has NBA point guards JJ Barea and Carlos Arroyo. Barea currently plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves, while Arroyo was with the Miami heat and the Boston Celtics. It also boasts of 7-foot-3 center Peter Ramos, formerly of the Washington Wizards.
José Juan Barea
Elías Larry Ayuso
FIBA Ranking: No. 16
Croatia finished third behind France and Lithuania at FIBA EuroBasket 2013 to gain a seat in the FIBA Worlds.
It has a rich basketball tradition, with several of its members ending up at the the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Among its legends who made into the list are Krešimir Ćosić, Dražen Petrović, and Mirko Novosel. The biggest success Croatia has achieved was at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics when the team reached the finals against the US Dream Team and won the silver.
Croatia has at its disposal the services of 6-foot-5 point guard Roko Ukić, formerly of the Toronto Raptors and the Milwaukee Bucks, and power forward Damir Markota, who had playing stint with the Milwaukee Bucks.
FIBA Ranking: No. 5
Greece, traditionally considered among the world's top basketball powers, acquired a wild card to join the FIBA World Cup.
Greece’s most remarkable achievement was its runner-up finish at the 2006 FIBA World Championship, after beating the 2006 Team USA of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony in the semis.
Despite an impressive win against the defending champion Spain in Eurobasket 2013, it lost crucial games and failed to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2001. Among its prized players are 7-foot center Kosta Koufos of the Memphis Grizzlies, Memphis Grizzlies point guard Nick Calathes and Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard Giannis Antetokounmpo.