What to know about FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023

The Basketball World Cup begins on Friday and spans across the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia.

People play basketball in front of a wall painted with JIP, the FIBA Basketball World Cup mascot, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023, in Taguig city Philippines
People play basketball in front of a wall painted with JIP, the FIBA Basketball World Cup mascot, in Taguig, Philippines [File: Aaron Favila/AP Photo]

The Basketball World Cup – FIBA’s biggest tournament – starts Friday. The competition will be spread out across three countries for the first two rounds before the biggest games get played in Manila to decide which nation will go home with gold medals and the Naismith Trophy on September 10.

Here is what to know about the tournament:

When and where will the FIBA Basketball World Cup take place?

The competition tips off in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia.

This is the first time multiple countries host the tournament.

According to FIBA, Groups A and B will play their matches at Smart Araneta Coliseum in the Philippines. The Mall of Asia Arena (MoA Arena) also in the Philippines will host Groups C and D fixtures.

Groups E and F will hold their games at the Okinawa Arena, in Japan, while Groups G and H are expected to play at Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The Final Phase, set on September 5-10, will be played in Manila at the MoA Arena.

How many countries participate in the FIBA World Cup?

A total of 32 teams will play in 92 games over 16 days.

What is the format of the tournament?

The teams have been split into eight groups of four.

The top two teams from each group will make the second round, and the bottom two teams will play in the Classification Round for spots 17-32. The top eight teams after the second round advance to the quarterfinals.

FIBA basketball World Cup qualified groups

How do FIBA rules differ from NBA rules?

Those who are used to the NBA games will find some parts of the FIBA game confusing, particularly what constitutes basket interference or goaltending. In short, once a ball hits the rim, it’s fair game for either the offence or defence to hit it even while it remains in the cylinder.

The three-point line is a bit closer, the ball is a bit smaller, players foul out on their fifth personal and the game doesn’t last as long. Quarters are 10 minutes, not 12 like in the NBA.

How can I watch the Basketball World Cup?

In the US the first three US games will be available on ESPN2.

Courtside 1891 will also be livestreaming the games and Sportsnet will also have available some matches.

And there are streaming options for other games.

Here’s a list of the opening games for all 32 teams:


  • Group A (in Manila): Angola vs Italy, Dominican Republic vs Philippines
  • Group D (in Manila): Mexico vs Montenegro, Egypt vs Lithuania
  • Group E (in Okinawa): Finland vs Australia, Germany vs Japan
  • Group H (in Jakarta): Latvia vs Lebanon, Canada vs France


  • Group B (in Manila): South Sudan vs Puerto Rico, Serbia vs China
  • Group C (in Manila): Jordan vs Greece, US vs New Zealand
  • Group F (in Okinawa): Cape Verde vs Georgia, Slovenia vs Venezuela
  • Group G (in Jakarta): Iran vs Brazil, Spain vs Ivory Coast

Who are the players to watch?

Rosters won’t be finalised until later this week, but expect at least 20 of the 32 teams to have at least one NBA player on the roster. The US is the only team with all 12 players hailing from the NBA.

Canada has a slew of NBA talent, as would be expected, including Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, RJ Barrett, Kelly Olynyk, Dillon Brooks, Lu Dort, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Dwight Powell.

Among the other big NBA names on non-US rosters: Luka Doncic (Slovenia), Karl-Anthony Towns (Dominican Republic), Jordan Clarkson (Philippines), Kyle Anderson (China), Rudy Gobert (France), Evan Fournier (France), Nicolas Batum (France), Davis Bertans (Latvia), Patty Mills (Australia), Joe Ingles (Australia), Lauri Markkanen (Finland), Josh Giddey (Australia), Josh Green (Australia), Matisse Thybulle (Australia), Dennis Schroder (Germany), Franz Wagner (Germany), Moritz Wagner (Germany), Bogdan Bogdanovic (Serbia) and Nikola Vucevic (Montenegro).

Who will play for the first time?

A total of four teams will be playing for the first time in the tournament: Georgia, Latvia, Cape Verde and South Sudan.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies