The EuroBasket 2007 qualifying round draw in Madrid on Saturday proved not only once again that European national team competition is at an all-time high, but that there will be no easy roads to the final round which will be held in September 2007 in Spain.
EuroBasket 2005 set the standard for a competition that produced top quality play on the court and an electric atmosphere in the heartland of European basketball, Serbia & Montenegro.
Despite the lofty standards set in Belgrade, FIBA Europe President George Vassilakopoulos is confident that Spain are more than up to the task of organising EuroBasket.
“I have already expressed my certainty that due to the work been done and the bid made by the Spanish Federation, they can offer us a successful event. They have already realized that EuroBasket is the top event on our continent. That is very, very important,” said Vassilakopoulos after the draw.
If you remember in Belgrade we had a full arena with 20,000 spectators every night and the level was very high from both a sports and organisational point of view and I think Spain has the capacity to do, just as good, or if not a better job.”
Women’s basketball was also at the forefont with the draw for EuroBasket Women 2007 which will take place in Chieti, Italy. The event will see the culmination of the Year of Women’s Basketball, a FIBA Europe initiative which will be launched at the EuroLeague Women All-Star Game on 8th March in Pecs, Hungary.
“I think that things are running in the right direction and I hope that also in Italy we will have a well organised event. Of course the level now in women’s basketball is increasing and I hope that the Year of Women’s Basketball will keep the game developing at the same pace,” said Vassilakopoulos.