2023 FIBA World Cup

FIBA World Cup: Format, list of NBA players and how to watch

Top talent around the world will compete for the crown that Spain currently holds.

Reigning world champion Spain and Team USA are considered 2 of the favorites to win the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

The 2023 FIBA World Cup tips off Friday with 32 teams playing in 92 games over 16 days of competition, all of them vying for the title of world champion as well as qualification for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

This is the 19th edition of the competition, which began in 1950 and was known as the FIBA World Championship until 2010. This is the first time that the event is being hosted by multiple countries as the two rounds of Group Phase play will be split between the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia before the top eight teams convene in Manila for the Final Phase. The competition returns to the basketball-crazed Philippines for the first time in 45 years.

The Format

Here is a breakdown of the competition format:

Group Phase 1st Round (Aug. 25-30): Eight groups of four teams, with each team playing against the other three teams in the group for a total of 48 games. The top two teams from each group qualify for the second round, while the bottom two teams will play in the Classification Round to determine places 17-32.

  • Groups A & B: Manila (Araneta Coliseum; Philippine Arena)
  • Groups C & D: Manila (Mall of Asia Arena)
  • Groups E & F: Okinawa (Okinawa Arena)
  • Groups G & H: Jakarta (Indonesia Arena)

Group Phase: 2nd Round (Aug. 31-Sept. 4): Four groups of four teams, with each playing against the two teams in their group that they did not face in the 1st round. Results from the 1st Round carry over to the 2nd Round. The top two teams from each group advance to the Final Phase. The bottom two teams from each group are eliminated and ranked in places No. 9-16, according to the Official Basketball Rules.

  • Group I: Manila (Araneta Coliseum): 1st and 2nd place of Groups A & B
  • Group J: Manila (Mall of Asia Arena): 1st and 2nd place from Groups C & D
  • Group K: Okinawa (Okinawa Arena): 1st and 2nd place from Groups E & F
  • Group L: Jakarta (Indonesia Arena): 1st and 2nd place from Groups G & H

Final Phase: Quarter-Finals (Sept. 5-6): Eight teams play in a bracket-style tournament to determine the champion, with all games played at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila. The winner of each Quarter-Final advances to the Semifinals, while the loser plays in the Classification Round for places 5-8.

  • Sept. 5 (Game 81): 1st Group I vs. 2nd Group J
  • Sept. 5 (Game 82): 1st Group J vs. 2nd Group I
  • Sept. 6 (Game 83): 1st Group K vs. 2nd Group L
  • Sept. 6 (Game 84): 1st Group L vs. 2nd Group K

Final Phase: Semifinals (Sept. 8): The winner of each semifinal advances to the Final, while the loser of each semifinal will play in the third-place game.

  • Sept. 8 (Game 87): Winner of Game 81 vs. Winner of Game 83
  • Sept. 8 (Game 88): Winner of Game 82 vs. Winner of Game 84

Final Phase: Final and Third-Place Game (Sept. 10): The world title will be determined as the winners of the two semifinals meet in the Final.

  • Sept. 10 (Game 91, Third-Place Game): Loser of Game 87 vs. Loser of Game 88
  • Sept. 10 (Game 92, Final): Winner of Game 87 vs. Winner of Game 88

The Field

As the game of basketball has continued to grow and expand internationally, so has the field for the FIBA World Cup. What began as a 10-nation competition in 1950 has now reached 32 teams vying for the title of world champion.

Spain enters the 2023 competition as the defending champion – having won their second FIBA World Cup in 2019 – as well as the top team in the FIBA world rankings. The Spanish squad, led by Willy and Juancho Hernangomez as well as Rudy Fernandez and Santi Aldama, is the favorite to emerge out of Group G in the Group Phase.

Below are the group draws with the teams listed in order of their FIBA World Ranking. Click each country to learn more about the team and view their Group Phase 1st Round schedule.

The United States enters the FIBA World Cup with a No. 2 FIBA ranking, but is seen as the tournament favorites. Team USA boasts a 12-man roster full of current NBA players, led by All-Stars Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton and Jaren Jackson Jr., as well as reigning NBA Kia Rookie of the Year Paolo Banchero.

But what the United States boasts in talent, they lack in international experience. The FIBA World Cup will be the first competition at the senior level for every member of Team USA. The team began training in early August and posted a perfect 5-0 record in an exhibition showcase to prepare them for the competition, including a win over top-ranked Spain and an impressive come-from-behind win over 11th-ranked Germany.

The United States is tied with the former Yugoslavia for the most FIBA World Cup titles in the history of the competition with five, winning in 1954, 1986, 1994, 2010 and 2014. However, Team USA is coming off its worst outing in World Cup history in 2019 when they finished seventh.

Team USA Finishes at the FIBA World Cup

  • 1950s: 1950 (2nd), 1954 (1st), 1959 (2nd)
  • 1960s: 1963 (4th), 1967 (4th)
  • 1970s: 1970 (5th), 1974 (3rd), 1978 (5th)
  • 1980s: 1982 (2nd), 1986 (1st)
  • 1990s: 1990 (3rd), 1994 (1st), 1998 (3rd)
  • 2000s: 2002 (6th), 2006 (3rd)
  • 2010s: 2010 (1st), 2014 (1st), 2019 (7th)

Of course, the United States isn’t the only roster to boast a lot of NBA talent. In total, 22 of the 32 national teams competing at the FIBA World Cup feature at least one NBA player. At least one-third of the rosters for Canada, Serbia, France and Australia are comprised of NBA players.

A total of six 2023 NBA All-Stars are featured in the competition with Luka Doncic (Slovenia), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Canada) and Lauri Markkanen (Finland) joining the trio from Team USA; Doncic and Gilgeous-Alexander were also named All-NBA First Team last season. For more on some of the marquee players at the 2023 FIBA World Cup, check out our 12 players to watch in the competition.

There are some notable international stars missing from this year’s competition due to either injury or rest, including Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece), Nikola Jokic (Serbia), Jamal Murray (Canada), Kristaps Porzingis (Latvia), Ben Simmons (Australia) and Jose Alvarado (Puerto Rico).

NBA players on FIBA World Cup rosters

Group A

  • Angola: Bruno Fernando (Atlanta Hawks)
  • Dominican Republic: Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves), Lester Quinones (Golden State Warriors)
  • Italy: Simone Fontecchio (Utah Jazz)
  • Philippines: Jordan Clarkson (Utah Jazz)

Group B

  • China: Kyle Anderson (Minnesota Timberwolves)
  • Serbia: Bogdan Bogdanovic (Atlanta Hawks), Nikola Jovic (Miami Heat), Filip Petrusev (Philadelphia 76ers)
  • South Sudan: Carlik Jones (Chicago Bulls)
  • Puerto Rico: No NBA players on roster.

Group C

  • Greece: Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
  • Jordan: No NBA players on roster.
  • New Zealand: No NBA players on roster.
  • United States: Paolo Banchero (Orlando Magic), Mikal Bridges (Brooklyn Nets), Jalen Brunson (New York Knicks), Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves), Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers), Josh Hart (New York Knicks), Brandon Ingram (New Orleans Pelicans), Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis Grizzlies), Cameron Johnson (Brooklyn Nets), Walker Kessler (Utah Jazz), Bobby Portis (Milwaukee Bucks), Austin Reaves (Los Angeles Lakers)

Group D

  • Egypt: No NBA players on roster.
  • Lithuania: Jonas Valanciunas (New Orleans Pelicans)
  • Mexico: No NBA players on roster.
  • Montenegro: Nikola Vucevic (Chicago Bulls)

Group E

  • Australia: Xavier Cooks (Washington Wizards), Dyson Daniels (New Orleans Pelicans), Dante Exum (Dallas Mavericks), Josh Giddey (Oklahoma City Thunder), Josh Green (Dallas Mavericks), Joe Ingles (Orlando Magic), Jock Landale (Houston Rockets), Patty Mills (Atlanta Hawks), Matisse Thybulle (Portland Trail Blazers), Jack White (Oklahoma City Thunder)
  • Finland: Lauri Markkanen (Utah Jazz)
  • Germany: Dennis Schroder (Toronto Raptors), Daniel Theis (Indiana Pacers), Franz Wagner (Orlando Magic), Moritz Wagner (Orlando Magic)
  • Japan: Yuta Watanabe (Phoenix Suns)

Group F

  • Cape Verde: No NBA players on roster.
  • Georgia: Goga Bitadze (Orlando Magic), Sandro Mamukelashvili (San Antonio Spurs)
  • Slovenia: Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)
  • Venezuela: No NBA players on roster.

Group G

  • Brazil: Raul Neto (Cleveland Cavaliers)
  • Cote d’Ivoire: No NBA players on roster.
  • Iran: No NBA players on roster.
  • Spain: Santi Aldama (Memphis Grizzlies)

Group H

  • Canada: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder), RJ Barrett (New York Knicks), Dillon Brooks (Houston Rockets), Lu Dort (Oklahoma City Thunder), Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Minnesota Timberwolves), Kelly Olynyk (Utah Jazz), Dwight Powell (Dallas Mavericks)
  • France: Nicolas Batum (LA Clippers), Evan Fournier (New York Knicks), Rudy Gobert (Minnesota Timberwolves)
  • Latvia: Davis Bertans (Oklahoma City Thunder)
  • Lebanon: No NBA players on roster.

How to watch

Courtside 1891’s FIBA World Cup Pass will offer fans in 20 countries and territories access to live and on-demand games, as well as replays, extended highlights, and top plays.

Fans in the following countries and territories can purchase Courtside 1891’s FIBA World Cup Pass: Angola, Argentina, Cape Verde, Cote D’Ivoire, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Greece, Indonesia, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Poland, Puerto Rico, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, and United Kingdom.

For viewers in the United States, games will be available live on ESPN platforms, such as ESPN2 and ESPN+. Six games will air exclusively on ESPN2, including three in the first round that feature Team USA. All other 86 games will be carried by ESPN+.

The Schedule

Check out the full Group Phase 1st Round schedule here. This page will be updated daily with results and as games in the further rounds are determined.

For fans of Team USA, here is the Group Phase 1st Round schedule for the Americans:

  • Saturday, August 26: USA vs. New Zealand, 8:40 a.m. ET
  • Monday, August 28: Greece vs. USA, 8:40 a.m. ET
  • Wednesday, August 30: USA vs. Jordan, 4:40 a.m. ET