Eurobasket group D draw puts together a Baltic battle
Estonia will face its Baltic brothers in the group stage of the 39th FIBA European Basketball Championships in September 2015.
The 24 teams who qualified to the championships were drawn into four groups on Monday at Disneyland in Paris, France.
Estonia already knew that it would be competing against Latvia, one of the four host countries. Following the relocation of the championships from Ukraine, each of the new hosts was given an opportunity to select a partner Federation, and Latvia chose Estonia.
The draw also put Lithuania, from strongest seeded teams in pot 1, into the same group. The other three teams in group D are Belgium, Czech Republic and Ukraine.
"Lithuania is a top team and they are always fighting for the medals but the rest of the teams... I think it will be interesting," Estonian Head Coach Tiit Sokk said following the draw, adding that all games will be played to the full house as many Estonian fans will make their way over to Latvia. "So at least it's going to be like a great festival of basketball, the gym will always be packed," he told the organizers.
Estonia qualified for the championships in 2013 when it won the first qualification round. It is Estonia's fifth tournament appearance and the first since 2001. Estonia's opening game will be played against the Czech Republic on September 5.
The preliminary rounds will be played in four cities in four different countries.
A (Montpellier, France) - Russia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, France, Finland, Poland, Israel
B (Berlin, Germany) - Iceland, Turkey, Spain, Serbia, Italy, Germany
C (Zagreb, Croatia) - Netherlands, Greece, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Georgia
D (Riga, Latvia) - Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Belgium, Czech Republic