Europe Is Looking For Its Champions

EUROBASKET 2011, THE EUROPEAN BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP, WILL BE HELD IN LITHUANIA AUGUST 31 TO SEPTEMBER 18. THE COUNTRY’S SPIRITED BASKETBALL FANS AND ITS NATIONAL TEAMS, WHO ARE REVVING UP FOR THE 2012 OLYMPICS, ARE GOING TO GIVE SPORT LOVERS A MEMORABLE 19 DAYS.

Lithuania is hosting this year’s EuroBasket in six different cities. Following a decision by FIBA last year, 24 teams are going to compete in the tournament for both the championship and a place in the 2012 London Olympics.

The group matches will be played August 31 to September 6. The Group A matches, which  include Turkey, will be played at Panevezys. Competing in this difficult group are previous champion Spain, Olympics host Britain, tournament host Lithuania, Poland and a team to come out of the qualifiers. Turkey’s first match will be with that team.

Italy, Serbia, France, Latvia, Germany and Israel will compete in the Group B matches, to be played at Siauliai. The top three teams each of Groups A and B will make up Group E in the second round.

Greece, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia Herzegovina and another team to come out of the qualifiers will compete in the Group C matches at Alytus. Slovenia, Russia, Belgium, Georgia, Bulgaria and Ukraine meanwhile will compete in Group D at Klaipeda. The teams emerging from these two groups will join together in Group F and go on to Vilnius.

Starting on September 14, the finals will be played at Kaunas in a spanking new, 14,500 - capacity sports hall in the Kaunas Arena. The two teams that compete in the finals will get an automatic place in the Olympics, and those placing third to sixth will play another qualifier.

Ticket prices for the tournament range from 25 to 101 euros, and tickets at Panevezys, where Turkey will play, from 25 to 60 euros.

LITHUANIA NOTES
Panevyzys is Lithuania’s fifth largest city and a luxuriantly green industrial zone. The Ethnographic Museum is a must-see in this city with a 500-year past.

There are few hotels in the smaller cities of this, Eastern Europe’s greenest country, where the group matches are going to be played. But accommodations are also available in the areas set up as Basketball Fun Camps.