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Germany, France, Japan await Latvia OQT winner in Paris Olympics group stage

March 28 ------ IF, and that’s a big if, the Philippines make it to the 2024 Olympics of the men’s basketball tournament, it faces an even tougher opposition in Paris. The draw for the Olympic basketball competitions was held with the winner of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Latvia facing World Cup champion Germany, host France, and Japan in Group B.


The ultimate goal of the current iteration of the Gilas Pilipinas squad is to qualify for the Olympics, but in 2028 in Los Angeles, so clinching a berth in Paris will already be a huge accomplishment for the national squad. But making it to Paris is already a daunting task in itself.


Gilas Pilipinas will be vying for an Olympic berth in July in Riga, Latvia but will face two of the best European basketball teams in Georgia and the host squad in Group A. Even if the Tim Cone-coached national squad finds a way to hurdle the group stage, Gilas will still take on powerhouse teams like Brazil, Cameroon, or Montenegro in the crossover semifinals, the winners playing in the final and for the lone berth in Paris. Other results of the draw showed reigning gold medalist United States playing in Group C with World Cup runner-up Serbia, South Sudan, and the OQT winner in Puerto Rico.


Group A will be composed of Australia, Canada, and the two OQT winners in Greece and Spain. The Puerto Rico qualifiers has Mexico, Ivory Coast, Lithuania, Italy, Puerto Rico, and Bahrain, while the Greece tournament will have Slovenia, New Zealand, Croatia, Egypt, Greece, and Dominican Republic. The Spain OQT will be contested by Lebanon, Angola, Spain, Finland, Poland, and Bahamas.


Group B has Germany, whose team led by Dennis Schroder won the Fiba Basketball World Cup in Manila with a victory over Serbia. France will definitely go all out for a medal in the Olympics being the host with NBA rookie sensation Victor Wembanyama likely playing for the team. Japan is making waves in Asian basketball, clinching the Olympic berth as the best Asian team in the Fiba Basketball World Cup last year.




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