Gilas expectedly misses Olympic cut as Serbia leads qualifiers pool
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines failed to make the wild card cut as world No. 6 Serbia led the 24-team 2020 Olympic qualifying tournaments pool released by FIBA on Thursday, September 19.
Ten European teams made up the bulk of the qualifier list, including powerhouses Greece (No. 7 ), Lithuania (No. 8) and Russia (No. 9).
As expected, Gilas Pilipinas (No. 31) failed to make the grade after a winless World Cup campaign that not only resulted in a dead-last finish, but also the subsequent resignation of head coach Yeng Guiao.
China, South Korea and New Zealand completed the Asian contingent in the qualifiers while Iran already booked a ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Games after finishing as the best Asian team in the World Cup. This marked Iran’s first appearance in the Olympiad after a 12-year absence.
Newly crowned FIBA World Cup champion Spain (No. 2) led the 8 teams that earned outright Olympic berths along with runner-up Argentina (No. 4), bronze winner France (No. 5), and semifinalist Australia (No. 3).
USA – despite crashing to 7th place in the world games – booked a slot in Tokyo as it still ranked No. 1 in the world and finished as the best team in the Americas in the World Cup.
Japan also secured a seat as Olympic host while Nigeria advanced after finishing as the best African team in the World Cup.
In the qualifiers, Gilas tormentors Angola and Tunisia along with Senegal clinched the 3 spots in the African delegation.
World No. 11 Brazil led the American qualifier list while surprise World Cup performer Poland and world No. 10 Czech Republic also kept their Olympic hopes alive. – Rappler.com