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MANILA, Philippines – All six Asian teams got the boot in the FIBA World Cup.
Gilas Pilipinas, Japan, China, Jordan, Iran, and Lebanon were all relegated to the classification phase as 16 of the 32 participating countries crashed out of contention at the end of the group stage on Wednesday, August 30.
With no Asian nation reaching the second round, the race for an outright spot in the 2024 Paris Olympics rewarded to the highest-placing squad from the continent remains wide open.
Japan, though, still leads the pack as the only Asian team with a victory as it finished third in Group E with a 1-2 record, concluding the group stage on Wednesday with a 109-89 loss at the hands of title contender Australia.
Merging with Cape Verde and Venezuela in Group O, the Akatsuki eye a second straight Olympic appearance after earning an automatic berth when Japan hosted the previous Summer Games in Tokyo.
The Philippines, meanwhile, gets two final chances to clinch a win after winding up at fourth and last place in Group A with a 0-3 card. (LIVE UPDATES: Philippines vs South Sudan – FIBA World Cup 2023)
Joining Group M, Gilas Pilipinas faces feisty South Sudan and hungry China as it tries to avoid another disastrous World Cup campaign after going winless in the previous edition and finishing dead-last out of the 32 teams.
China, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iran also concluded the group stage without a single win – often losing in blowout fashion.
Aside from the Philippines, Angola awaits China in Group M, Jordan battles Egypt and Mexico in Group N, while Iran and Lebanon lock horns in Group P together with France and Ivory Coast. (GAME SCHEDULE: FIBA World Cup 2023)
The objective for Asian squads is to finish high in their respective classification groups as each place corresponds to a certain ranking.
First in groups will be classified 17th to 20th, second in groups 21st to 24th, third in groups 25th to 28th, and fourth in groups 29th to 32nd.
In case of ties in the same classification tier, point difference will come into play.
Japan owns a -28 point difference followed by the Philippines (-23), Iran (-63), Jordan (-77), China (-80), and Lebanon (-100).
Simply put, anything can happen. – Rappler.com