The Czech Republic, Germany, Italy and Slovenia completed the Men’s Olympic Basketball Tournament roster for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the weekend by winning their respective FIBA Olympics Qualifying Tournaments.
The four winners join the eight previously qualified countries: Argentina, Australia, France, Iran, Japan, Nigeria, Spain and the USA.
The 12 countries will compete in Tokyo for Olympic Gold in Men’s Basketball.
The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 produced seven teams that qualified directly for the Olympics, while Japan received automatic qualification as the event’s host.
The Czech Republic became the last team to seal a berth after beating Greece 97-72 in the final of their qualifying event on Sunday in Canada.
The Czechs, who stunned tournament hosts Canada 103-101 in Saturday’s thrilling semi-final, will join holders, the USA, France and Iran in Group A at the Olympics.
In the other qualifiers, Italy, Slovenia and Germany sealed their own Tokyo 2020 spots earlier on Sunday.
The Italians stunned 2016 silver medallists Serbia 102-95 in Belgrade; European champions Slovenia beat Lithuania 96-85 in Kaunas, while Germany overpowered Brazil 75-64.
Italy and Germany will join Australia and Nigeria’s D’Tigers in Group B at the Games.
Slovenia, who qualified for the Olympics for the first time as an independent nation, are heading to Group C alongside world champions Spain, Argentina and hosts Japan.
The Italians carved out a 25-point lead midway through the third quarter after nailing nine three-pointers in the first half.
They then held off a late Serbia rally to reach their first Olympics since Athens 2004, when they won the silver medal.
Guard Nicolo Mannion led the Italians with 24 points, Achille Polonara added 22, while Simone Fontecchio chipped in with 21.
Serbia’s porous defence failed to deal with their rivals’ long-range shooting and offensive rebounds.
Having won the European title in 2017, Slovenia advanced on the back of an effervescent performance from Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic.
The 22-year-old racked up 31 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds against the Lithuanians.
After a balanced first half, Slovenia pulled away in the second and silenced the raucous home fans in Kaunas.
This went on as Doncic pulled all the strings to win the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.
“I don’t care about the MVP award because what matters is that we won the tournament and reached the Olympics for the first time,” a delighted Doncic said in a courtside interview.
“Like every child in Slovenia, I too dreamed all my life of being in the Olympic Games. We are a small nation but we have a lot of potential and we’ve made history here.”
Germany knocked out hosts Croatia in Split on Saturday and followed up with a superb defensive performance against Brazil as they led throughout the low-scoring contest.
Moritz Wagner stood out with a game-high 28 points for the Germans.
Brazil guard Vitor Benite scored only nine at the other end after he was confined to making a mere three of 18 shots from the field.
Originally slated for the summer of 2020, the Tokyo Olympics will take place from July 23 to August 8.
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