The second round of the 2019 FIBA World Cup has come to an end, with several more countries – including the USA – clinching spots in the 2020 Olympics as a result of their records in this year’s event.
Entering World Cup play, only host nation Japan was assured of a spot in the 12-team field for next year’s Olympics in Tokyo. Seven more teams will ultimately qualify via the World Cup — two from the Americas, two from Europe, one from Africa, one from Asia, and one from Oceania.
While the European spots are still up for grabs, the other five have been claimed. USA and Argentina (Americas) will play in the 2020 Olympics, along with Australia (Oceania), Iran (Asia), and Nigeria (Africa).
Once two more spots have been secured by the last two European teams still standing in the World Cup, there will be four final berths available for Tokyo. Those four teams will be determined in a series of pre-Olympic qualifying tournaments next summer.
Here’s more on the 2019 World Cup:
- The matchups for the World Cup quarterfinals have been set. As Tim Bontemps of ESPN tweets, Tuesday’s games are Argentina vs. Serbia and Spain vs. Poland, with USA vs. France and Australia vs. the Czech Republic to follow on Wednesday. As the single-elimination portion of the tournament gets underway, Team USA’s probable path to gold could feature showdowns against Serbia in the semifinals and Australia or Spain in the final (Twitter link).
- Blake Murphy of The Athletic has created a chart that helpfully breaks down the Olympic qualifying outlook. Lithuania, Italy, Greece, Brazil, Germany, Canada, and Turkey are among the many countries that have earned spots in the qualifying tournaments and will vie for one of the final four Olympic berths next summer.
- Despite a win today, reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Greeks have been eliminated from World Cup medal contention. Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press has the details on a frustrating tournament for Giannis, who declined to speak to reporters for a second consecutive game.
- Injured Celtics forward Jayson Tatum returned to practice but was held out of Monday’s game against Brazil. As Brian Windhorst of ESPN details, Tatum – who is recovering from an ankle sprain – hinted that he might be back on the court for Wednesday’s game vs. France.