Tough road ahead for Gilas in FIBA Olympic qualifiers in Latvia

MANILA – The Philippine men’s basketball team Gilas Pilipinas will be facing a tough task in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Riga, Latvia scheduled in July next year.

Gilas Pilipinas, ranked 38th in the world, was drawn in Group A alongside host nation and world No. 8 Latvia and 33rd-ranked Georgia.
Meanwhile, the teams in Group B of the Riga qualifiers are Brazil (No. 12), Montenegro (No. 17), and Cameroon (No. 67).
The top two squads from each group will battle in a crossover semifinal, where the last country standing will secure the lone ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics, CNN Philippines reported.

The Philippines had the opportunity to gain an outright Olympic berth during the FIBA World Cup it co-hosted last September, but fell short as it finished 24th in the global showpiece, CNN added.

Japan clinched the Asian spot after having the best finish in the World Cup.

Reigning World Cup champion Germany, Serbia, USA, Canada, Australia and South Sudan are already qualified for the Paris Olympics with France automatically securing a seat as host nation.