FIBA awards Philippines, Italy, Serbia, hosting rights to Olympic Qualifiers

Gilas Pilipinas vs Iran - September 28, 2015 - 6

Home court advantage.

That’s what the Philippines got when it was announced as one of three hosts countries for the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments by FIBA on Tuesday, along with Italy and Serbia.

A week from now, January 26, FIBA will announce which countries go where, in the draw for the three contests.

The three countries were shortlisted for hosting rights along with the Czech Republic, Germany, and Turkey.

The Olympic Qualifiers are tentatively scheduled for July 4 to 10.

Gilas Pilipinas had earned a berth at one of the tournaments after finishing second in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship. The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas however had initially contemplated withdrawing in order to concentrate on strengthening the program for 2017. However, the PBA threw their support behind the quest to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics by naming a new training pool, delaying the 2016 Governors’ Cup to after the qualifiers, and allowing the squad to practice every Monday evening.

The Philippines previously hosted the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship, and lost out on hosting the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

France, Serbia, Greece, Italy, the Czech Republic, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Angola, Tunisia, Senegal, the Philippines, Iran, Japan, New Zealand, plus Latvia, Croatia and Turkey, will be distributed among three, six-team qualifiers in July of next year.

Already qualified to the Olympic tournament are the United States (2014 FIBA World Cup champion), Brazil (hosts), Australia (2015 FIBA Oceania champion), Nigeria (AfroBasket 2015 champion), Venezuela (2015 FIBA Americas champion), Argentina (2015 FIBA Americas runner-up), Spain (2015 Eurobasket champion), Lithuania (2015 Eurobasket runner-up), and China (2015 FIBA Asia champion).

Photo c/o FIBA