2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament: Canada Favored to Win Over France, Gilas Pilipinas, New Zealand, Turkey, Senegal
The 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament is now underway in Serbia and Italy. And on Tuesday, four more teams will take their first steps to earning a ticket to 2016 Rio Olympics.Advertisement
Canada and Turkey will kick off the festivities in the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Manila, followed by the battle between France and host country Philippines on Tuesday. Gilas Pilipinas, Philippines’ national basketball team, is the sentimental favorite but the Canadians are poised to earn a trip to Brazil.
Canada Favored to Win in Manila
The Canadians were on their way to qualifying to the 2016 Rio Olympics last year but took an upset against eventual champions Venezuela in the semis. Given another chance to make it to Rio, Canada sent a formidable team to Manila, where they will fight for the lone Olympic spot against France, Philippines, Senegal, Turkey and New Zealand.
Canada will play without 2015 NBA Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins but they will be led by NBA players Cory Joseph, Joel Anthony, Melvin Ejim, Anthony Bennett, Tyler Ennis and Tristan Thompson. Thompson failed to join their preparation but eventually made it to Manila after helping the Cleveland Cavaliers win the 2016 NBA title, FIBA revealed.
Star-Studded France Team Will Be A Treat to Canada
Standing on their way are the French, who are also parading a packed team. Tony Parker will look to help France win the qualifier, while also getting support from fellow NBA players Nicolas Batum, Boris Diaw and Joffrey Lauvergne. Batum was considered doubtful for the tournament but FIBA confirmed the Charlotte Hornets forward is now in Manila.
Turkey are also considered as dark horses, while Gilas Pilipinas will bank on their home fans to play at their best. Like the Philippines, New Zealand and Senegal will also need to bring their A-game night in and night out to get a chance to win the tournament.
2016 FIBA OQT Manila Schedule and Live Stream
Here is the complete 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament – Manila preliminary round schedule:
- Tuesday – July 5, 2016
Turkey vs. Canada, 6:30 a.m. ET
France vs. Philippines, 9 a.m. ET
- Wednesday – July 6, 2016
Canada vs. Senegal, 6:30 a.m. ET
Philippines vs. New Zealand, 9 p.m. ET
- Thursday – July 7, 2016
Senegal vs. Turkey, 6:30 p.m. ET
New Zealand vs. France, 9 p.m. ET