*** ----> Bahrain to open Olympic qualifiers against Italy | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Bahrain to open Olympic qualifiers against Italy

TDT | Manama                                                   

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Bahrain take on Italy in their opening game of their FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT), in their hopes to claim an historic berth in the men’s basketball competition at the Paris Olympics 2024.

The Kingdom’s senior national team are in Group B of their OQT, which is scheduled to be held from 2 to 7 July next year in Puerto Rico.

The Bahrainis play the Italians on opening day, and then face off with hosts Puerto Rico in their next game the following day.

Group A in Bahrain's OQT features Mexico, Ivory Coast and Lithuania. The top two teams from each group after a single round-robin will move on to the semi-finals on 6 July, and then the winners take each other on in the final on 7 July.

That game's victor will qualify for the Olympics. The schedule was released by FIBA, basketball's international governing body, after the official draw.

There are four FIBA OQTs in all. The other events are to be hosted by Spain, Latvia and Greece, and will be played over the same period.

Group A in the Spain OQT includes Lebanon, Angola and the host Spaniards, while Group B is composed of Finland, Poland and the Bahamas.

The Latvia OQT features Georgia, Philippines and hosts Latvia in Group A, along with Brazil, Cameroon and Montenegro in Group B. Group A in the Greece OQT features Slovenia, New Zealand and Croatia, while Group B includes Egypt, hosts Greece and the Dominican Republic.

Only the winners of each OQT will advance to Paris, where they will join host nation France, and the seven others who have already booked their Olympic berths at this year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup, namely Germany, Serbia, Japan, Australia, Canada, the US and South Sudan.

They will form a field of 12 that will be going for men’s basketball gold at the Olympics. Bahrain are making their historic first-ever participation in a FIBA OQT.

They secured their berth in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments after sweeping their five games in the Asian pre-qualifiers held in Damascus, Syria, last August.