Basketball: The road to the Paris Olympic tournament
One of them is the Spanish basketball team that has won two World Championships (Japan 2006 and China 2019), four Eurobasket (Poland 2009, Lithuania 2011, France 2015 and Germany 2022), three Olympic medals (silver in Beijing 2008 and London 2012 and bronze in Rio 2016) and two European bronze medals (Slovenia 2013 and Turkey 2017), the Spanish team failed to seal the spot in the World Championship held in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia between August and September and will have to participate in the qualification.
Between July 2 and 7, just three weeks before the start of the competition in the French capital (the tournament runs from July 27 to August 11), a total of 24 teams will fight for the four remaining spots in the Olympic Games.
FIBA has not yet made public the format of the qualification, but if we follow what happened in the qualification for Tokyo 2020 (Games held in 2021 due to the pandemic) the 24 teams would be spread over four six-team tournaments. In each tournament there would be two groups of three teams each, with the top two teams qualifying for the semi-finals. Only the winner of each of the four pre-Olympic tournaments would qualify for the finals. The Spanish Federation has applied to organise one of these tournaments, which, if so, would be held in Valencia.
The possible pots
Spain would be selected according to the FIBA rankings, in which Scariolo’s team is in second place, immediately behind the United States. In this way, we would avoid facing high-level teams such as Luka Doncic’s Slovenia, Jonas Valanciunas’ Lithuania or the surprising Latvia. However, on the horizon there would be several dangers, such as the Greece of Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Italy of Simone Fontecchio or the Brazil of Yago Dos Santos. These would be the possible groups:
Pot1: Spain, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia.
Pot2: Brazil, Italy, Greece and Poland.
Pot3: Puerto Rico, Montenegro, Dominican Republic and Finland.
Pot4: New Zealand, Georgia, Mexico and Lebanon.
Pot5: Croatia, Ivory Coast, Angola and the Philippines.
Pot6: Egypt, Bahamas, Cameroon and Bahrain.
Eight teams already qualified
Eight teams have already qualified for Paris 2024. They are hosts France and seven other nations that qualified by virtue of being the best of their confederation in the last World Cup: Germany, Serbia, Canada, the United States of America, South Sudan, Japan and Australia.
Spain, the reigning European champions, could have back two of their stars, Ricky Rubio and Lorenzo Brown, who did not participate in the World Cup. The reinforced role of the Hernangómez brothers, Alberto Díaz, Santi Aldama and Usman Garuba will be decisive to achieve the goal set. Since Atlanta 1996 the national team has not lost an Olympic Games.