Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo eyeing last-chance Olympic berths

Luka Doncic and Slovenia will be looking to secure a spot in the upcoming 4 qualifiers for the Paris Games.

Luka Doncic and Giannis Antetokounmpo will have one last chance to reach the Paris Olympics. The same goes for Domantas Sabonis and Nikola Vucevic. And Rudy Fernandez is going to make history.

The final four spots in the 12-team Olympic men’s basketball field for the Paris Games begin to be decided on Tuesday, with qualifiers starting in Spain, Latvia, Puerto Rico and Greece.

Each site will host a six-team tournament until July 7, and the four winners will earn the last four spots in the Olympic field.

„We’re in a great place,” Antetokounmpo said when asked about playing qualifying games at home to Greece.

He and Danzi may come face-to-face at some point; Slovenia are in Greece for that qualifier. Meanwhile, in Spain, the perennial Olympic medal contenders are not trying to make it to Paris. Spain’s great Fernandez is also in the hunt to become the first six-time men’s basketball Olympian.

„We want to live that dream,” Spain coach Sergio Scariolo said.

This format consists of two groups of three teams in each tournament. Group play takes place from Tuesday to Thursday, with each country playing the other two teams in their group. The top two teams in each division will advance to Saturday’s semi-finals. Championship matches are Sunday at all four venues.

A Glimpse of Qualifications:

Spain

Group A: Lebanon, Angola, Spain

Group B: Finland, Poland, Bahamas

Spain is home and that’s a big margin, but the Bahamas hopes to pull off a surprise for three good reasons: Deandre Ayton, Buddy Hield and Eric Gordon, all of whom are on that nation’s roster for the qualifiers.

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Latvia

Group A: Georgia, Philippines, Latvia.

Group B: Brazil, Cameroon, Montenegro.

The host Latvians didn’t get the easiest draw in the world, especially with Tim Cone, a Miami Heat summer league assistant coached to more than two dozen championships during his time in the Philippines. Montenegro’s hopes rest largely on Nikola Vucevic.

Greece

Group A: Slovenia, New Zealand, Croatia.

Group B: Egypt, Greece, Dominican Republic.

The potential for a Greece-Slovenia final seems high, and it will be the best stage – Dancic vs. for an Olympic spot. Doncic played through injuries in the NBA Finals for Dallas in a five-game loss to Boston, and his playing here shows how important the Olympics are to him.

Puerto Rico

Group A: Mexico, Ivory Coast, Lithuania.

Group B: Italy, Puerto Rico, Bahrain.

Danilo Gallinari headlines the roster for a highly experienced Italy side that will face host Puerto Rico in the group stage but could advance to the semi-finals even with a loss. Lithuania seem to have more experience in Group A and it would be surprising not to see them in the semi-finals.

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