Croatian Basketball Team Gets Another Chance to Play at the Olympics

Total Croatia News

Good Olympic news for Croatia’s basketball team.

Even though they have not earned it with their performance at the European Championships, the Croatian national basketball team will take part in one of three qualifying tournaments for this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio. The tournaments will be played in July, reports Vecernji List on January 21, 2016.

Croatia unexpectedly got its chance after the Executive Board of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) decided that the qualifying tournaments will be hosted by the Philippines, Italy and Serbia. Since the hosts automatically get a chance to play at tournaments, two additional places for European teams have opened and they were taken by Latvia and Croatia, which were eighth and ninth respectively at the European Championships.

The draw for the qualifying tournaments will take place on 26 January. In addition to Croatia, the draw will include Serbia, Italy, the Philippines, France, Greece, Czech Republic, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Angola, Tunisia, Senegal, Iran, Japan, New Zealand, Latvia and Lebanon.

Kruno Simon, a member of the Croatian national basketball team, was delighted with the news. “We have not earned our place at the European Championships, but God has given us a second chance and we should do everything to take advantage of it. I am sure everyone will be very motivated. Olympic Games are the highlight of any athlete’s career and we should try to use even the smallest opportunity. After all, only three players from the last European Championships played in Beijing eight years ago: Ukić, Tomas and Rudež. I hope that we will soon find out who will be our team coach, and I hope that Perasović will stay with us. He is not to blame for what happened.”

The news means that the Croatian Basketball Federation must immediately start discussions about whether there will be a new coach and who will play in the team. “We will have to discuss everything, and I hope that we will go to the tournament with our best players.”


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