Basketball: Japan qualify for Paris Olympics at World Cup

AFP , Saturday 2 Sep 2023

Japan qualified for the Paris Olympics on Saturday after finishing as the highest-placed Asian team at the Basketball World Cup.

Japan's Yuta Watanabe handles the ball during the FIBA Basketball World Cup group O match between Japan and Cape Verde at Okinawa Arena in Okinawa on September 2, 2023. Photo: AFP


Tournament cohosts Japan beat Cape Verde 80-71 in Okinawa to claim their third win of the competition.

The result eliminated China and Lebanon, who both had one win each and were set to play later in the day.

Japan came from behind late to beat both Finland in the group stage and Venezuela in the classification round.

This time it was the Japanese who suffered a late wobble, conceding the first 13 points of the fourth quarter before holding on for the win.

South Sudan also booked their ticket to the Paris Games earlier in the day as the World Cup's highest-placed African team.

South Sudan beat Angola 101-78 in Manila to pick up their third win, before nearest challengers Egypt lost 88-86 to New Zealand.

The highest-placed World Cup finishers from each of Asia, Africa and Oceania all qualify for Paris, along with the top two teams from both Europe and the Americas.

Australia have already grabbed the Oceania berth, while France qualify automatically as hosts.

Four further spots at the 12-team Olympic competition will be up for grabs at next year's qualifying tournament.

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