FIBA Americas Tips Off Today
Were in the dog days of summer and many hoop heads like myself have resorted to watching games from the 2014-15 saved on our PVRs.
Having watched the Houston Rockets game 6 come back win over the Los Angeles Clippers at least 3 times this past month I’m ready for some fresh basketball.
Preseason is around the corner and this week we get something to wet our appetites as we count down the final month and a bit until the Rockets open camp October 6th.
https://spacecityscoop.com/2015/08/30/nba-player-stats-top-5-players-drives/Beginning today the FIBA Americas Tournament tips off with ten countries all in the mix to capture two Olympic berths to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil next summer.
Team USA already has a spot solidified in Rio given their World Championship win in Spain last summer. Three other teams have also solidified their berths with Brazil gaining there’s as the Olympic host country as well as Australia and Nigeria via gold medal victories of the Oceania and AfroBasket Tournaments respectively.
Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden led the U.S. squad and the experience he gained in Spain many cited as factors in his leadership growth this past season. Another young NBA talent who’ll be looking to add that type is experience is Canadian and 2004-15 Rookie Of The Year recipient Andrew Wiggins.
In fact the Canadians enter Mexico City on a bit of a hot streak having beat Team USA at the Pan Am Games en route to capturing the countries first ever Pan Am medal and won the warm-up tournament: Tuto Marchand last week in Puerto Rico. Canada’s a 4-0 record came courtesy of wins over Brazil, Dominican Republic,Argentina and Puerto Rico. They’ll face the latter two teams in the first round of the tournament which runs from August 31st through to September 12th. Round 1 runs August 31st to September 6th, Round 2 September 7th to 9th and the semi finals and finals will occur September 11th and 12th.
For a full schedule of the first round visit this link: FIBA Americas Schedule.
The ten countries competing to garner the top 2 placements and the Olympic berths are Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Domincan Republic, Panama, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Though some teams feature NBA players like Argentina who are led by Toronto Raptor Luis Scola and Puerto Rico’s J.J. Barea of the Dallas Mavericks it is Canada who arrives with 9 NBA players. Though Tristan Thompson and Tyler Ennis aren’t playing this tournament their inclusion to the roster would almost be certain if Canada successfully garners an Olympic seed. No current Rockets are scheduled to appear at the tournament, but former Rocket Francisco Garcia will be playing on the Dominican Republic team.
ESPN is running all games live on ESPN 3
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