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First set of teams advancing to the Second Round of the World Cup Qualifiers confirmed
MIES (Switzerland) - The race to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 stepped up a notch during Window 2 of the Global Qualifiers as several teams advanced to the Second Round across the four regions.
But even the teams that have already qualified for the Second Round will play hard in the Window 3 because all games matter, as all results from the First Round are carried over to the Second Round and could be crucial for the qualification to the flagship event in 2023.
In Asia, the Philippines and Japan have already qualified as co-hosts of the 2023 edition, while Indonesia need to place amongst the top eight teams at the FIBA Asia Cup 2022.
Here's a run-through to see which teams have already confirmed their places in the Second Round.
There are nine teams already safely through to the Second Round including five-time World Cup winners USA and 2019 runners-up, Argentina.
USA recorded two convincing victories in Washington to advance from their group with a 22-point victory over fellow qualifiers Mexico, who suffered their first loss to drop to 3-1. Puerto Rico secured a dramatic three-point win in Havana to eliminate Cuba to become the third side through from the group.
Meanwhile, Argentina sealed their place in the next phase after bouncing back from a loss to unbeaten side Venezuela - who are also through as the current Group A leaders with four wins from four - with victory over Panama.
Brazil moved to 4-0 with a double-winning window on home soil with Uruguay following suit with a road triumph against Chile to confirm a top-three finish. In Group C, Canada also remain perfect and were joined in the Second Round by Dominican Republic after they beat the Bahamas by 25 points.
Qualified teams for the Second Round: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, USA and Venezuela.
Kazakhstan are amongst the teams to advance to the next phase of the Asian Qualifiers after becoming the first side to four wins. They capped another double-winning window with a 47-point success over Bahrain to follow up a four-point win against Iran, who also advance with their 3-1 record.
Jordan and Lebanon both advance with their three wins from four in Group C with Jordan handing Lebanon their first loss as part of recording back-to-back victories in the February window.
Elsewhere, New Zealand and India will progress alongside World Cup co-hosts Philippines from what is now remains a three-team Group A after Korea were disqualified from the Qualifiers.
Australia made it three wins out of three in February to move to the top of Group B and clinch qualification with two games still to play against China, who also remain unbeaten as the two sides are on course to make it to the Second Round.
Qualified teams for the Second Round: Australia, India, Iran, Japan (hosts), Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, New Zealand, Philippines (hosts).
The reigning FIBA Basketball World Cup champions Spain are amongst six teams to have confirmed their places in the Second Round of the European Qualifiers.
Spain moved to 3-0 in Group H with a win over Ukraine on Gameday 3 and advanced alongside Georgia, who completed a sweep over North Macedonia to guarantee their own top-three finish.
Meanwhile, Serbia and Latvia also enjoyed perfect February windows as they both moved to 3-1 to qualify from Group A in beating Slovakia and Belgium, respectively.
France maintained their unbeaten start with two wins over Portugal to remain top of their group and they were also joined in the Second Round by Lithuania after they overcame Bosnia and Herzegovina in a hard-fought double-header to improve to 4-0.
Qualified teams for the Second Round: France, Georgia, Lithuania, Latvia, Serbia, and Spain.
There is everything to play for in the African Qualifiers with all four groups having now reached the halfway point following the February window with teams unable to advance at this stage.
South Sudan reeled off three successive victories to take control in Group B, in Dakar, including an eight-point triumph over second-placed Tunisia, who earned wins over Cameroon and Rwanada.
In Group D, Senegal, Congo DR and Egypt all picked up two wins from three to boost their chances of advancing to the Second Round, while Kenya have it all to do with their 0-3 record leaving them in fourth place.
Meanwhile, from the November window, Nigeria and Mali currently have a share of the lead in Group A with Cote d'Ivoire unbeaten at the top of Group C with three wins from three.
All four groups will be in action in the final window with the 16 teams all in action to play out their remaining three games in the battle to make it to the Second Round.
Qualified teams for the Second Round: None.
The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Qualifiers continue with the third, and final windows from the First Round in June/July when the respective Second Round fields will be confirmed.