25 August, 2023
10 September
15 June Mar Fajardo (PHI)
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Paris calling: What's on the line in the Classification Games 17-32?

MANILA (Philippines) - There are 16 nations left in the race for the Naismith Trophy at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 with the conclusion of the First Round, but the tournament is far from over for the rest of the field.

Olympic dreams and aspirations will be front and center for the teams lining up in the Classification Games 17-32, with spots in the Paris 2024 Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament and the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments 2024 up for grabs.

This is particularly true for teams from Africa and Asia, with the best ranked team in each continent earning direct qualification to the Olympic Games. With no clear front-runners, every single win will be worth its weight in gold.

For an overview of the situation across all continents, visit the Olympic Qualification Tracker.

For more information about how classification works, click here.

Direct qualification for Paris 2024

Africa: Who will make the first move?

All five African teams opened their win tallies in the First Round and are level-pegging before their upcoming games with identical 1-2 records.  One of Angola and South Sudan are guaranteed to add at least one more win, as they are set to meet each other in Group M.

This will surely put some pressure on the three other teams – Egypt, Cape Verde and Cote d'Ivoire – to make every opportunity count in their remaining games as well. 

Cape Verde and South Sudan already made history by first qualifying for the World Cup, then inscribing their maiden wins in the competition. Who says they can't continue on this same trajectory? 

The older kids on the block - Angola, Cote d'Ivoire and Egypt - may have some arguments of their own.

Asia: Japan in pole, but job's not done

Japan sit in pole for direct qualification among Asian teams with a 1-2 mark in the First Round and their emotional come-from-behind win against Finland gives them a slight edge over the other five teams from the continent.

Having participated in the Tokyo Olympics as hosts, Tom Hovasse's men would surely like to get a streak going and already showed they have plenty of bite in them.

However, their place is far from assured, despite all other teams being winless so far. Philippines and China will play each other in the newly-formed Group M, while Iran and Lebanon cross paths in Group P.

And that means just one thing: someone's going to get those wins. 

Don't forget Jordan, who got mighty close to beating New Zealand in the First Round before falling in overtime. They are in Group N and, with Rondae Hollis Jefferson proving tough to stop even for the likes of USA and Greece, could put even more people on notice in the Classification Games.

We have handpicked a number of fixtures that could have far-reaching implications for both continents in the Classification Games 17-32:

Thursday, August 31

Angola v China (Group M)
South Sudan v Philippines (Group M)
Egypt v Jordan (Group N)
Cote d'Ivoire v Lebanon (Group P)

Saturday, September 2

Angola v South Sudan (Group M)
Philippines v China (Group M)
Japan v Cape Verde (Group O)
Iran v Lebanon (Group P)

The full game schedule is available here.

Qualification for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments

While the direct qualification to the Olympics will be in the main spotlight, there are also a total of 19 tickets to the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments to be distributed to the World Cup.

The teams which advanced to the Second Round are already assured of an OQT spot at the minimum, but these places are also well within reach for teams in the lower half of the standings, as eight teams are set to earn qualification via Classification Games 17-32.

This number includes the highest-placed team from each region of Africa, Americas and Asia/Oceania, after those directly qualified for the Olympics, regardless of their final position.

For more information about qualification for the Olympic Games, click here