Follow FIBA on Facebook
Croatia are Rio 2016-bound
TURIN (2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments) - Croatia are set to make their return at the Olympics after winning the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in Turin by beating hosts Italy 84-78 after overtime in Saturday's Final.
When they take to the court at Rio 2016, the Croats will make their first appearance in the Olympics since 2008.
"I'm happy not only to qualify for Rio but also for the sport of basketball in Croatia because this sport in the last 22 years has suffered. Since 1995 we haven't been among the three best teams in Europe or participate in the biggest competitions," said Croatia head Aleksandar Petrovic. "I'm happy we're going to the Olympics. It's great for a player like Krunoslav Simon who is 31 year old and for whom it may be the last opportunity. So I am happy for him and also for every single player."
Forward Darko Planinic, who had a huge performance off the bench in helping Croatia beat Italy on Sunday, expressed his faith in the team playing together.
"This game was very tough for us because Italy is a very good team especially here on their home court. But we believed in ourselves, in our defensive and offensive qualities and I think in the end we showed it. It was a team win," he said.
Croatia will find out in which group they will play in Rio through the completion of the tournament's draw in Manila on Sunday.