13 - 19
June 2016
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Argentina to play South American Women's Championship with WOQT in mind

BUENOS AIRES (2016 FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament) - On Monday, Argentina's 16-player squad resumed their preparations for the upcoming South American Women's Championship and head coach Cristian Santander reminded everyone that next month's FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament (WOQT) stands as the team's biggest challenge.

Santander would rather play the South American Women's Championship - taking place in Venezuela from 20-26 May - at a different time because, as he admitted in an e-mail to FIBA.com, "it's inevitable not to think about the WOQT."

Although Argentina will play in Venezuela to secure one of the four places on offer for next year's FIBA Americas Women's Championship, opening the WOQT with a win has become its main goal for the weeks ahead.

The 12-team event runs from 13-19 June in Nantes, France and the Argentineans will play in Group B against Cameroon and Turkey.

In order to qualify for a first-ever Olympics, Santander's team will need to win at least one game in the Group Phase and either a Quarter-Final outright in the Final Phase or two games to finish fifth.

"We can't stop thinking about first against Cameroon,” Santander said.

If Argentina advance to the Quarter-Finals, they will take on one of the teams that finished in top two of Group A, which consists of Cuba, hosts France and New Zealand.

[We are going] to play one game at time. We need to play well to give us a chance in the competition. We only think about our first game against Cameroon. Playing in the Olympics is motivating. - Santander

In the meantime, Argentina will host Chile on Saturday, in Buenos Aires, before flying to Venezuela.

Santander will announce the final 12-player roster for the WOQT on 28 May, before travelling to Spain for the remaining of the team's preparations for that event.

Argentina 16-player preliminary squad for 2016 South American Women's Championship and 2016 FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament: Sofia Aispurua, Andrea Boquete, Agostina Burani, Diana Cabrera, Celia Fiorotto, Nadia Flores, Debora Gonzalez, Melisa Gretter, Zulema Garcia Leon, Victoria Llorente, Sandra Pavon, Natacha Perez, Macarena Rosset, Ornela Santana, Sthefany Thomas and Gisela Vega.