The Czech Republic became the last team to seal a berth in the Tokyo Olympics men’s basketball tournament after blowing away Greece 97-72 in the final of their qualifying event on Sunday.
Patrik Auda led the charge with 20 points as the Czechs, who stunned tournament hosts Canada 103-101 in Saturday’s thrilling semi-final, will join holders the United States, France and Iran in Group A at the July 23 to Aug. 8 Olympics.
The Czech Republic, winners of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Canada, will join the United States, France and Iran in Group A in Tokyo.
“We were getting better every game. We didn’t start well. The lack of practice, the lack of preparation, influenced us a lot, but we believed in this group,” said Czech player Tomas Satoransky.
“We’ve got good chemistry playing with each other for a long time.”
Italy, European champions Slovenia and Germany sealed their own spots in Tokyo earlier on Sunday. The Italians stunned 2016 silver medallists Serbia 102-95, Slovenia beat Lithuania 96-85, and Germany overpowered Brazil 75-64 in tournaments played across Europe.
Italy and Germany will join Australia and Nigeria in Group B at the Games while Slovenia, who qualified for the Olympics for the first time as an independent nation, is heading to Group C alongside world champions Spain, Argentina and hosts Japan.
Serbia were without the NBA regular season’s Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic, who pulled out of the qualifying tournament due to fatigue, and the home side sorely missed the Denver Nuggets centre against Italy.