Turkish basketball seeks ticket to London
Turkey will compete with 11 other teams in an qualifying tournament in Ankara hoping to secure one of the last five remaining spots for the London Olympics. AA photo
The Turkish women’s national basketball team wants to make the best use of its home court advantage when the Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women tips off today in Ankara.
Turkey will compete with 11 other teams in a bid to secure one of the last five remaining spots for the London Olympics.
With four separate groups holding three teams each, Turkey has been pitched into Group A along with Puerto Rico and Japan. In its first match, the host country will play against Puerto Rico at 7 p.m.
Competition in other groups
In today’s other games, Croatia takes on Mozambique in Group C at 2:30 p.m., the Czech Republic and New Zealand will clash in a Group B encounter at 4:45 p.m. and Mali will play Canada in the first game of Group D at 9 p.m.
Turkey guard Tuğba Palazoğlu said she was very excited to play on the home court.
“All of us played the season with the Olympic qualifiers on our minds, so we are all ready and motivated,” she was quoted as saying on the event’s official website.
“We really want to go to the Olympics. “We believe that we
deserve it and will do whatever we can.”
Palazoğlu said it would still be a tough fight.
“We are more experienced than our opponents but they want to be in the Olympics as much as we do,” she said. “It will be hard, but I believe that with the support of our fans in Ankara, we’ll make it.”
For those teams finishing at the bottom of each group, it will be an early exit while those finishing first or second will head into the quarterfinals with each quarterfinal winner punching a ticket to London.
The four losing quarterfinalists will have one final chance to make it via semifinals and then a winner-takes-all classification game for that last precious Olympic berth.