Nigeria defeated China 86-73 in its last FIBA World Cup game on Sunday to pick up a ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. D’Tigers secured the lone direct ticket for the best African team at the basketball World Cup, Extrasportsnigeria.com reports.
Iran claimed the lone Asian Olympic qualifying spot available at the tournament, after the Iranians beat the Philippines 95-75, also Sunday.
China will get a last chance to qualify to play at its 10th straight Olympics at a tournament next year, where it likely must go through a higher-ranked European nation. The same opportunity goes to Tunisia to fight for their own ticket.
Nigeria’s win meant that the D’Tigers are going to their third straight Olympics. Nigeria needed to beat China to overtake Tunisia for the lone African Olympic berth available at the World Cup.
Iran and Nigeria join Australia and Japan as the first four teams in the 12-team Olympic field. Four more nations will qualify for the Olympics at this month’s World Cup — two from the Americas and two from Europe.
The last four will be determined next year at those last-chance qualifying tournaments.
Nigeria, which went 1-4 at its two Olympics in 2012 and 2016, has a roster that includes current and former NBA players Al-Farouq Aminu, Josh Okogie and Ike Diogu.