The pre-Olympic basketball tournament, from which the last four newcomers to the Tokyo Games will arrive tonight, opens tonight (Tuesday). Luka Doncic and European champions Slovenia will only go on the floor tomorrow, but already tonight a number of teams started their way and any result other than getting the ticket to Japan, will be considered a failure for them.
The 22 teams were divided into four regions, with each region (Belgrade, Split, Kaunas and Victoria being the host cities) having two houses with three teams each – that is, eight houses in total. The first two from each house will advance to the semi-finals in their area, where the winners will continue to fight directly for the Olympic qualifiers, so that from each area one team will eventually advance. It should be noted that the Senegalese team withdrew from the tournament due to the eruption of Corona, while New Zealand waived its participation due to the costs involved as a result of the protocol of conduct in the epidemic.
The Serbian team, without Nikola Jokic, opened on the right foot with a 76:94 victory over the Dominican Republic. Boban Marianovic scored 18 points and dropped 10 rebounds, and Vasilya Micic added 16 points. Tomorrow the Serbs will meet the Philippine national team when a victory will take them a step further. The Lithuanian team, which is also a leading candidate to play in the Olympics, defeated Venezuela 65:76 at home thanks to 20 points and 11 rebounds by Jonas Valencia. The big star, Domentas Savonis, contributed 12 and 8 respectively. The Lithuanians will play the next day against South Korea.
Germany also scored their first victory of the tournament, 76:82 over Mexico with 13 points and 9 rebounds by Isaac Bonga, a friend of Danny Abdia in the Washington Wizards. The next game will bring the Germans together with Russia. Brazil beat Tunisia 57:83, with Vitor Benita, who is well known to Hapoel Holon and Hapoel Jerusalem fans after starring against them in the San Pablo Burgos uniform, leading his team with 15 points. In addition, Poland traveled to 64:83 over Angola, from Pausitka to 22 points.