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Argentina men’s basketball team fails to qualify for FIBA World Cup

Facundo Campazzo Argentina Basketball

Argentina’s Facundo Campazzo (C) and teammates react after their loss against the Dominican Republic during their FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Americas qualifiers match at the Islas Malvinas stadium in Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires province, on February 26, 2023. - Dominican Republic won 79-75 to qualify for the upcoming World Cup. (Photo by VICENTE ROBLES / AFP) (Photo by VICENTE ROBLES/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

Argentina, the world’s fourth-ranked men’s basketball nation, failed to qualify for this summer’s 32-team FIBA World Cup and will miss the quadrennial world championship for the first time since 1982.

Argentina, runner-up to Spain at the last worlds in 2019, was eliminated with a home loss to the Dominican Republic in its 12th and final game of North and South American qualifying on Sunday.

Seven teams qualified for worlds from the Americas -- Canada (11-1), the U.S. (9-3), the Dominican Republic (9-3), Venezuela (8-4), Puerto Rico (8-4), Mexico (8-4) and Brazil (8-4).

Argentina also went 8-4 in qualifying but lost standings tiebreakers to Venezuela and Brazil.

The World Cup is in August and September, co-hosted by Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines.

At the World Cup, the top two teams from the Americas will qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Argentina can still qualify for Paris through one of four winner-take-all, last-chance tournaments, likely in June 2024.

Though NBA players do not take part in FIBA World Cup qualifying during the regular season, Argentina has zero active NBA players.

Its roster for the last round of qualifying still had ex-NBA players, including point guard Facundo Campazzo and 40-year-old Carlos Delfino, the last link to its 2004 Olympic champion team.

Argentina made the quarterfinals of the last five Olympic men’s basketball tournaments, highlighted by a gold medal at the 2004 Athens Games, the last time the U.S. did not win the Olympic title. Its Golden Generation was led by Manu Ginobili.

Europe’s best teams all qualified for the World Cup, including Victor Wembanyama-led France and Spain.

In Africa, Cape Verde and South Sudan qualified for the first time.

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