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Canada one win from first Olympic men’s basketball berth since 2000

Andrew Wiggins

Canada’s Andrew Wiggins, left, controls the ball under pressure from Mexico’s Juan Toscano, right, during a FIBA Americas Championship basketball game in Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)


Canada is one win from its first Olympic men’s basketball berth since 2000 after joining Argentina and Mexico in Friday’s FIBA Americas semifinals with a 94-73 win over Mexico on Tuesday.

Those three nations, plus one of Venezuela, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Panama or Uruguay will make up the semifinals with the final team being decided Wednesday. Argentina is 6-0 at FIBA Americas, while Canada and Mexico are both 5-1.

The semifinal winners will join the U.S., Brazil, Australia and Nigeria in the Rio Olympic men’s basketball tournament, with more teams to qualify later this year and next year to round out the field of 12.

The semifinal losers plus the fifth-place team at FIBA Americas will advance to a global, last-chance Olympic qualifying tournament in July.

The Canadian team at FIBA Americas includes by far the most NBA players of any nation competing. The U.S. is not competing since it clinched its Olympic berth by winning the 2014 FIBA World Cup.

The Canadian roster includes NBA Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves, fellow No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett and 2014 eighth overall pick Nik Stauskas.

Argentina, the 2004 Olympic champion, has played the U.S. in the last three Olympic semifinals.

Mexico hasn’t qualified for an Olympic basketball tournament since 1976.

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