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Tunisia head coach Tlatli takes pressure off, goes for wait-and-see approach - Oct 24, 2015

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2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament - Tunisia head coach Adel Tlatli has refused to put pressure on his team ahead of the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (OQTs) despite it being the team's final chance to qualify for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The Tunisians off to a good start at AfroBasket 2015, including five straight wins, but a 58-51 Semi-Final defeat against Angola ended their hopes of qualifying directly for the 2016 Summer Games.

As a result, the tournament hosts were forced to step up to claim third place by beating Senegal 82-73.

With the win, Tunisia kept their Olympic hopes alive, but Tlatli insists that there is no pressure.

"We have to wait and see for the results of the OQT draw,' he told

"The good thing is we have no pressure to qualify."

Thanks to their third-place finish in Rades, Tunisia earned the right to participate in one of the three OQTs, which will be their first appearance in a world level event since competing at 2012 Olympics.

There will be three OQTs with 18 teams from across the world battling for the remaining three spots for the Olympics.

"It's going to be difficult for us," Tlatli said. "We have little chances to qualify but we are going to try our best.

"We have to look at the positives of competing in a such a big tournament."

So far, New Zealand, Angola, Tunisia, Senegal, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, France, Serbia, Greece, Italy, the Czech Republic, the Philippines, Iran and Japan have claimed spots in the OQTs.

Despite Tunisia being among the OQTs outsiders, Tlatli feels the favourites will need to show it on the floor.

"From the competitive standpoint, there is no longer that big gap between us and European teams which was a recurrent problem a decade ago," he pointed out.

"At the London Olympics we played balanced games against Lithuania and France. We led Lithuania until later in the fourth quarter, but we fell short in the final minutes of the game."

By the time the OQTs takes place next July, Tlatli is expecting to make readjustment to his team.

At AfroBasket 2015, Tunisia were among the lowest scoring teams, averaging 69 points per games, and that's what makes Tlatli envision changes in the team.

"The trouble is we lack a competitive national championship," Tlatli said.

"As a team we lacked bench rotation also. We had only seven key players, that is not good enough.

"I am hoping to make a few adjustments on the team. I may select one or two new players and see if we increase our chances in the OQT."

As for FIBA's new system of competition, which is due in action from 2017, Tlatli praises the initiative, but his cautious about its implementation in Africa.

In two years time, AfroBasket will be held every four years - instead of every two years - with qualification for the competition taking place during four windows over the course of 15 months.

"It's a great initiative for the growth of the game in Africa," he said.

"But, more importantly, local federations need to modernise themselves to make it work."

Under the new system, teams will play home and away games in order to qualify for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup. The best African team at FIBA's flagship event will qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Games. More teams from the continent will have the opportunity of chasing their Olympic dream through four Olympic Qualifying Tournaments. Salah Mejri (217-C-86, agency: Comsport)   

History made as DR Congo qualify for FIBA AfroBasket 2017 - 4 days ago
Ten years on, and the Democratic Republic of Congo sealed their ticket to the FIBA AfroBasket on Monday thanks to a successful FIBA Africa Zone 4 Group E campaign against the Republic Central Africa (CAF). Despite Monday's 80-76 loss to CAF, the Congolese advanced to this year's FIBA AfroBasket in Brazzaville thanks to an 85-64 win on Sunday, ending a 10-year absence from the biggest basketball tournament on the African continent   [read more]
Egypt Qualifies to the Africa Basketball Championship 2017 - 4 days ago
Egypt attains victory and qualifies to the 29 FIBA Africa Basketball Championship, known as Afro-Basket 2017, to take place on August 19 to August 30 in Brazzaville, Congo. Qualifications for this prestigious event are divided to seven zones, and Egypt has been placed in the fifth zone. In a final match of the 2017 Afro Basket qualifier for zone five, Egypt outperformed its rival, Uganda, and scored 95-72. On March 18, Egypt competed against Uganda and qualified for the the Africa Basketb...   [read more]
Zone 1 qualifiers: Tunisia beat Algeria 87-77 - 7 days ago
Tunisia's basketball team defeated Algeria's 87-77 (first half: 42-32) at an AfroBasket 2017 Zone 1 day-3 qualifier played on Saturday in Algiers. Tunisia are topping ranking at the end of the first stage with 4 pts, ahead of Morocco (3 pts) and Algeria. Morocco had defeated Algeria 76-71 at day 1 while Tunisian secured wins over Morocco (79-67) and Algeria (87-77). Zone 1 qualifiers bring together three teams: Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia after the last-minute withdrawal of Libya. The se...   [read more]

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African Championships Standings
Group A
 1. Tunisia 3-0 
 2. Nigeria 2-1 
 3. C.Africa 1-2 
 4. Uganda 0-3 
Group B
 1. Senegal 3-0 
 2. Angola 2-1 
 3. Mozambique. 1-2 
 4. Morocco 0-3 
Group C
 1. Egypt 3-0 
 2. Cameroon 2-1 
 3. Mali 1-2 
 4. Gabon 0-3 
Group D
 1. Cape Verde. 3-0 
 2. Ivory Coas. 2-1 
 3. Algeria 1-2 
 4. Zimbabwe 0-3 
Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 Gorgui DIENG
  Avg: 22.6
 1. Dieng, SEN22.6 
 2. Xavier, USA19.6 
 3. Matos, POR18.8 
 4. Diabate, IVO18.4 
 5. Kouguere, CGO18.0 
 6. Harath, ALG16.9 
 7. Oguchi, NGR16.6 
 8. Kourodu, MOR16.6 
 9. Mendy, SEN16.3 
 10. Zouita, MOR15.8 
Rebounds Per Game
 Gorgui DIENG
  Avg: 14.9
 1. Dieng, SEN14.9 
 2. Mascarenhas, CPV10.0 
 3. Lawal, NGR9.0 
 4. Chikoko, ZIM8.8 
 5. Almeida, CPV8.4 
 6. Marei, EGY8.4 
 7. Sebirumbi, USA7.8 
 8. Grebongo, CAF7.6 
 9. Aminu, NGR7.3 
 10. Ben Romdhane, TUN7.3 
Assists Per Game
  Avg: 7.4
 1. Dalmeida, SEN7.4 
 2. Khalfi, MOR6.0 
 3. Diabate, IVO5.8 
 4. Almeida, CPV4.4 
 5. Xavier, USA4.0 
 6. Matos, MOZ3.8 
 7. Dieng, SEN3.7 
 8. Benzegala, USA3.7 
 9. Kamal, EGY3.4 
 10. Kante, MLI3.3 
Steals Per Game
  Avg: 3.6
 1. Damachoua, CAF3.6 
 2. Essono Mve, GAB3.0 
 3. Diabate, IVO2.8 
 4. Matos, MOZ2.8 
 5. Almeida, CPV2.8 
 6. Amin, EGY2.4 
 7. Akanda-C., CAN2.4 
 8. Boundou, GAB2.0 
 9. Maturure, ZIM2.0 
 10. Harras, MOR2.0 
Blocks Per Game
 Vitalis CHIKOKO
  Avg: 3.2
 1. Chikoko, ZIM3.2 
 2. Mejri, TUN2.5 
 3. Lasme, GAB1.8 
 4. Dieng, SEN1.3 
 5. Aminu, NGR1.3 
 6. Moreira, ANG1.3 
 7. Oraby, EGY1.3 
 8. Almeida, CPV1.2 
 9. Sene, SEN1.2 
 10. Mascarenhas, CPV1.2 
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