The NBA stars are coming to town

WITH the groupings of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments already  identified, expect a number of notable National Basketball Association players to play here in Manila.

Along with host country Philippines, powerhouses France and Canada as well as Turkey, New Zealand and Senegal are the ones bracketed in the Manila leg of the three tournaments that will determine, who will complete the cast of countries for the Rio Olympics in August.

Tony Parker (no. 9)  of the San Antonio Spurs warms up prior to the game against the Golden State Warriors on January 25, 2016 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. AFP
Obviously, France, which is ranked No. 5 in the world, is the team that will most likely have the most star-studded NBA players in its roster, provided all, or most of them, will be available to play this July.

The French five might be led by four-time NBA champion and former All-Star Tony Parker, who is expected to team up with San Antonio Spurs’ teammate Boris Diaw, Charlotte Hornets versatile swingman Nicholas Batum, rising Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert, improving Orlando Magic gunner Evan Fournier and the Denver Nuggets’ Joffrey Lauvergne to make their country a powerhouse.

Jordan Clarkson #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball during the game against the Chicago Bulls at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. AFP
Not to be outdone, Canada, likewise, has its own set of talented NBA players to banner its flag.

Reigning NBA Rookie of the Year and Minnesota Timberwolves star Andrew Wiggins will banner the Canadian flag and he is expected to be joined by Kelly Olynyk of the Boston Celtics, Dwight Powell of the Dallas Mavericks, Anthony Bennett and Cory Joseph of the Toronto Raptors, Melvin Ejim and Andrew Nicholson of the Orlando Magic and Nik Stauskas of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Detroit Pistons’ veteran Ersan Iyasova will spearhead Turkey’s attack.

Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Minnesota Timberwolves drives to the basket against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. AFP
Senegal also has its own NBA player in Minnesota Timberwolves’ big man Gorgui Dieng.

The Philippines is obviously hoping that Filipino-American Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson can be allowed to play for the country and join forces with former NBA standout Andray Blatche.

New Zealand is the team that will most likely not be able to parade an NBA player.

Kelly Olynyk #41 of the Boston Celtics shoots the ball against the Denver Nuggets at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. AFP
The Qualifying Tournament here in Manila will be held from July 5 to July 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The champion of this leg will earn a berth in the Rio Olympics.

Topics: The NBA stars , NBA
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