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Bahamas stuns Argentina, moves closer to Paris Olympic basketball berth

SANTIAGO DEL ESTERO, Argentina — Bahamas has never sent its men’s basketball team to the Olympics. The island nation is one step closer to changing that.

Eric Gordon scored 27 points, Buddy Hield added 17 and Bahamas stunned Argentina 82-75 to win one of the five Olympic pre-qualifying tournaments that were wrapping up around the world Sunday.

The win sends Bahamas into another Olympic qualifying tournament in July 2024, one that will bring with it a chance to qualify for next summer’s Paris Games. Deandre Ayton had 10 points and 21 rebounds for Bahamas in the win over Argentina.

Argentina — Olympic champions in 2004 — will miss the games for the first time since 2000.

Other pre-qualifying tournament winners Sunday included Cameroon, Bahrain, Croatia and Poland.

Cameroon was an 80-74 winner over Senegal to win in Nigeria; Bahrain finished 5-0 in a tournament in Syria; Croatia got 22 points and 11 rebounds to beat Turkey in another final; and Poland got past Bosnia and Herzegovina 76-72 for its qualifying berth.

There will be 12 men’s teams in the field at the Paris Olympics. Host France has been allocated one of the spots already, and seven others will be claimed at the Basketball World Cup that starts on Friday in the Philippines, Indonesia and Japan.

Next summer, Bahamas, Cameroon, Bahrain, Croatia and Poland will join 19 other teams — based on World Cup finish — in the final qualifying round. Those 24 nations will be split into four tournaments of six teams; the four winners go to the Paris Olympics.

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