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United States begins Olympic pre-qualifying tournament Thursday

After going 3-1 in their college tour games, Team USA takes on Brazil, Argentina and Colombia this weekend in the FIBA Women’s Olympic Pre-Qualifying Americas Tournament.

2019 USA Women’s National Team Practice
Nneka Ogwumike (with ball), who has never played on an Olympic team, shone for Team USA in its first four college tour games.
Photo by Jack Arent/NBAE via Getty Images

Fresh off the first leg of its 2019-20 college tour, the United States has a brand-new challenge to focus on this weekend as it makes its way to this summer’s Olympics.

Next up is the FIBA Women’s Olympic Pre-Qualifying Americas Tournament from Nov. 14-17, a two-site event that takes place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and Bahía Blanca, Argentina:

FIBA Women’s Olympic Pre-Qualifying Americas Tournament

Group A (Edmonton) Group B (Bahía Blanca)
Group A (Edmonton) Group B (Bahía Blanca)
Canada Argentina
Cuba Brazil
Dominican Republic Colombia
Puerto Rico United States

The top four teams from this tournament will advance to the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments, which will take place from Feb. 6-9, 2020. From there, the top two Americas teams, plus the United States, will make the 12-team field at the Olympics. (The Asia/Oceania region will have a similarly limited chance of making the field, as Japan has also already qualified by virtue of hosting the tournament.)

September’s AmeriCup saw Team USA defeat five countries from this upcoming tournament, including all three of its upcoming Group B counterparts. But, as is the case in varying amounts with other teams, the United States’ team has just two players in common between its AmeriCup and Olympic Pre-Qualifying rosters: Sylvia Fowles and Napheesa Collier.

The United States will feature the same roster as it did in its four college tour games, except this time, all 12 players will be available at once. Player absences during the college tour offered as many as 11 available players (A’ja Wilson unexpectedly had to miss the final two games due to a death in her family), but all 12 made the trip to Argentina.

Continuing a frustrating trend, Team USA experienced some travel difficulties on their way to the tournament. Chelsea Gray’s Instagram story on Tuesday featured Sue Bird counting the team’s 25-plus hours of travel on her phone, which apparently was followed by a lengthy bus ride due to a canceled flight.

Games from all of this week’s pre-qualifying tournaments — Americas, Asia/Oceania and Africa — will be streamed on FIBA’s YouTube channel. The Americas schedule, with direct links to each game’s livestream, is listed below.

Group A schedule

Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019

  • Dominican Republic vs. Puerto Rico, 7 p.m. ET (YouTube)
  • Canada vs. Cuba, 9:30 p.m. ET (YouTube)

Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019

  • Cuba vs. Dominican Republic, 4:30 p.m. ET (YouTube)
  • Puerto Rico vs. Canada, 7 p.m. ET (YouTube)

Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019

  • Cuba vs. Puerto Rico, 3:30 p.m. ET (YouTube)
  • Dominican Republic vs. Canada, 6 p.m. ET (YouTube)

Group B schedule

Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019

  • Brazil vs. USA, 4:30 p.m. ET (YouTube)
  • Colombia vs. Argentina, 7 p.m. ET (YouTube)

Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019

  • Colombia vs. Brazil, 4:30 p.m. ET (YouTube)
  • USA vs. Argentina, 7 p.m. ET (YouTube)

Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019

  • USA vs. Colombia, 4:30 p.m. ET (YouTube)
  • Argentina vs. Brazil, 7 p.m. ET (YouTube)