XUZHOU (2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament) - Tunisia's preparation for the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in Turin couldn’t have started any better.
Almost nine months since they claimed a third-place finish as hosts of AfroBasket 2015, the North Africans took to the hardwood and won a four-team tournament in Xuzhou, China.
"It's been a great experience for new players to get used to the national team environment," head coach Adel Tlatli told FIBA.com.
For everything they have shown here in China as well as in the Tunisian championship, I am considering picking some of these players for the OQT. But we have to wait and see how everyone works during the preparations in Tunis. - Tlatli
The two-week training camp on the Chinese soil represents what Tlatli describes as the beginning of a challenging OQT due for July (4-9) in Turin, where they will face hosts Italy and Croatia in Group B.
Tunisia will need to secure at least one victory in the Group Phase to advance to the Final Phase where they would take on one of the teams that finish in top two of Group A, which consists of Greece, Mexico, and Iran.
If they prevail in the Semi-Final, the Tunisians would need to come up winners to secure their second straight Olympic appearance.
But before Tlatli and his crew head to Turin, they will follow up a two-game warm-up series against Senegal in June (15-16) in Tunis.
They will resume their preparations travelling to Europe to face Rio Olympics-bound Lithuania, OQT participants the Czech Republic, and Latvia.
I believe we can win at least one game, but we have to plan the future of this team. - Tlatli
Tunisia 16-player preliminary squad for 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in Turin: Omar Abada, Mohamed Abbassi, Seif Aissaoui, Hamdi Braa, Makram Ben Romdhane, Ziyed Chennoufi, Lassaad Chouaya, Yassine Debbech, Mourad El Mabrouk, Mokhtar Ghyaza, Nizar Knioua, Firas Lahiani, Omar Mouhli, Haithem Saada, Mehdi Seyeh and Ahmed Trimech.