The door for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is still open for Gilas Pilipinas despite failing to win a single game in Group D of the FIBA World Cup.
No Asian team was able to advance to the second round after China, the last country standing, was given the boot by Venezuela in a 72-59 decision on Wednesday, which means that the lone Olympic spot for the continent is still up for grabs.
In order to book that ticket, Gilas will have to be the highest-placed Asian team in the classification round, where they were relegated alongside Angola. The two countries are bracketed in the newly-formed Group N with Iran, which also lost all three of its games in Group C, and Tunisia, which nearly shocked Puerto Rico to end the first round.
All teams will carry over their group stage record to the classification stage.
China is grouped with another Asian powerhouse in South Korea in Group M. Nigeria and Ivory Coast are also looking to fight for that single berth from Africa as they complete in that group.
Gilas will have to beat Tunisia on Friday and Iran on Sunday and hope that China loses both its games against Nigeria and Korea. If that happens, Gilas will finish with an overall record of 2-3 while China will finish at 1-4. If Gilas ties China at 2-3, China will most likely get the nod due to point differential, unless the hosts lose ones of their classification games by a margin large enough to eclipse Gilas' average losing margin.
The other Asian teams have to also finish with only one win at the most.
Group O and Group P teams, meanwhile, will be determined when the first round wraps up Thursday evening. Jordan (0-2) is the last Asian team to see action in the first round, going up against Germany Thursday night.
Only the best finishing teams from each zone in the classification will gain automatic entry to the Olympics. Asia, Oceania and Africa have one berth each, while the Americas and Europe have two allotted to them. Japan, by virtue of being the host country, will have an automatic seat.
If Gilas fails to beat all other Asian teams as the top-performing country, it will have to finish within the Top 24 to give itself a chance in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT), where only four teams will be able to join the eight other countries in Tokyo.
Should the Philippines also fall short of the Top 24, an OQT wildcard ticket is still possible. Aside from the 16 teams that will participate in the tournament, FIBA will pick two countries from Asia, Europe, Americas and Africa to complete the 24-team pool.