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Canada Bids to Host Hoops Qualifier

October 15, 2002

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TORONTO (AP) _ Basketball Canada has submitted a bid to play host to the men’s Olympic qualifying tournament next year, a move that could help the Canadian and U.S. teams.

If the bid is selected by the Confederation of Pan America Basketball Associations (COPABA), the 2003 Tournament of the Americas would be held at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Ten teams from South, Central and North America will compete for the region’s three available berths in the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

Toronto as a site would help the Canadian team as it would have the advantage of playing in its own country. It would help the United States because the tournament being played in an NBA city would be attractive to the players from that league who make up the roster.

The United States is coming off a sixth-place finish at the World Championships in Indianapolis in September, while Canada failed to qualify for the quarterfinals.

The tournament site will be announced before the end of October.

Other countries that have indicated interest in hosting the tournament are Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

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