The Turkish national basketball team has not participated in Olympic competition in a very long time. To be exact, the 1952 Games in Helsinki, Finland represent the last instance. That squad, though, failed to make a notable mark on history, finishing 22nd overall after losses to Egypt and Italy.
Omer Asik is going to attempt to change Turkey's fortunes by acknowledging his participation in the team's Olympic Qualifying Tournament from July 5-10. He has not represented the national team since the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup due to health concerns. Last summer, back spasms forced Asik to miss the 2015 Eurobasket tournament.
Manila will be the site of six hopeful countries (Senegal, Canada, Turkey, France, New Zealand and Philippines) attempting to clinch a spot in the 2016 Summer Games. It is expected that the Philippines (host country with solid fan support), Canada (Cory Joseph, Andrew Wiggins and Tristan Thompson) and France (Tony Parker, Evan Fournier, Nicolas Batum and Alexis Ajinca) will pose as the biggest challenges. Only one team will have the opportunity to advance to Rio.
In order to qualify for Rio 2016 - and return to the Olympics for the first time since 1952 - the Turks have to face Senegal and Canada in Group A and finish in the top two and then win a Semi-Final against a team from a Group B which includes France, New Zealand and the Philippines. If they win that game, they must then beat the other Semi-Final winner.
Joining Asik on Turkey's national team will be Furkan Korkmaz, an enticing NBA draft prospect, and Semih Erden; however, Ersan Ilyasova, a longtime participant, will miss the tournament, presumably due to his partial/non-guararanteed NBA contract.