Andorra's double basketball presence in Buenos Aires 2018
Both of the Andorra's 3x3 basketball teams qualified to compete at Urban Park at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, thanks to the position that both its teams hold in the U18 world ranking of the International Federation (FIBA).
The tournament at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 will see 33 countries competing. Only seven will participate in both the women’s and the men’s events. Along with Argentina, China, Estonia, the Ukraine, the USA and Venezuela, a surprise name on the list is Andorra, the small European country, with a land area of barely 468 km2 and a population of only 72,500 according the most recent census.
Andorra’s national teams (both of which also qualified for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games) will compete from October 7 to 17 at Urban Park. Their positions in the FIBA ranking are so good that they give Andorra reason to dream about taking home a gold medal. a feat that was only achieved by judoka Patrik Ferreira Martins at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games. The women’s team is third in the ranking, while the men’s team ranks seventh.
Silvia Bardají, Julia Marquez, Lies Bosma and Carla Solana were chosen by the Andorran Basketball Federation to travel to the Argentine capital. After the automatic draw carried out by FIBA, the team was included in Group C along with France, Indonesia, Mexico and Argentina.
On the other hand, Albert Pons, Nil Peña Blanco, Tomas Von Marc Lacaste and Eric Hurtado were selected to be Andorra’s Olympic representatives for the men's team. They will have to face the Ukraine, Venezuela, Brazil and New Zealand in Group B to try to make it to the quarterfinals.
The women’s team surprised everyone at the U18 World Cup last year when they beat Germany thanks to a spectacular three-pointer by Julia Márquez near the end of the game.