TORONTO (Olympic Qualifying Tournament) - Canada coach Allison McNeill firmly believes the national team can go to the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women in Turkey and claim one of five places on offer for the London Games.

The Canadians, bronze-medal winners at the last two FIBA Americas Championships and a participant at the 2010 FIBA World Championship, will take on France and Mali in Group D of the OQT which tips off on the 25th of June in Ankara.

Should they finish among the top two, they would advance to a Quarter-Final against Korea, Croatia or Mozambique and the winner of that game would seal a place in London.

The sides that fall in the Quarter-Finals will then battle for the last remaining Olympic berth.

"I think that's what this group has done, it's by far the best group I've coached," McNeill said.

Canada very nearly upset France at the World Championship in the Czech Republic.

Les Bleues, who were the defending European champions at the time, scraped a 49-47 victory in Ostrava.

"Do we have to play well? Yes," McNeill said.

"Do we have to get some breaks? Yes, of course.

"But I know the players believe that we can get one of those five berths.

"I think we've been really striving and working.”

"A lot of people have 2012 circled on their calendar."

Canada has announced that they will take on China in three friendly games in the Greater Vancouver Area on the 16th, 17th and 18th of May.

Article courtesy of