Three Olympic slots for the men’s basketball competition in the 2016 Rio Games are up for grabs in July later this year with three different countries are hosting three Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (OQT) with the winner of each tourney making their trip to Brazil where they will face the previous qualifiers in the Olympic basketball games.
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA), the world governing body for the sport, made the announcement of the OQT draws Tuesday. In the OQT in Belgrade, Serbia, the hosts will be joined by Angola and Puerto Rico in Group A; and Japan, Czech Republic and Latvia in Group B. In the OQT in Manila, Philippines, the hosts are drawn with France and New Zealand in Group B; and with Turkey, Senegal and powerhouse Canada in the other group.
In the OQT in Turin, Italy, the hosts will battle against Tunisia and Croatia in Group B while Mexico, Iran and Greece play in Group A.
How do teams qualify for the games in Brazil? How many wins would it take for a national team to make it to
Teams will play squads in their own groups once with the two teams with the best win-loss record after the initial group stages making the crossover knockout semifinals. Winners of in the final four advance to the final, where the winner will book the ticket to Brazil.
The Olympic qualifying tournaments in three countries will happen simultaneously from July 4 to 10, 2016.
Canada, Serbia and Greece are seen as favorites entering the respective tournaments due to their performances in previous qualifying tournaments and the roster pedigree of each national teams.
Canada will most likely feature Andrew Wiggins, the young superstar from the Minnesota Timberwolves, along with other NBA players like Kelly Olynyk (Boston Celtics), Andrew Nicholson (Orlando Magic), Cory Joseph (Toronto Raptors), Robert Sacre (Los Angeles Lakers), Nik Stauskas (Philadelphia 76ers) and Dwight Powell (Dallas Mavericks).
A total of 12 teams will be playing for the basketball gold in Rio with 9 teams -- United States, Brazil, Australia, Nigeria, Venezuela, Argentina, Spain, Lithuania and China having qualified already in earlier tournaments.