While all 12 women’s teams for Rio Olympic Basketball Games have already qualified for the quadrennial Games, beginning in less than a month’s time, three quota places are still left for the men’s national basketball teams. Olympic Qualification Tournaments began on Monday July 4 simultaneously at three venues of Belgrade in Serbia, Manila in the Philippines and Turin in Italy. After conclusion of round-robin matches on July 6, twelve semifinalists have clearly emerged to shut the doors on Angola, Japan, Turkey, Philippines, Iran and Tunisia. By July 10, it will become clear as to which three nations would go to Brazil.
After the conclusion of round-robin games on July 5 & 6 at all OQT venues, 12 teams moved closer in their quest for grabbing the three remaining spots for Rio Olympic Games. In Belgrade, Puerto Rico, Serbia, Latvia and the Czech Republic await for the two semifinals on July 8. In Manila, the four semifinalists were Canada, Senegal, France and the New Zealand while at Turin, Greece, Mexico, Italy and Croatia have made it to the last four. In the semifinals at Belgrade on July 8, Serbia take on the Czech Republic and Latvia play against Puerto Rico. At Manila, the line-up will become clear only on Thursday and at Turin; Greece take on Croatia and hosts Italy square up with Mexico also on July 8.
In Belgrade, Latvia and Serbia won both their matches and finished as Group toppers. After crushing Japan 88-48 on Monday, Latvia also defeated the Czech Republic 71-59 on Tuesday. Hosts Serbia also won their two league games. On Monday they defeated Puerto Rico 87-81 and followed that with an 83-60 win over Angola. Czech Republic finished at no.2 in Group B despite losing to Latvia. The Czech team stayed in the fray with an 87-71 win over Japan. In Group A, Puerto Rico took the second spot by disposing of Angola 91-81 on Tuesday.
At Manila, another day’s play will be required before the semifinal line-up could be finalized. However, Canada, Senegal, France and the New Zealand have entered the semifinals with the Canadians emerging as Group A toppers. Host Philippines and Turkey have lost the race for Rio qualification by losing all their matches. In the Mall of Asia, the action began only on Tuesday, when Canada beat Turkey 77-69 and France defeated Philippines 93-84. On Wednesday, Canada also won their second match by defeating Senegal 58-55 in a nail-biter. However, hosts Philippines lost their second match 80-89 against New Zealand and their Rio Olympic aspirations evaporated in thin air. In Thursday’s matches, Senegal will play against Turkey and France take on New Zealand. The semifinal line-up will become clear only after that last match.
The semifinal line-up has also been affirmed at Turin. Greece and hosts Italy have finished toppers in their group with Mexico and Croatia taking the second spots. Greece began their campaign on Monday by defeating Iran 78-53. On the same day, hosts Italy dismantled Tunisia 68-41 to make a great start. In Tuesday’s matches, Iran went out of the reckoning by losing their second game 70-75 to Mexico and Italy jumped to the top spot in their Group by edging out Croatia 67-60. The order of semifinal became clear after last league games were concluded on Wednesday, when Greece won their second match by defeating Mexico 86-70. In the last league game, Croatia shot out Tunisia 72-52 and finished at no.2 in Group A behind Greece. Mexico took the second spot in Group B behind Italy.