AFRICAN champions, D’Tigers were on Friday drawn in Group B with Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Lithuania and one of the three teams that will qualify through Olympic Qualifying Tournaments for the basketball event at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games billed to hold in August.
The defending champions USA were drawn in Group A with Australia, China, Venezuela and two teams to be decided at the OQTs which would hold from July 4 to 10.
The host nation was placed in Group B after the USA and Venezuela had been drawn in Group A in order to avoid having three teams from the Americas in the same group.
The draw, which was held at the International Basketball Federation’s House of Basketball in Mies, Switzerland, also threw up fascinating clashes in the women’s tournament.
The reigning Olympic women’s champions, USA were drawn in Group B with Canada, Senegal, Serbia and two teams to be decided at the Olympic qualifying tournament holding from June 13 to 19. The women’s Group A has London 2012 bronze medallists Australia along with Brazil, Japan, and three teams to be decided at the qualifier.
The Rio 2016 basketball competition will run for almost the entire duration of the Olympic Games, beginning with the first group phase games on August 6, the day after the opening ceremony at the Maracanã Stadium, and finishing with the women’s medal games on August 20 and the men’s podium deciders on August21, the day of the closing ceremony.
The group phases will be played in a round-robin format (each team plays the other five in its group), with the top four teams in each group proceding to the knock-out phase, which consists of quarter-finals, semi-finals, bronze medal games and gold medal games.
In January, Rio 2016 unveiled Carioca Arena 1, the main basketball venue that is situated in Barra Olympic Park, and earlier this month opened the Youth Arena, which will stage the women’s group games, in Deodoro Olympic Park.