QUALIFYING ROUTE TO LONDON MAPPED

The draw for the FIBA Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which will decide the three final berths in London, has taken place in Venezuela.

The tournament, to be held in Caracas from July 2-8, saw the 12 competing countries – including EuroBasket last four teams Russia and Macedonia – divided into four groups of three teams.

The two finalists automatically qualify for London 2012, while the two losing semi-finalists face-off for 12th and final Olympic place.

Russia – coached by David Blatt (above) – are expected to start as favourites.

Group A: Greece, Jordan, Puerto Rico

Group B: Lithuania, Nigeria, Venezuela

Group C: Dominican Republic, Korea, Russia

Group D: Angola, Macedonia, New Zealand

The group stages will see the 12 teams play the two other teams in their respective groups in a standard round robin format (12 games in total).

The top two teams in each group progress to the Quarter-Finals as follows:

A1 v B2
B1 v A2
C1 v D2
D1 v C2

The four winning quarterfinalists qualify for the Semi-Finals:

Winner [A1 v B2] v Winner [C1 v D2]

Winner [B1 v A2] v Winner [D1 v C2]

The draw for the women’s qualifying event, hosted by Turkey, will take place in Ankara on February 15.

Meanwhile MVP has learnt that the draw for the Olympic tournament itself will not be held in London.

Sources have confirmed that the draw is now expected to take place at the meeting of FIBA’s Central Board in the Ivory Coast city of Abidjan on April 29.

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