Since their down-to-the-wire one-point win against Jordan last summer in the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship, China has known that they’ll be playing in the 2012 London Olympics.
Now they’ll know who they’ll be playing.
China will be placed in Group B after being drawn with Spain, Brazil, Great Britain, Australia and the third-placed team from the FIBA World Qualifying Tournament.
Group A is defending Olympic gold medalist, the United States, as well as France, Argentina, Tunisia and the first and second placed team from the qualifying tournament.
Headlining China’s group is 2008 Olympic runners-up, Spain. Considered as the main challenger to the United States’ gold medal defense, Spain fields arguably its strongest team ever, boasting five current NBA players, brothers Pau and Marc Gasol, Jose Calderon, Rudy Fernandez and Serge Ibaka. Group B is also highlighted by host nation Great Britain, who will feature numerous NBA players as well in Luol Deng, Byron Mullens and Ben Gordon.
The tournament will open with group stage play on July 29th, ending with the Gold Medal game on August 12th.
The last three teams to be placed in London will come as the result of the FIBA World Qualifying Tournament. 12 teams will play in the competition, with the top three teams advancing to the Olympics. The field is comprised of Russia, Greece, Puerto Rico, Lithuania, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Macedonia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Jordan, Angola and South Korea. The tournament will be held from July 2-8 in Caracas, Venezuela.
China reached the quarter-finals in 2008 in Beijing, where they were the host nation, before losing to Lithuania.
- First and second place qualifiers
- Great Britain
- Third place qualifier