CARACAS, Venezuela (FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament) :– FIBA on Tuesday concluded its visit to Venezuela with the draw for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, to be held in Caracas from 2-8 July 2012. During a colourful ceremony, attended by a large number of officials and dignitaries, the twelve teams, who will be playing for the last three remaining places in the Olympic Basketball Tournament, were divided into four groups of three teams.
Group A: Greece, Jordan, Puerto Rico, Group B: Lithuania, Nigeria, Venezuela
Group C: Dominican Republic, Korea, Russia, Group D: Angola, F.Y.R. of 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 quarter finalists qualify for the Semi-Finals: Winner [A1 v B2] v Winner [C1 v D2] and Winner [B1 v A2] v Winner [D1 v C2]
The two winning semifinalists automatically qualify for London 2012, while the two losing semifinalists face-off for 12th and final Olympic place.
FIBA meets Venezuela’s Ministry for Sport On Monday, FIBA’s President Yvan Mainini and Secretary General Patrick Baumann visited the giant Polidero de Caracas arena, which is to undergo major refurbishments, before meeting with Venezuela’s Minister for Sport Héctor Rodríguez Castro to discuss the upcoming tournament, and the state of preparations.
Also present were FIBA Américas President Horacio Muratore, Deputy Minister of Sport Performance Yuri Quiñones and Venezuelan Basketball Federation (FVB) President Carmelo Cortez. Following the meeting, Patrick Baumann said: “It was a great opportunity for us to meet with Mr Rodriguez and the Venezuelan Basketball Federation.
A tournament like this requires a lot of preparation, and although there remains a lot of work to be done both for the tournament and for the renovation of the venue, we received all the necessary assurances from the government and the organisers that all targets and deadlines would be met.”
“The Minister also reiterated the government’s long-term support for our sport, which is one of the most popular in the country and we have therefore no doubts that the Olympic Qualifying Tournament will be a great event,” he concluded.
About the FIBA and the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament
The Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) was first introduced in 1960. It was played according to a variety of formats – both worldwide and for Europe/the Americas – until it was discontinued after 1992. It was reintroduced in 2008, and took place in Athens, Greece and Madrid, Spain for the men and women respectively.
Croatia, Germany and Greece were the three final men’s teams to qualify for the Beijing Olympics, while Belarus, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Spain and Latvia took the five women’s spots on offer.