2012 London Olympics: China Wins Bid, Qualifying Tournament Full

Nine of 12 spots in the 2012 London Olympics' men's basketball tournament have been filled. The final three spots will be decided in a last-chance qualifying tournament in July 2012.

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China Earns Bid To 2012 London Olympics; Jordan, South Korea Advance To Qualifying Tournament

China tipped Jordan on Sunday to win the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship, breaking a dry spell of sorts as the power hadn't won Asia since 2005. The win gave China a bid to the 2012 London Olympics next summer, where the team will face long odds due to the retirement of Yao Ming. Yi Jianlian was named the MVP of the Asian Championship; he averaged 16.6 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.

Here's the full rundown of teams who have been awarded bids to the Olympics:

  • Great Britain (host nation)
  • United States (2010 FIBA World Champion)
  • Tunisia (African champion)
  • Australia (Oceanic champion)
  • Brazil (FIBA Americas finalist)
  • Argentina (FIBA Americas champion)
  • Spain (European finalist)
  • France (European finalist)
  • China (Asian champion)

Asia also advance two teams to the last-chance qualifying tournament to be held in Europe next July, where the top three finishers will join the Olympic bracket. Jordan and South Korea earned those bids, both with wins over the Philippines (Jordan in the semifinals and South Korea in the third place game). Here are the teams that have qualified for the qualifying tournament:

  • Angola (African runner-up)
  • Nigeria (African 3rd place)
  • New Zealand (Oceanic runner-up)
  • Dominican Republic (FIBA Americas 3rd place)
  • Puerto Rico (FIBA Americas 4th place)
  • Venezuela (FIBA Americas 5th place)
  • Macedonia (European semifinalist)
  • Russia (European semifinalist)
  • Lithuania (European qualifier)
  • Greece (European qualifier)
  • Jordan (Asian runner-up)
  • South Korea (Asian third place)
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Lithuania, Greece Join Macedonia, Russia In 2012 Olympic Qualifying Tournament

The four bids Europe has for the 2012 Olympic qualifying tournament next July have been set, as Lithuania and Greece won the rights to join EuroBasket 2011 semifinalists Macedonia and Russia in that last-chance bracket, where the final three bids to the London Games will be set.

By virtue of semifinal wins at EuroBasket in Lithuania, Spain and France won direct bids to the 2012 Olympics. Eight of the 12 teams for the London Games are set. Here's the rundown.

 

  • Great Britain (host nation)
  • United States (2010 FIBA World Champion)
  • Tunisia (African champion)
  • Australia (Oceanic champion)
  • Brazil (FIBA Americas finalist)
  • Argentina (FIBA Americas champion)
  • Spain (European finalist)
  • France (European finalist)

Asia will advance its champion to the Olympics later in September, and the remaining three bids will be decided in July 2012 via a 12-team tournament. Here are the teams that have qualified for that bracket:

 

  • Angola (African runner-up)
  • Nigeria (African 3rd place)
  • New Zealand (Oceanic runner-up)
  • Dominican Republic (FIBA Americas 3rd place)
  • Puerto Rico (FIBA Americas 4th place)
  • Venezuela (FIBA Americas 5th place)
  • Macedonia (European semifinalist)
  • Russia (European semifinalist)
  • Lithuania (European qualifier)
  • Greece (European qualifier)
The second- and third-place teams in the Asian Championship will take the final two bids in the qualifying tournament.
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2012 London Olympics: Six Of 12 Teams Set As Brazil, Argentina Join Field

Half of the field for the men's basketball tournament at the 2012 London Olympics is set, as Brazil and Argentina earned berths Saturday by becoming finalists in the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship in Mar del Plata, Argentina. Here's what the field looks like as of Sept. 10, 2011, in addition to FIBA world rankings and how the teams qualified:

 

  • Great Britain (No. 56, host nation)
  • United States (No. 1, reigning World Champion)
  • Tunisia (No. 37, African champion)
  • Australia (No. 9, Oceanic champion)
  • Argentina (No. 3, FIBA Americas finalist)
  • Brazil (No. 16, FIBA Americas finalist)

Next week, the two finalists from EuroBasket 2011 will join the field; later this month, the champion of the FIBA Asia Championship will be added. That leaves three spots open. The wild-card berths will be determined through a last-chance qualifying tournament to be held in Europe in July 2012, weeks before the Olympic tournament begins on July 28. Here's how that field is shaping up:

 

  • Angola (No. 13, African runner-up)
  • Nigeria (No. 21, African third-place)
  • New Zealand (No. 18, Oceanic runner-up)
  • Puerto Rico (American semifinalist)
  • Dominican Republic (American semifinalist)
  • Venezuela (American fifth-place)
Four additional teams will be added from EuroBasket (the No. 3 through No. 6 finishers) and the second- and third-place teams from the Asia Championship will be given berths, as well. The 12 teams will be split into four pots of three, with a round-robin group stage eliminated one team from each set. The remaining eight nations will jump into a knockout round, where the top three teams advance to the Olympics.
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FIBA Americas Championship 2011: Brazil, Argentina Punch Tickets To London Olympics With Semifinal Wins

Brazil and Argentina will join the United States in representing the Americas region at the 2012 London Olympics, thanks to wins by the rivals in the semifinals of the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship on Saturday. Brazil held off the Dominican Republic 83-76, thanks largely to point guard Marcelinho Huertas, who had eight points and two assists in the fourth quarter and 19 and seven for the game. Huertas was joined by veteran wing Marcelo Machado (20 points in 25 minutes off the bench) atop the ledger.

The Dominicans, who had handed Brazil its only loss in the tournament in the group stage, fell short despite a monster performance by Jack Michael Martinez (18 points, 15 rebounds) and expectantly solid work from Al Horford (18 points, seven rebounds). The D.R. has never made the Olympics in men's basketball; coach John Calipari of the University of Kentucky will now have to qualify via next July's last-chance qualifying tournament, where three bids will be up for grabs.

In the other semifinal, host Argentina just edged Puerto Rico 81-79. The P.R. had given Argentina its only test in the first round (another two-point win for the hosts), and the match lived up to its billing. Argentina took a 77-66 lead on a Pablo Prigioni three-pointer with just under seven minutes remaining, but the Puerto Ricans stormed back, scoring nine straight to pull within two. But Luis Scola scored his final and most important bucket to stop the bleeding with four minutes left; the Rockets forward had 27 on the game.

After buckets were exchanged, Renaldo Balkman blocked a Manu Ginobili shot in the paint, leading to a Daniel Santiago basket to tie it up at 79. But after a Scola miss, Santiago turned the ball over with a shot for the P.R. to take a lead in the final 75 seconds; Ginobili drew a foul and hit one of two. Carlos Arroyo had two shots to give Puerto Rico a lead, but both came up empty. After Prigioni hit one of two with six seconds left to extend the lead to two, J.J. Barea last-ditch shot missed and Argentina moved on to the championship round.

Like the D.R., Puerto Rico will attempt to qualify for London in July's qualifying tournament. Brazil and Argentina will meet on Sunday to play for the Americas championship.

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Australia Wins FIBA Oceania Championship Over New Zealand, Wins Bid To 2012 Olympics

Australia has won the fourth bid to the men's basketball tournament at the 2012 London Olympics, by virtue of defeating New Zealand in the FIBA Oceania Championship. New Zealand will, as a result, take a spot in next July's last-chance Olympic qualifying tournament.

The Oceania region has one automatic bid to the 12-team Olympic field despite its minute size at the competitive senior men's level. In the Olympics, Australia will join Tunisia, which won the FIBA Africas Championship last month, reigning FIBA World Champion Team USA and host nation Great Britain. Two Olympic bids from the Americas region will be decided on Saturday, and next week two teams from Europe will qualify. The Asian Championship is later in September.

Next July's qualifying tournament will send three additional teams to London. Nations that have already earned invitations to that tournament include Venezuela, Angola and Nigeria, in addition to New Zealand. Two more teams from the Americas and four from Europe will soon be added. 

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Venezuela Basketball Earns Berth To 2012 Olympics Qualifying Tournament

Venezuela's men's national basketball team has earned a berth into the last-chance qualfying tournament for the 2012 London Olympics by virtue of a fifth-place finish in the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship. Venezuela cinched its spot with a 92-80 win over Uruguay on Thursday.

Coached by Eric Musselman of the NBA D-League's Los Angeles Defenders and starring Memphis Grizzlies reserve Greivis Vasquez, the Venezuelans went 4-4 in the tournament and beat out Canada for the fifth spot. Two other FIBA Americas teams will join Venenzuela in the last-chance qualifying tournament, to be held in July 2012. Those teams will be the losers from Saturday's FIBA Americas 2011 semifinals.

The winners of those semifinal games will advance directly to the 2012 Olympics. Team USA has already earned a berth to London by winning the 2010 FIBA World Championships. The United States did not field a team for FIBA Americas 2011.

The four semifinalists for the FIBA Americas tournament are Brazil, Argentina, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Seeding and matchups for the semifinals depend on the outcome of Thursday's late Brazil-P.R. matchup, but it's quite likely that unless that game becomes a blowout, Argentina will face the Dominincans and Brazil will take on Puerto Rico in Saturday's semifinals.

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Nigeria Takes Third At FIBA Afrobasket 2011, Wins Bid To Olympic Qualifying Tournament

Nigeria knocked off Cote d'Ivoire on Sunday to take third place at the 2011 FIBA Africa Championship in Madagascar. Along with bronze, Nigeria earns a bid to the last-chance Olympic qualifying tournament.

Nigeria had come into the knockout phase as one of four top seeds, but fell in the semifinals to perennial African champion Angola. Nigeria featured the tournament's only recent NBA player, Ime Udoka. In Sunday's bronze game, the former Spur had nine points. Nigeria was led by Derrick Obasohan, who finished with 19 points.

Cote d'Ivoire had fallen to Tunisia in a heartbreaker on Saturday, and now looks to Afrobasket 2013 and a potential spot in the 2014 FIBA World Championship.

The loser of the Afrobasket Championship game between Tunisia and Angola will also take a spot in the last-chance Olympic qualifying tournament. The winner of that game will move straight to the Olympic field. The 2012 London Olympics begin July 27, 2012.

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