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.