Tournament To Decide Final Bids For Olympics Begins

GUADALAJARA, MEXICO - OCTOBER 30: Edwin Ubiles #14 of Puerto Rico celebrates winning the gold medal basketball game against Mexico during Day 16 of the XVI Pan American Games at the Code Alcade Sports Complex on October 30, 2011 in Guadalajara, Mexico. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Twelve national basketball teams are in Venezuela this week for the 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament. The top three teams from the tournament will advance to London.

There's quite a few things going on right now in the basketball world with NBA free agency, summer leagues in Orlando and Las Vegas coming up and the Olympics not too far off in the future. Before the Olympics can begin, however, there's a qualifying tournament to determine the last three teams going to London.

The 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament is taking place in Caracas July 2-8. Venezuela this week where 12 national teams are looking to punch their tickets to London after failing to do so in last summer's tournament. Round-robin pool play will take place Monday-Wednesday to determine which countries advance to the single-elimination tournament.

Following an off day Thursday, the actual tournament begins on Friday with the four quarterfinal matchups.

The groups break down as follows:

Group A -- Greece, Puerto Rico, Jordan

Group B -- Nigeria, Lithuania, Venezuela

Group C -- Russia, Dominican Republic, Korea

Group D -- Macedonia, New Zealand, Angola

The top two teams from each group will advance to a single-elimination tournament. The two teams that advance to the championship game will receive bids to the Olympics (no championship game will be played, however) and then a third-place game will determine the final bid.

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