The 2012 FIBA Women’s World Olympic Qualifying Tournament tipped off in Ankara, Turkey June 25 with our FIBA number 11 ranked Canadian neighbors being amongst the femme roundball teams trying to dribble their way into the London Olympic basketball tournament that starts a few weeks from now
Out of the 12 nations that started their quest for the five remaining spots to go to London only eight remain after they survived group play. The host nation Turkey won Group A and will play Group B runner up and FIBA number 12 ranked Argentina. Group B winner and FIBA number 4 ranked Czech Republic will play Group A runner up and FIBA number 15 ranked Japan.
Canada was in Group D with FIBA number 8 ranked France and Mali and got their tournament off to a rousing start June 25 by crushing Mali 89-23.
The next day against France they brought their bricklayers union cards and got off to a slow start that resulted in a 57-46 loss and a 1-1 record in Group D play.
Despite the loss they were still in great shape to qualify for the quarterfinals because of the blowout win over FIBA number 19 ranked Mali. The only way they would be knocked out of the tournament is if Mali upset France and beat them by a 65 point margin in doing so.
Umm no. France routed Mali 88-37 on June 27 to win the group with Canada finishing as the runner up. France will play Group C runner up and FIBA number 9 ranked Korea for one of the Olympic spots.
The Canadians will play Croatia, the group C winner that has jumped 23 spots in the FIBA rankings to number 31 with a spot in the Olympics going to the winner and the loser moving on to play June 30 the loser of the Turkey-Argentina game. The losers in the Czech Republic-Japan and France-Korea games would also battle it out on June 30 in the semis.
The winners of the June 30 semifinals would play July 1 for the final Olympic berth.
I would think the Canadian women’s b-ballers would rather handle their business today and be celebrating on Canada Day a trip to London rather than playing a nerve racking two additional must win games tomorrow and on Canada Day to get the final Olympic berth.