There are twelve women’s national teams still in the running for the last five spots in the 2012 Olympic women’s basketball tournament.
Our Canadian neighbors and Puerto Rico are two of those squads. They discovered during the draw held on February 15 what groups they are in and who they will be competing against in the 2012 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament For Women when it tips off in Ankara, Turkey on June 25-July 1.
The four groups ended up shaking out like this:
Group A: Japan, Puerto Rico, Turkey
Group B: Argentina, Czech Republic, New Zealand
Group C: Croatia, Korea, Mozambique
Group D: Canada, France, Mali
Top two teams in each group advance to the June 29 quarterfinals. The Group A winner will face off against the runner up in Group B. The Group C winner will face the Group D runner up and the Group D winner will face the runner up team from Group C.
The four quarterfinal round winners will automatically qualifying to go to London and the four losing teams head to the semifinals to begin the knockout competition for the final spot in the Olympic women’s basketball tournament.
The Loser in the [A1 v B2] game will face the Loser of the [C1 v D2] game.
The Loser in the [B1 v A2] game will face the Loser of the [D1 v C2] game.
The winners in those semifinal games will face each other in a pressure packed July 1 matchup in Ankara with a trip to London on the line.
The victor in that matchup gets the last qualifying spot and prepares to pack for the 2012 Olympic games and all the once in a lifetime experiences that go with it. Everyone else goes home and begins their preparations to qualify for the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women in Turkey and the 2016 Olympic women’s basketball tournament in Rio.