Nigeria’s men’s and women’s national basketball teams now know their groups for the the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Basketball Tournaments following draws that place today at FIBA headquarters in Switzerland.
Twenty-four top teams from across the globe, 12 men and 12 women, were divided into three groups of four teams in the men’s and women’s tournaments respectively at the Olympics which starts 25 July 25 in Tokyo.
The women’s national team, D’Tigress, were drawn in Group B alongside hosts Japan, France and World Champions USA. The draws will see Nigeria go up once again against the top ranked USA in a rematch of the 2018 World Cup quarterfinals, which ended in a narrow win for the Americans.
Group A has South Korea, Serbia, Canada and Spain while Australia, Puerto Rico, China and Belgium occupy Group B.
The 12 teams in the women’s draw qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Women’s Basketball Tournament in February last year through the four FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments, which had 16 teams take part in Belgium, France and Serbia.
In the men’s tournament, only the eight teams which qualified for the Olympics through the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 have been named in groups with the four vacant spots be filled by winners of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments in Victoria, Canada; Split, Croatia; Kaunas, Lithuania; and Belgrade Serbia from June 29 to July 4, 2021.
Nigeria’s D’Tigers were placed in Group B where they will contend with Australia and two other teams that will book their places through the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments in Croatia and Serbia.
The USA, France, Iran and a qualifier from the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments in Canada will play in Group A while Argentina, Japan, Spain and a qualifier from the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments in Lithuania will compete in Group C.
In both tournaments, a new competition system has been put in place for Tokyo.
The Group Phase will consist of three groups of four teams each. The teams placed first and second in each group, and the two best third-placed teams in the Group Phase qualify for the Final Phase.
The Tokyo Olympics marks the first time Nigeria will have both national teams at an Olympic Games.