The basketball competition of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games will be contested between 25 July – 8 August 2021 at Saitama Super Arena and features 12 countries in both tournaments.
The Australian Women’s Team, the Opals, was placed in Group C along with Puerto Rico (World Ranked #22), China (World Ranked #9) and Belgium (World Ranked #6) for the preliminary round.
Drawn into Group A were Korea, Serbia, Canada and Spain.
Drawn into Group B were Nigeria, Japan, France and the USA.
Commenting upon the draw, Australian Opals head coach Sandy Brondello said: “An Olympic campaign is always tough and all three groups pose their own unique challenges.
“It’s certainly good to know who we are playing in the preliminary round and from a coaching point of view, we can gather information and start scouting those teams. However, our primary focus is on ourselves and being the best we can be, leaving no stone unturned in our preparation and peaking at the right time.
“This Opals playing group are going to Tokyo wanting to win Australia’s first ever women’s basketball gold medal at an Olympic Games and we have the talent to do it. We know our effort and execution needs to match our ambition and we look forward to making Australia proud in Tokyo.”
The Australian Men’s Team, the Boomers, was placed in Group B along with Nigeria (World Ranked #22) and two teams that will earn their berths at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments scheduled from 29 June 29 to 4 July 2021 in Split, Croatia and Belgrade, Serbia.
Drawn into Group A were Iran, France, the USA and a Qualifier from the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament to be held in Victoria, Canada.
Drawn into Group C were Argentina, Japan, Spain and a Qualifier from the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament to be held in Kaunas, Lithuania.
Australian Boomers head coach Brian Goorjian said: “For a long time now the driving force for this core group of Boomers is to win gold in Tokyo, and to be the best you have to beat all-comers.
“While we don’t yet know all our group opponents, the draw is another piece of the jigsaw we are piecing together to deliver that elusive gold medal.
"A successful Olympics campaign is all about preparation both on and off the court, getting our style of play and selection spot on, and delivering when it matters.
“This tilt at gold in Tokyo has been a decade or more in the making and I’m excited by the opportunity that awaits us later this year.”
Basketball Australia has already named a 2021 Senior Women’s National Team Squad, with a Men’s Olympic Squad to be announced.
The official 12-member Australian Olympic Men’s and Women’s Basketball Team rosters for the 2020 Tokyo Games will be announced by the Australia Olympic Committee later this year.
Group Phase Information
The 12 teams are divided into 3 groups (A, B and C) of 4 teams each. This stage of the competition is played in a round robin format, with each team playing all other teams in its group (a total of 3 games for each team). The teams placed first and second in each group and the 2 best third-placed teams in the Group Phase qualify for the Final Phase. The remaining 4 teams take no further part in the competition.
Final Phase Information
A draw will take place following the conclusion of the Group Phase to determine the pairings of the Quarter-Finals. The winners of the groups (3 teams) and the second-placed team with the best result (1 team) from the Group Phase are placed in one pot (D), while the 2 remaining second-placed teams and 2 best third-placed teams in another pot (E). Teams from the same group in the Group Phase cannot be drawn against each other in the Quarter-Finals.
This stage of the competition is played in a knockout format and the draw will produce an Olympic bracket for the road to the gold medal.
To be crowned Olympic champion, a team has to play 6 games - 3 in the Group Phase and 3 in the Final Phase (Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals, Gold Medal Game), instead of 8 as in past tournaments.