Sep 26, 2011, 8:09 AM EDT
One’s gut reaction to the “who should win the FIBA Asia tournament?” is China. The country’s youth love basketball and there certainly is a large population pool to draw from.
But without Yao Ming around to anchor that squad in the paint, it wasn’t so easy. Still, China earned a berth in the 2012 London Olympics by defeating Jordan 80-79 in the FIBA Asia championship game. It took a Yi Jianlian free throw with 28 seconds left (on a backcourt foul that would make a junior high coach cringe) but they got the win. Yi finished the game with 25 points and 16 rebounds to lead China.
That makes nine teams set for the London Olympics field of 12: The United States, Great Britain, Spain, France, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Tunisia and now China.
The Olympics is a 12-team tournament so there will be a pre-Olympics qualifying tournament next summer to decide the final three spots. The teams competing for that are Jordan, Korea, Lithuania, Greece, Macedonia, Russia, Dominican Republic, Angola, Nigeria, and New Zealand. The dates and location of that tournament are too be determined.
The United States will enter the heavy favorites in London, but first they face some serious questions about who should be on the roster.
- Derrick Rose sits out another Team USA practice, not likely to start Wednesday 20
- DeMarcus Cousins practices with team USA Tuesday, says he’s 50-50 for Wednesday game 2
- Jim Boeheim says of Carmelo Anthony, “it would have been better to go to Chicago” 30
- Steve Ballmer screams like a maniac at Clippers rally 26
- Thibodeau calls Team USA “perfect setting” for Derrick Rose to make return 6
- What four players left likely to get cut from Team USA roster? Things don’t look good for Andre Drummond. 19
- John Calipari says he was not close to going to Cleveland. LeBron or not. 12
- Report: Shawn Marion commits to play with Cavaliers, LeBron James 47