Team GB avoid USA in basketball draw

30 April 2012 / 17:11

Great Britain have avoided the United States but face a tough group in the first round of the Olympic men's basketball tournament following the draw in Rio De Janeiro.

Chris Finch's side will come up against 2008 runners-up Spain, Australia, Brazil and China, all of whom are ranked in the world's top 15 sides, as well as the third team in the world qualifying tournament.

In the only other group defending champions USA have been paired alongside France, Argentina, Tunisia, and the first and second qualifying nations in Group A for the tournament, which is due to get under way on Sunday July 29 at the North Greenwich Arena.

Four teams will qualify from each group, with the final set to take place on July 12.

Great Britain, reformed in 2005 for this year's Olympics, have only ever competed at a summer Games once but that was in 1948, where they won just one of their eight matches.

They were allowed to compete in London after the Federation of International Basketball Association (FIBA), who hosted the draw, voted in favour of the host nation entering a team.

Great Britain, led by Chicago Bulls' Luol Deng, have several friendlies lined up before the tournament, most notably against the USA on July 19 at the MEN Arena.

The women's team have also been handed a tough assignment after being drawn against Australia, Brazil, Russia and the third and fifth qualifying nations in Group B for their competition which starts a day earlier than the men's.

Group A comprises of the USA, China, Angola and the first, second and fourth teams from the qualifying tournament, which takes place in Caracas, Venezuela and Ankara, Turkey in June and July.