FIBA on Tuesday bared how the draw for the 2015 Olympic Qualifying Tournament will be conducted, raising the probability that Gilas Pilipinas will face either France or Greece and Canada or Czech Republic in the Manila qualifier that will stake a lone place in the Rio Games.
In an email sent to media outlets detailing the draw, Fiba said the 18 teams in the three-tournament wildcard qualifiers - Italy and Serbia will host the other two - will be classified into six pools based on quality and geographical principles which the three hosts will head.
Here are six pools:
- Pot 1: France, Serbia and Greece
- Pot 2: Italy, Czech Republic and Canada
- Pot 3: Philippines, Iran and Japan
- Pot 4: Angola, Tunisia and Senegal
- Pot 5: Latvia, Croatia and Turkey
- Pot 6: Mexico, Puerto Rico and New Zealand
The 18 teams will then be distributed to the three qualifiers. A second draw will also be conducted to determine which group (A or B) the teams will fall in their respective qualifiers.
To give you a better understanding of the draw, Fiba has released a video explaining the whole process.
With co-hosts Italy and Serbia pegged in their respective tournaments, either world No. 5 France or 10th-ranked Greece will end up in the Philippines' bracket from Pool 1. From Pool 2 where Serbia belongs, Gilas will draw either powerhouse Canada or the Czech Republic.
Gilas is also certain to have one African team in its tournament from Pool 4, which could be either Tunisia, Senegal or Angola, as well as a second strong European side from Pool 5 - a choice among Croatia, Latvia and Turkey.
The sixth and final competing side in the Manila qualifier will come from Pool 6, made up of Puerto Rico, Mexico, both from the Americas, or lone Oceania representative New Zealand.