Updated 01:08 PM EST, Thu, Nov 26, 2020

2016 Rio Olympics: Italy, Philippines & Serbia to Host Wild Card Qualifying Tourneys for Men's Basketball

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Numerous FIBA-related storylines will have unfolded come August 2015. Team USA will have cut their 30-man pool to 12, China will have bulked up their tall, but lanky, frontline and Spain will have found a way to not rely on the Gasol brothers too much.

While the aforementioned teams, along with six others, continue to train for the 2016 Rio Olympics, an equally fierce competition will take place a month earlier. From July 4 to 10, 18 national squads will participate in the Olympic wildcard qualifiers.

Africa is represented by Angola, Tunisia and Senegal. The Americas have Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Asia has Philippines, Iran, Japan and New Zealand from Oceania. Meanwhile, Europe is represented by France, Serbia, Greece, Italy and Czech Republic, USA Today reported.

Having failed in the past, the wildcard teams need every bit of motivation they can get in order to finally book a ticket to Rio. While home court advantage doesn't guarantee immediate wins, it does give teams a slight mental edge over their opponents. And this week, FIBA announced which three wildcard teams will have that advantage.

According to the official FIBA Twitter account, the nations that will host the wildcard tourneys are Italy, Philippines and Serbia.

The six teams in the Italian bracket will play their games at the Pala Alpitour in Turin. The Philippine leg will be played at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, while games in Serbia will be played at the Kombank Arena in Belgrade, as per SportsRageous.

To give more basketball teams the chance to win Olympic gold, FIBA has updated the wildcard qualifiers for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

In its official online news portal, FIBA indicated that three squads have been added to the original 15-team pool, bringing the total number of wildcard competitors to 18. This means there will be six participating teams each bracket. Completing the list for this year's Olympic qualifiers are Croatia, Latvia and Lebanon.

As for the three newly proclaimed hosts, Italy will be anchored by Marco Belinelli and Andrea Bargnani. Philippines will rely on naturalized center Andray Blatche and rising NBA star Jordan Clarkson. Meanwhile, Serbia boasts European legend Miloš Teodosić and Denver Nuggets bigman Nikola Jokić.

Countries that have directly qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Nigeria, Venezuela and the United States. Counting the three wildcard winners, a total of 12 teams will vie for the Men's Basketball crown in Rio this August.

With regards to the qualifying tournament for Women's Basketball, France will host the affair in the city of Nantes from June 12 to 19. Participating national teams include Argentina, Belarus, Cameroon, China, Cuba, Korea, New Zealand, Nigeria, Spain, Turkey, Venezuela and of course, France. Only the top five squads will earn a spot in Rio.

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