The Men’s basketball competition at the Rio Olympics has been viewed with increasing excitement as the competition continues to progress. A breakdown of the twelve nations, split across two pools, will show where everyone currently stands and most importantly, show how Australia’s odds stack up as the business end of the tournament draws closer.
First things first, the exciting development of basketball on a global scale is evident through the appearance of teams from Nigeria, China and Venezuela respectively. Although this bodes well for the future, these nations have expectedly struggled against more experienced line-ups in the initial stages of this year’s competition.
The rest of the competition is well and truly open with more than half the teams still in medal contention. Host nation Brazil and continental rivals Argentina, led by savvy veteran Manu Ginoboli, will aim to cause an upset or two, albeit a difficult task. A strong European contingent, including up-and-comers Croatia and the highly ranked Lithuania will continue to prove challenging opposition for each nation as the knockout stages commences.
Australia’s most likely competition for a medal could very well come from two of the teams they’ve already knocked off in the pool stage, France and the ever-dangerous Serbia. Two impressive victories over these nations and a close loss to the US will only spur the Andrew Bogut led Australians on further as they look to go deep into the tournament.
Although the star-studded US line up is still favoured to bring home the gold medal, this is arguably one of the most open and exciting men’s Olympic basketball competitions witnessed thus far. Look for Australia to finish second in their group and (hopefully) progress to the gold medal match within the week. Such a result would be ground-breaking as the men’s team seemingly inches closer and closer to their first ever medal at the Olympic games!