Australia’s basketball team will take on Argentina and then either Spain or the United States at the Tokyo Olympics
Nightmare draw for the Boomers with the Australian basketball team to take on Argentina and then Spain or the United States if they want to win gold
A blockbuster semifinal against the United States or Spain awaits the Boomers if they can beat Argentina in an Olympic quarterfinal.
Australia, unbeaten and on top of their group, pulled Argentina into the top eight in Tokyo on Sunday evening.
The United States, finishing second as the best team and effectively qualifying as a top league, drew Spain into a stacked bottom half of the draw.
Spain had previously lost a seesaw match to Luka Doncic’s Slovenia to relegate to second place in their group.
Patty Mills #5 of Team Australia celebrates during the Australian Men’s Basketball Preliminary Round Group B match against Germany on Day Eight of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics
Slovenia will face Germany, while France must beat Italy to make it to the last four in a wide open top half of the draw.
The Boomers are chasing gold and will draw confidence from a win over the Argentine side in an exhibition game before arriving in Tokyo. Patty Mills hit a three-pointer on the buzzer in a three-point win.
Beyond that are either the star-studded United States or Spain, which beat the Boomers in the last World Cup and the Olympics to deny them a medal.
Team United States’ Devin Booker #15 drives to the basket against Team Czech Republic’s Ondrej Sehnal #19 during the second half of a men’s basketball
The United States are defending champions but have been exposed of late, missing the World Cup medals and beating Australia in their last two encounters, including last month.
Spain defeated Australia 89-88 in Rio’s bronze medal game, thanks to a questionable late error, as they came from 11 points behind to win the 2019 World Cup semi-final in double overtime.
“We have to find an altar somewhere and make an offering to the basketball gods because they don’t kiss us on the d**k yet,” assistant coach and former star center Luc Longley said after that second loss.
Luis Scola #4 of Team Argentina celebrates a game against Japan during the second half of a Group C Men’s Basketball Preliminary Round match in Tokyo
“It makes me feel stabbed in the heart… in Rio I also feel like we deserved to win that… I don’t know what to do.”
In a new system with a pool of four teams, the US threw a cat in a first-up loss to France.
Since then, however, they have touched their ties and Kevin Durant will see Devin Booker, Damian Lillard, Khris Middleton and Jayson Tatum take on a Spanish outfit led by dynamic guard Ricky Rubio and Gasol brothers Marc and Pau.