Italy and Russia preparing to bid for Olympic Qualifying Tournaments?

Italy and Russia are preparing bids to host next year’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments that will determine the last remaining spots for the Rio 2016 Games.

The Italian Basketball Federation [FIP] president Gianni Petrucci has been in discussion with the president of the Italian Olympic Committee Gianni Malagò about staging the six-day tournament at the PalaIsozaki in Turin, which has hosted previous Eurocup and domestic league finals.

Russia are rumoured to have prepared a bid to host one of the tournaments in St. Petersburg at the 8,000-seat Sibur Arena.

There is currently no timetable for when FIBA will announce the three host nations.

As opposed to previous events, where one venue housed 12 teams with the top three progressing. The latest qualifying edition will feature 18 teams playing across three countries with the winner from each advancing to the Rio Olympics next year.

The women’s format remains the same.

Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, New Zealand,  Angola, Tunisia, Angola and Senegal are currently the qualified nations with three more from Eurobasket and three from the FIBA Asia Championships to follow.

Hosts Brazil, USA, Australia, Nigeria, Argentina and Venezuela will compete at the Rio 2016 Games with two automatic spots at Eurobasket and FIBA Asia Championships still up for grabs.