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Argentina, Spain paired into potential "group of death" in Olympic basketball elims

Manu Ginobili's Argentinian team ended up together in one group with Marc Gasol's Spanish squad in the Olympics. Mark Weber/Reuters (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Five strong basketball squads ended up being in one group of the Olympic basketball tournament, making some hoop junkies believe that the said group is the "group of death".

In the official draw made late Friday night (Philippine Time), host country Brazil, 2004 gold medalist Argentina, 2008 and 2012 silver medalist Spain, multi-time bronze medalist Lithuania, and African champion Nigeria, which may once again feature former Meralco import Champ Oguchi, were grouped into Group B of the said group stage, setting up a warfare for the four quarterfinal spots allotted for the said group.

Meanwhile, Group A is also compelling with defending Olympic gold medalist USA, Asian champion China, and Oceania champion Australia comprising it.

Two teams that will qualify through the Olympic Qualifying Tournament on July 4-10 will complete the Group A cast, while a third OQT winner will join Group B.

A separate draw will be made for the grouping of the three OQT champions after the said tournament series in Belgrade, Pasay, and Turin.

Outgoing SBP president Manny Pangilinan was among those who orchestrated the group draw.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno