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Basketball Tournament Draws Announced for the Paris Olympics

The Japan men face 2023 Basketball World Cup champ Germany in its first group phase match in France, and the Japan women open against the United States.



FIBA ambassador Carmelo Anthony draws Japan for the 2024 Olympic men's basketball tournament during a ceremony at the Patrick Baumann House of Basketball in Mies, Switzerland, on March 19. (Denis Balibouse/REUTERS)

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The draws for the men's and women's basketball tournaments at the Paris Olympics were held on Tuesday, March 19 in Mies, Switzerland.

FIBA, basketball's world governing body, unveiled the group phase assignments for the 12-tournament fields. Japan is assigned to Group B in the men's competition and Group C in the women's event.

The 2024 Olympic Opening Ceremony is set for July 26 in Paris. 

A day later, the men's tournament tips off. World No 26 Akatsuki Japan first faces 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup champion Germany, the top-ranked team in the current world rankings, in Villeneuve-d'Ascq, a commune in the northern French city of Lille. 

Pierre Mauroy Stadium, one hour north of Paris by train, will host the group phase matches. The arena has a seating capacity of 27,000.

Led by head coach Tom Hovasse, the Japan men's team takes on world No 9 France on July 30 and the TBD winner of an Olympic qualifying tournament in Riga, Latvia, on August 2 in its other Group B matches.

The tourney in Latvia, from July 2-7, will feature Georgia, the Philippines, Latvia, Brazil, Cameroon and Montenegro.

"We don't know which team will win the Olympic qualifying tournament in Latvia yet, so we will wait until we get the results," Hovasse said in a statement.

He added, "We will think about it after we get the results, [and] we will start preparing for France and Germany."

Japan women's basketball national team head coach Toru Onzuka encourages his players in an Olympic qualifying match against Hungary on February 9 in Sopron, Hungary. (KYODO)

Big Challenge for Japan Women in Opening Match

In a rematch of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic women's final, the seven-time defending gold medalist and top-ranked United States and world No 9 Japan will square off on July 29.


Japan coach Toru Onzuka's squad then meets 19th-ranked Germany and No 6 Belgium on August 1 and 4, respectively.

An assistant coach for Japan at the Tokyo Games, Onzuka hopes to build off that experience in leading the national team in France.

"First of all, I felt 'here it comes,' and enjoyment was the biggest emotion," Onzuka said in a statement, describing the announcement of the women's draw.

Onzuka said Japan's rematch with Team USA in its Paris Games opener will be emotional, but added that he hopes his team will "fight well with our own strength."

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Author: Ed Odeven

Find Ed on JAPAN Forward's dedicated website, SportsLook. Follow his [Japan Sports Notebook] on Sundays, [Odds and Evens] during the week, and X (formerly Twitter) @ed_odeven

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