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Boomers: Faking Integrity But Amoral

AUSTRALIA tonight drew Argentina as its quarter-final opponent, with the chance to advance to an Olympic semi final showdown against the winner of the match between the USA and Spain. Sound a bit suss? It is. 

But it is so typical of FIBA - basketball's controlling body so no, the acronym doesn't officially stand for Faking Integrity But Amoral, as it should - that it no longer even warrants a heading-shaking reaction of despair.

The whole unwieldy idea of three groups of four and having the top two teams from each, plus the best third placegetters qualify for the eight-team quarter-finals, was to prevent any form of sand-bagging or match-fixing by any team trying to manipulate the draw in its favour.

If you don't know who you might be playing in the quarter-final round, then surely that ensures the integrity of intragroup play?

It should have and maybe it did.

But for FIBA officials to then produce the quarter-final draw that the world at large was unable to see or attend is dubious, at best.

Remember too, FIBA is based in Europe and is profoundly Eurocentric, at least on those occasions when it isn't looking the other way on Philippines transgressions.

So are we to truly believe this draw was conducted fairly when one side of it contains four European teams - namely France, Italy, Slovenia and Germany - guaranteeing one of them will be competing for the Gold Medal?

Meanwhile on the other half of the draw we have USA, Spain, Australia and Argentina.

Why is that suspect? Try this, for one - FIBA's world rankings rate the top four teams in the world as USA 1, Spain 2, Australia 3, Argentina 4.

The top four teams in the world, as ranked by FIBA, all are on the same side of the draw.

Meanwhile on the other side we have four European teams. Their FIBA rankings? France is 7, Italy 10, Slovenia 16, Germany 17.

Come on now. This is just laughable and lamentable bullshit.

Clearly FIBA would expect Slovenia, with the world's hottest player Luka Doncic, to get past Germany to most likely face France in a semi final. France or Luka's team in the Gold Medal game would make the invisible men at FIBA very happy.

MY NAME IS LUKA, I LIVE ON THE SECOND FLOOR: Luka Doncic, a level above the pack. 

Preferably playing the USA. (Not that they secretly wouldn't be barracking for Spain, it being the only European team in that half of the draw.)

What this means for Australia, other than the fact it drew a very beatable opponent in Argentina, is that if the Boomers proceed, they will face USA or Spain in the other semi final.

It definitely keeps alive the dream of a maiden medal.

That is until we start getting a little too close and FIBA sneaks back into the kitchen for some new fangled form of home-cooking.

Aug 1

Content, unless otherwise indicated, is © copyright Boti Nagy.