With the FIBA women's Pre-Qualifying Tournaments going on right now, FIBA announced the 4 men's and women's sites for next year's OQTs each on June 23-28 and February 6-9, respectively. The 4 men's tournaments will be held in Victoria, British Columbia (Canada Basketball), Split, Croatia (HKS), Kaunas, Lithuania (LKF), and Belgrade, Serbia again (KCC). Women's version coming much sooner are held in Ostende, Belgium (Basketball Belgium), Bourges, France (France Basketball/FFBB), Belgrade (KCC), and Foshan, China (CBA). Interesting that 3 of the 4 tournaments going on simultaneously are in Europe. But think about it, most of the top women's basketball players at that time of the year are playing in European club teams, which makes it convenient for them to report to their national teams while still in the thick of pro club play. Sucks a little for those playing in the Asia/Pacific assuming they won't play in China in terms of travel. So we know those nations automatically will play in their respective groups once the draw commences come next week on November 22. Hosting rights for China is contingent upon the Chinese women advancing out of their group down in Auckland, New Zealand right now; should China fail to do this, FIBA will turn to other hosting candidates:

South Korea, led by Kim Danbi, Park Ji Su, Park Hyejin, and Kim Jung Eun, stun the Chinese 81-80 in Auckland yesterday based on trust to get things done. Last time the South Koreans defeated China was over exactly 6 years ago, and Kim Danbi and Kim Jung Eun were both there for that as key contributors:

NZ's Tall Blacks were too strong as they controlled the entire game hammering over The Philippines reaching 100 points in an easy but huge game for them to start their campaign. Went out on a scoring spree all on one-way traffic:

Canada enjoys a great first game in their women's basketball base of Edmonton, Alberta versus Cuba 110-53--and remain undefeated there alltime with the height, length, talent, and speed to win the rebound battle. Canada's Kia Nurse led everyone with 28 points:

Australia's Opals makes mincemeat out of shorter Taiwan/Chinese Taipei in Kuala Lumpur. Sailing through by 33 points:

Speaking of blowouts, Puerto Rico, Canada's only serious threat in the Edmonton group, did likewise with intensity and domination on the Dominican Republic, who has been improving lately. But they couldn't stop the Boricuas' excellent outside and overall shooting for their dream game in one battle of the Spanish-speaking areas:

Argentina's in serious trouble to qualify now. Las Gigantes had a chance to beat Colombia in a close one to start things off at home but a shaky first half start kinda doomed them even when they stormed back in the second at a packed and passionate Bahia Blanca's Dow Center. Agostina Burani was Las Gigantes' star with a double double (29 points and 10 rebounds). This is a game Argentina needed before the bigger and more internationally experienced Americas powers. Paid dearly with their 25 turnovers for the Colombians converted to 27 points in their favor. Now they'll be doomed against the USA, which doesn't really need to be there with its depth, and Brazil

Brazil granted Team USA a greater challenge than previously assumed with ageless wonder Erika De Souza and Damiris Dantas providing that in the first game. Still the Americans were amazing on the offensive side:

Because of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's no-show withdrawal in Maputo. the only game played in that group will between Nigeria and Mozambique, and both automatically head towards the semifinals against the top two Group B winners. We know now that one of the two Group B semifinalists won't be Angola. Angola, the London 2012 African women's basketball participants, just got eliminated with both losses to Senegal in a close one (75-71) and just now to Mali (65-45) being a depleted team on talent. When Mali and Senegal face other tomorrow as two French-speaking and predominately Muslim Sub-Saharan African nations, it obviously determines the seeding

Well, Rick Pitino's got nothing else going on to do right now with basketball as no NCAA colleges are knocking on his door due to his controversies. Perhaps he can have a future staying on the international route with Puerto Rico and now Greece for next year's OQT: