Boomers guard Adam Gibson. Photo: Getty Images
After being knocked out in the past two Olympic quarter-finals by Team USA, the Australian Boomers were happy to see the USA drawn into their group at the Rio Olympics.
The Boomers have set their sights on winning the country's first medal in men's basketball with a stock of NBA and European stars named in their extended squad.
FIBA conducted the draw for the 12-team Olympic tournament in Switzerland on Saturday morning with the Boomers falling into group A alongside USA, China, Venezuela and two qualifiers from the last chance tournaments in July.
The USA is expected to again field a team of NBA stars led by NBA most valuable player Steph Curry in Rio.
Group B has become the group of death with Spain, Argentina, Brazil and Lithuania joined by Nigeria and one qualifier.
Those four leading nations should all field teams rich with NBA and European veterans including Pau Gasol (Spain), Manu Ginobili (Argentina) and Leandro Barbosa (Brazil).
FIBA will host three six-team qualifying tournaments in Philippines, Serbia and Italy in July with the winner of each tournament going to Rio and several powerful nations are in those tournaments including Serbia, Italy, Turkey, Canada and Croatia.
London Olympian and Boomers guard Adam Gibson said their draw was favourable.
"For the most part it looks good, the USA will be the tough game," Gibson said.
"Venezuela and China are two of the better teams we have had in a while but we don't know what other teams we have."
The USA's recent history of knocking out the Boomers means there is some relief to be facing them before the knockout stages.
"At some point you will need to play them if you want to do well and advance but we have always been unlucky and had them in the crossovers," Gibson said.
The Boomers will play two of the qualifying nations in their first two games then have rest day before facing USA, China and finishing group play against Venezuela.
"The Boomers problem in recent tournaments has been we have struggled to win our first game so that's vital for us," Gibson said.
While the Boomers' will aim to finish in the top-two of their group, all the potential quarterfinals games look tough with four or even five power nations in group B.
Gibson also said he was recovering well from ankle surgery after his Adelaide 36ers missed out on the NBL semi finals.
"I first did that ankle in the Olympic qualifiers against New Zealand last year and I hurt it a few more times during the NBL season," Gibson said.
"It got worse so I finally got in and had a clean out two weeks ago, I'm just waiting for the stitches to come out and the wound to heal and then I'll get back into it.
"In two to three weeks I should be running straight lines and and I have plenty of time to get fit before Boomers' training camp."
Boomers' coach Andrej Lemanis will cut his squad down to 16 players for a selection camp on July 5-10 to pick his 12-man roster.
"You would expect nothing else but a tough camp when Olympic spots are on the line," Gibson said.
"You would assume there are 6-8 spots locked in then there will be a bunch of people fighting it out for spots.
"It's a one-camp deal and what we've done in the past will count for something but it's definitely exciting for Australian basketball to have this level of competition for spots on the team."
The Opals also had a good draw for their bid for a gold medal being drawn into group A with Brazil, Japan and three qualifiers. They will open their campaign against Brazil in the first night of the women's tournament.