Thursday, June 07, 2007

Taiwan in comfortable position in Asian Championship draw

Taiwan will be in the same group with South Korea, Hong Kong and Syriain the upcoming Asian Championship for Men, which will be played in Tokushima, Japan from July 28 - August 5, as the draw was completed and announced Wednesday.

The grouping is expected to put Taiwan in a comfortable position of returning to the final eight in Asia, something that Taiwan has not been able to do since 2001. Taiwan will vie for two final eight seeds with South Korea and Syria. The preliminary game vs. Syria is expected to be the most important one.

Another plus for Taiwan is that it will be a lot more prepared when it meets South Korea as the new head coach Chung Kwang Suk was a former South Korea NT head coach and knows South Korean basketball well.

This year's Gorup of Death is obviously Group A, which included China's second NT, Jordan (4th place in 2006 Doha Asian Games), Iran (bronze in Doha) and the Philippines, which has been trying to return to Asian elite after a one-year absence in major tournament.

2007 Asian Championship for Men draw results:

Group A: China, Jordan, Iran, Philippines
Group B: Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Japan
Group C: Qatar, India, Kazakhstan, Indonesia
Group D: South Korea, Hong Kong, Syria, Taiwan

Taiwan Men's NT performance in major Asian tournaments since 1997:

Asian Championship
2005 9th
2003 11th
2001 7th
1999 4th
1997 6th

Asian Games
2006 8th
2002 7th
1998 5th