Central News Agency reported that Taiwan will have to compete for two seeds in the East Asian qualifiers to win one of the two seeds for the Asian Championship, according to a memo CTBA received from the Asian Basketball Confederation (ABC).
It means Taiwan has to meet Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan in the East Asian qualifiers and finishes in the top two in order to play in the Asian Championship in Tianjin, China.
Most Asian countries are no strangers to the qualifying games. The ABC subzones in Gulf zone, SEABA, WABA and Central Asia all hold qualifiers before major Asian basketball competitions. Traditionally, the East Asian subzone does not hold such competition. As there are only five or six members in the subzone, China, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan usually win automatic seeds for major Asian competitions because most of them finished in the top six in previous games.
For the Tianjin Asian Championship, home team China and top five finishers in the FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup last year (Jordan, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Kuwait and India) will receive guaranteed seeds. The remaining 10 seeds will be decided according to the subzone qualifiers. Top two teams in each subzone qualifiers get to play in the 16-team Championship, CTBA Deputy Secretary-General Wang Chi-hsien said.
South Korea, who won bronze in the previous Asian Championship, Taiwan (No. 6) and Japan (No.7) will have to play in the qualifiers along with Hong Kong, Wang said.
Things do not look good for Taiwan because Japan will host the qualifying tournament, which is expected to be played in Nagoya, Japan in June. South Korea is obviously the title favorite which leaves the remaining seed up for grab between Taiwan and the host.