Sunday, June 21, 2009’s report on Asian C’ship draw

FIBA Asia – Draw completed for 25th FIBA Asia Championship

TIANJIN (FIBA Asia Championship) - Defending champions Iran have been drawn along side wild card entrants Chinese Taipei, Kuwait and Middle Asia’s Uzbekistan in Group B for the preliminary round of the 25th FIBA Asia Championship to be held here from Aug 6-16, 2009

The draw ceremony was held at the host city on Wednesday.

Hosts China have opted to play in Group C for the preliminary round, which also comprises last edition’s semifinalists Kazakhstan, fellow Middle Asian nation India and Gulf champions Qatar.

Korea, who bagged the bronze medal at Tokushima two years ago, have been drawn in Group A.

Japan, who lost to Korea in the final of the East Asian qualifiers in Nagoya last week, along with South East Asia champions Philippines and Sri Lanka are the other teams in Group A.

Lebanon, runners-up to Iran at Tokushima, have been drawn in Group D which also comprises fellow WABA rivals Jordan.

Jordan, it may be recalled, were the first team – apart from hosts China – to book their berth in the championship by virtue of winning the 2008 FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup in Kuwait last year.

Indonesia, who finished runners-up to Philippines in SEABA and United Arab Emirates complete the line-up.

Chinese Taipei, who finished fourth behind Korea, Japan and China in the recently concluded East Asian qualifiers, were given a wild card entry into the championship following the withdrawal of Gulf representatives Bahrain.

The top three sides at the FIBA Asia Championship will advance to the 2010 FIBA World Championship to be played from 23 September to 3 October 2010 in Turkey.

The championship will be played under a new format.

Groupings for the Preliminary Round

Group A: Japan, Korea, Philippines, Sri Lanka.
Group B: Chinese Taipei, Iran, Kuwait, Uzbekistan.
Group C: China, India, Kazakhstan, Qatar.
Group D: Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, UAE.
The top three teams from each group will advance to the second round of the championship.

Eighth Final Round

Group E:  A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3
Group F: C1, C2, C3, D1, D2, D3

Each team will play the three (3) new teams in its own group (the final scores of all games played in the Preliminary Round are valid for this round).

The top four from each group will advance to the knockout quarterfinal stage.

S Mageshwaran