Monday, June 15, 2009

Source: Taiwan still going to Asian Championship

Taiwan Men's NT is still highly possible to participate in the 2009 Asian Men's Basketball Championship in Tianjin, China, a CTBA official said Monday.

Either the tournament will try to expand the 16-team field or some teams are expected to withdraw before the competition takes place, paving the way for Taiwan to make a trip to Tianjin.

FIBA Asia secretary-general Yeoh Choo Hock said Taiwan, which finished 4th-place in the East Asia Basketball Championship, is definitely going to the Asian Championship, the official said.

All five Asian teams (Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Jordan, India and Qatar) that participated in the 2008 FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup in Kuwait had been granted seeds in the Asian Championship as -- if my memory is correct -- FIBA Asia had stated that the biennial Stankovic Cup will be used as a qualifier for the Asian Championship, which was also held every two years.

According to FIBA Asia, the top six teams in Stankovic Cup will receive at-large bids for the Asia Championship. The other seeds will be granted to top two teams in each of the five subzones and the host country.

Taiwan did not enter the tournament last year and the CTBA was later blasted for the mistake because finishing in top six in the Stankovic Cup is obviously easier than winning a seed through the East Asian qualifier.

Word was that FIBA Asia had failed to express clearly to member associations about the seeding opportunities before the 2008 Stankovic Cup and CTBA had complained to FIBA about this, forcing FIBA to pressure FIBA Asia into changing the seeding format.

Rumor also said that India might pull out of the Asian Championship for unknown reasons.

Taiwan finished for 4th-place in the EABC and was out of the Asian Championship for the first time since 1985.

The 2009 Asia Championship will be played in Tianjin, China from August 6-16.