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2017 FIBA Asia Cup - Can China defeat the Boomers?

Viewed 1685 times 2017-7-15 17:56 |System category:News

It is an exciting time for Asian Basketball fans because the first FIBA Asia Cup will tip off in just 25 days.

FIBA Asia and FIBA Oceania merged in 2017 bringing the FIBA Asia Championship and FIBA Oceania Championship together to create the FIBA Asia Cup.

China has dominated the FIBA Asia Championship in the past, with Iran and the Philippines being China's only real competition, but with the FIBA Asia/Oceania merger the Chinese national basketball team will have to best the New Zealand Tall Blacks and the Australian Boomers to be crowned the basketball champions of Asia by winning the FIBA Asia Cup.

The Australian Boomers are ranked at number 10 on the FIBA World Rankings and will be the highest ranked team playing in the Asia Cup. China is ranked at number 14 on the FIBA World Rankings. New Zealand are ranked at 20, Iran are ranked at 25 and the Philippines are ranked at 28.

The FIBA rankings do not mean a lot due to factors such as the fact that all of the Australian Boomers team members that have NBA contracts are unavailable for this tournament but these five top ranked teams of Australia, China, New Zealand, Iran and the Philippines will certainly be the teams to beat at the Asia Cup.

The tournament favourite is a toss up between the top two FIBA ranked Asian basketball teams Australia and China. Australia and China have a good basketball relationship and we play many exhibitions and series together which are always hard fought.

Very recently an NBL All-Australian team played a three game series against the Chinese national team in China and were defeated 2-1. The Chinese national team looked outstanding in this series and on that form many would have China as tournament favourites.

The NBL is Australias national basketball competition and the NBL All-Australian team that was defeated by China featured NBL imports including 2016/17 NBL MVP, American import, Jerome 'handles' Randle (Adelaide 36ers).

With all of Australias NBA talent unavailable for the Asia Cup the Australian team will be dominated by Australians that are playing in the NBL but the All-Australian NBL team that were recently defeated by China did not include many of Australias top NBL players including internationals Brad Newley (Sydney Kings) and Chris Goulding (Melbourne United).

Both Newley and Goulding have been named to the 20-man Asia Cup squad that was announced recently, as well as a number of other top NBL players that did not play in the NBL All-Australian team that was defeated by China, plus there are some Australians that are playing in Europe right now that are in the 20 man squad too - so the 12 man Australian Boomers team that does get selected for the Asia Cup is sure to be a lot stronger than the NBL 'All-Australian' team that just lost a three game series to China.

Chinese player Qian Wu (Zhejiang Golden Bulls) gave the NBL All-Australian team a lot of trouble and I am really looking forward to seeing him and the other Chinese national basketball team members match up against the Australian Boomers in the Asia Cup. China is certainly going to be hard to beat.

The FIBA Oceania basketball region has always been kind of boring having just the two teams in Australia or New Zealand that could win the FIBA Oceania Championship. New Zealand is a great basketball nation and the Tall Blacks are always hard to beat but overall Australia has dominated New Zealand and I think it is great that with the FIBA Asia/Oceania merger the Australian Boomers have more competition and an even stronger regional rival than the New Zealand Tall Black in the Chinese Mens National Basketball Team.

So I cant wait for the Asia Cup to tip off and I think its a very close call between Australia and China for tournament favourites.

Like I said, Chinese gunner Qian Wu was very impressive against the NBL All-Australian team recently and if he plays in the Asia Cup and gets hot from outside then I wouldnt be shocked if he was named player of the tournament.

Should Australia be considered to be the FIBA Asia Cup tournament favourites? Or should it be China that are considered tournament favourites? Who is your pick for player of the tournament?

Who will you be cheering for when the Asia Cup tips off in Lebanon - 8-20 August? Australia?  China? Chinese Taipei? Hong Kong? India? Iran? Iraq? Japan? Jordan? Kazakhstan? Korea? Lebanon? New Zealand? Philippines? Qatar? Syria? Who do you think will win the FIBA Asia Cup and be crowned as the basketball champions of Asia?

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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