The FIBA Asia Championships are set to take place in Manila, Philippines from August 1-11, 2013. Teams are doing their “fine tuning” as they get ready for the big tournament.
The Iranian National Team got an invigorating warm-up during the William Jones Cup in Chinese Tapei. Iran was a powerhouse as it was the only team that remained undefeated after the Day 9 of the tournament, clinching the title. The tournament’s defending champions, the Philippines, were dis-invited to the tournament by Chinese Taipei Basketball officials due to their inability to guarantee the team’s safety. This was related to tensions between Taiwan and the Philippines over the death of a fisherman in contested waters.
Iran sealed their tournament win with a 72-67 victory over Chinese Taipei. They were led by the effort of former NBA big man Hamed Haddadi who finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Iran will need to bring their top game in the FIBA Asia Championship as they are grouped with fellow contenders, China and Korea, in the preliminary rounds of the tournament. Iran were back-to-back FIBA Asia Champions in 2007 and 2009. China are the current defending champions, winning the tournament in 2011.
The top three teams from each group will advance to the Second Round in the following manner.
Second Round Groupings
Group E: A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3
Group F: C1, C2, C3, D1, D2, D3
In other news, FIBA has selected to replace Lebanon in the FIBA Asia Championships after the body suspended them after failing to meet requirements set by the organization. Lebanon is still appealing the suspension and hopes it will be lifted in time to participate in the tournament.
With barely more than two weeks to go before the FIBA Asia tournament, things are heating up as participating teams kick their preparations into full gear.