July 7, 2011

Draw completed for Preliminary Round of 26th FIBA Asia Championship

FIBA Asia Press Release, Wuhan (China): Twice defending champions Iran will match wits with GCC champions Qatar, East Asia’s Chinese Taipei and the qualifier from the “Stan” division of Middle Asia in Group B in the Preliminary Round of the 26th FIBA Asia Championship.

The draw for the 26th FIBA Asia Championship was completed at the host city Wuhan amidst a sparkling ceremony on the Yangzte River on Wednesday.

The 26th FIBA Asia Championship, also the qualifying event for the 2012 London Olympics, will be held from Sept 15-25.

The champion team from Wuhan will directly qualify for the most significant sporting event at the British capital, while the No 2 and No 3 teams will qualify for the FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament.

Hosts China as per the procedure of the draw opted to play in Group D after SEABA champions Philippines along with GCC duo UAE and Bahrain were drawn.

Lebanon, who qualified for the 26th FIBA Asia Championship directly by virtue of winning the title in the 3rd FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup last year were drawn in Group A along with the qualifier from the SAARC division of Middle Asia, SEABA’s Malaysia and recently crowned East Asian champions Korea.

Japan, who lost to Lebanon in the 3rd FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup, were drawn into Group C along with SEABA runners-up Indonesia, 2009 FIBA Asia Championship bronze medalists Jordan and another WABA team Syria.

The 26th FIBA Asia Championship is the fifth occasion when China will host this prestigious event – 1989 Beijing, 2001 Shanghai, 2003 Harbin and 2009 Tianjin are the earlier occasions.

Note: India will host the SAARC teams – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal – at the Thyagraj Stadium in New Delhi from July 13-15th to decide which team qualifies for the Middle Asia 1 spot.

The Draw process

The four semifinalists of the 3rd FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup – Lebanon, Japan, Qatar and Philippines – were seeded into four different groups, and the draw decided which group each of them will figure.

The two Middle Asian representatives along with Indonesia and UAE were drawn next. It was the turn of Malaysia, Taipei, Syria and Bahrain to follow suit.

At this stage, China exercised their right – as hosts – of choice in the groupings after which Iran, Jordan and Korea were drawn into their respective groups.

Groupings for Preliminary Round

Group A: Lebanon, Middle Asia 1, Malaysia, Korea
Group B: Qatar, Middle Asia 2, Chinese Taipei, Iran
Group C: Japan, Indonesia, Syria, Jordan
Group D: Philippines, UAE, Bahrain, China

Middle Asia 1: New Delhi hosts the SAARC teams from July 13-15 to identify this qualifier.
Middle Asia 2: Navoi (UBZ) will host Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan as the four teams attempt to win this qualifying berth.

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

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 in the Second Round will advance to the knockout quarterfinal stage.

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