- The draw for the FIBA Asia Cup 2017 was conducted yesterday at Le Royal Hotel Dbayeh, Lebanon. The ceremony also included the unveiling of a newly designed trophy, the official logo, and the official mascot.
- The tournament will feature sixteen teams and be played in Lebanon from 8th to 20th August 2017.
- The group stages of the tournament comprise four groups of four teams each. Each team will play the other teams in its group once, and the top three teams from each group will advance to the second phase.
- India has been drawn in Group A along with Iran, Jordan, and Syria. Iran and Jordan are ranked 25th and 28th respectively in the FIBA rankings, and both teams put in strong performances at the FIBA Asia Challenge 2016.
- India (WR 53) stands a good chance of progressing to the second phase if the team beats Syria, which is 72nd in the FIBA rankings, nineteen spots below India.
- In the second phase, the twelve teams that advance will be divided into two groups of six each. After playing each of the other teams in its group once, the top four teams from each group will advance to the quarterfinals.
- For the first time, the tournament also includes Oceanian powerhouses Australia and New Zealand.
Bengaluru, 31st May 2017: The draw for the FIBA Asia Cup 2017 was conducted yesterday at Le Royal Hotel Dbayeh, Lebanon. The tournament will feature sixteen teams and be played in Lebanon from 8th to 20th August 2017. The last edition of this tournament was conducted two years ago in Changsha – Hunan, China, and was called the FIBA Asia Championship. This year’s tournament has been rechristened the FIBA Asia Cup, and features Oceanian powerhouses New Zealand and Australia for the first time, battling for top honours in Asia.
The group stages will be played in a round robin format, comprising four groups of four teams each. India has been drawn in Group A, with Iran, Jordan, and Syria. The draw for the remaining groups is as follows: Iraq, China, Philippines, and Qatar in Group B; Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Korea, and New Zealand in Group C; and Japan, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, and Australia in Group D.
Each team will play the other teams in their group once, and the top three teams from each group will advance to the second phase. In the second phase, the teams will be divided into two groups of six teams each (Groups E and F). The top four teams from each of these groups will advance to the quarter finals.
Video credits: FIBA
India placed in tough Group
India’s draw in Group A promises to be anything but a walk in the park. Last year, Iran won the FIBA Asia Challenge 2016 in comprehensive fashion, while Jordan finished third. India faced both teams over the course of that Championship – Jordan in the group stages and Iran in the quarterfinals – and lost both games despite battling hard. Iran also finished third at the FIBA Asia Championship 2015, beating India in the group stages.
The FIBA rankings place Iran and Jordan at 25th and 28th respectively. Nevertheless, since the top three from each group qualify for the second phase, India (rank 53) only has to put in a strong performance against Syria (rank 72) to secure progression.
A surprise upset over either Jordan or Iran cannot be discounted, as the Indian team has gone from strength to strength in the last few years. The team put in a strong performance at the FIBA Asia Challenge 2016, advancing to the knockout stages and defeating Chinese Taipei to finish seventh in the tournament. India had also beaten China, the Philippines, and Kazakhstan in the group stages.
Advancing from the second phase to the knockout stages is likely to pose a tougher challenge. China enters the tournament as defending champions, having won the FIBA Asia Championship 2015 on home soil; while the inclusion of Australia and New Zealand in the Asia Cup will only enhance the quality of opposition and level of competition.
Logo and mascot unveiled
The draw ceremony for the FIBA Asia Cup 2017 also included the unveiling of a newly designed silver trophy, as well as the official logo and mascot. The official logo is a likeness of the Lebanese flag molded into the shape of a ball, resembling the wings of a phoenix with the cup between them. The official mascot is Ox the Fox: with basketball in tow, he represents team spirit and the three essential characteristics of a basketball player: speed, agility, and smarts.
For more information visit www.fiba.com/asiacup/2017