2015 FIBA Asia Championships: What you need to know, schedule, groupings

FIBA Asia Championships 2015

The 2015 FIBA Asia Championship is upon us. Hosted in Changsha, Hunan in China, This year’s “Asiabasket” will run from September 23rd until October 3rd.

This edition of Asiabasket will be the 28th continental basketball championship organized by FIBA Asia and the winner will receive a spot in the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janiero. The second, third and fourth place finishers will move onto the FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament for another shot at participation in the 2016 Olympic Games.

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The 16 teams participating in the Olympic qualifier are China, Chinese-Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Palestine, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore and South Korea. Here are the groups for the first round:

Group A Group B Group C Group D
Iran Philippines Korea Chinese Taipei
Japan Palestine Jordan Lebanon
Malaysia Kuwait Singapore Qatar
India Hong Kong China Kazakhstan

China's Yi Jianlian attacks Bahrain

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, there are only five countries that can call themselves FIBA Asia Champions: China, Iran, Japan, Philippines and South Korea. The tournament has been imprinted with three periods of champions: The Philippines in the 1960s and 1970s, China’s rule from mid-1970s to mid-2000s and Iran’s current streak of three golds in the last four tournaments.

Five Teams to Watch in the 2015 Asia Championships

IRAN: With the 7-2 Hamed Haddadi manning the middle again and Mahdi Kamrani controlling the tempo, Iran looks to extend their mini-dynasty at the 2015 Asia Championships. Though Haddadi didn’t make much of a splash in the NBA, he is the premier center in Asia and anchors a strong Iranian team. Running up to the tournament, Iran performed very well in tune-up games, look for Team Melli in the later rounds.

Hamed Haddadi is a big man FIBA Asia Championships

CHINA: China has more FIBA Asia titles than all the other countries combined and the Dragons always field a team that is a medal threat. This year’s roster boasts four players that are 7-0 or taller, including their star player Yi Jianlian. Nothing is a given though, as China is in the same group as Jordan and South Korea.

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KOREA: South Korea has consistently competed throughout the Championships’ history and is always a team that is a threat to medal. The team includes two half-Koreans on their squad: Greg Stevenson (known as Moon Tae Young) and Greg Sandrin. Stevenson has led the Korean team in scoring in most of their preparation games and he is expected to continue providing scoring for a younger-than-normal Korean national team. It doesn’t get any easier in Group C with China and Jordan also in their group.

JORDAN: has been knocking on the door the last few Championships, placing 3rd in 2009 then defeating heavily-favored Iran for 2nd place in 2011. The team expects to bring back veteran playmaker Sam Daghlas, their interior star Zaid Abbas and the addition of naturaliszd player Alex Legion, so their roster is looking impressive. Look for Jordan to challenge China in Group C.

PHILIPPINES: Philippines are the favorites to come out in Group B, which with Kuwait, Palestine and Hong Kong is the weakest group in the tournament. The basketball-crazed country has the most-experienced team in the tournament (see: old). They weren’t able to get Jordan Clarkson onto their roster, but they do have Andray Blatche who was impressive in the 2014 FIBA with averages of 21.2 points and nearly 14 rebounds a game. Blatche will be anchored by perimeter players Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood and Terrence Romeo.

Zaid Abbas of Jordan posts up against Philippines

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FIBA Asia Championships Schedule: First Round

The first round of group play will be grueling; taking place in three consecutive days of matches from September 23-25. The following dates and time are Eastern Time.

FIBA Asia Championships First Round Schedule
Date Teams Time (ET)
Sept. 23 Kuwait vs. Hong Kong 9:30 p.m.
Sept. 23 Philippines vs. Palestine 11:45 p.m.
Sept. 24 Iran vs. Japan 2:30 a.m.
Sept. 24 Korea vs. Jordan 4:45 a.m.
Sept. 24 Malaysia vs. India 7:30 a.m.
Sept. 24 Singapore vs. China 7:30 a.m.
Sept. 24 Chinese Taipei vs. Lebanon 9:30 a.m.
Sept. 24 Qatar vs. Kazakhstan 9:30 a.m.
Sept. 24 Philippines vs. Hong Kong 9:30 p.m.
Sept. 24 Iran vs. India 11:45 p.m.
Sept. 25 Japan vs. Malaysia 2:30 a.m.
Sept. 25 Chinese Taipei vs. Kazakhstan 4:45 a.m.
Sept. 25 Palestine vs. Kuwait 7:30 a.m.
Sept. 25 Korea vs. China 7:30 a.m.
Sept. 25 Jordan vs. Singapore 9:30 a.m.
Sept. 25 Lebanon vs. Qatar 9:30 a.m.
Sept. 25 Malaysia vs. Iran 9:30 p.m.
Sept. 25 Singapore vs. Korea 11:45 p.m.
Sept. 26 India vs. Japan 2:30 a.m.
Sept. 26 Kuwait vs. Philippines 4:45 a.m.
Sept. 26 Hong Kong vs. Palestine 7:30 a.m.
Sept. 26 China vs. Jordan 7:30 a.m.
Sept. 26 Qatar vs. Chinese Taipei 9:30 a.m.
Sept. 26 Kazakhstan vs. Lebanon 9:30 a.m.
Sept. 27 Rest Day

After this initial group phase, the top three teams in each group will move onto the second group phase. Those slate of games will be played on Sept. 27-29 local time. The quarterfinals will be played on October 1, the semi-finals on October 2, and the third place game and championships are scheduled for Saturday, October 3. For the FIBA Asia Championships, please see the full schedule at FIBA.com.

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