The battle for bragging rights for the best Asian youth team begins as the 2013 FIBA Asia Under-16 Championship gets underway on Wednesday morning at the Azadi Stadium Complex in Tehran, Iran.
Defending champion China and host Iran are pegged as the tournament favorites in the 14-team tournament scheduled from Sept 25 to Oct 4, 2013.
The fourteen teams are scattered among four groups (Group A, B, C and D), and teams from the same group will play each other once in the preliminary round. The top three teams from this group stages will move on to the next round, where a new group (Group E and F) will be formed consisting of six teams.
The teams play three more games against teams initially from the other group (Group A, B, C and D) nd the first four ranked teams from each group (Group E and Group F) will advance to the knockout quarterfinals.
Two-time Asia U16 champion China belongs to Group A along with Bahrain, Hong Kong and Syria. The hosts, meanwhile, are set with Korea, Malaysia and Thailand in Group B. India, Japan and Jordan in Group C and Chinese Taipei, Kazakhstan and the Philippines in Group D.
Expectedly, China is the tallest team in the tournament with average height of 198.5 cm or 6’5”, led by towering centers Jinqiu Hu who stands 208 cm or nearly 6’10”, Xiao Lei Zhang (207 cm or 6’ 9½”) and Zheliang Yuan (206 cm or 6’9”).
China has won the first two editions of the FIBA Asia U16 tournament. They won gold medals in 2009 (Johor Bahru, Malaysia) and 2011 (Nha Trang, Vietnam) both times against the South Korean team. Other medalists include Iran and Japan which settled for the 3rd place in 2009 and 2011, respectively.
Only players born after Jan 1, 1997 are eligible to play in this tournament.
FIBA Asia U16 Championship Day 1 Schedule:
Sept 25, 2013 (Wednesday) – local time
9:00 am - India vs. Jordan Live Score
11:00 am - Chinese Taipei vs. Kazakhstan Live Score
1:00 pm - Korea vs. Thailand Live Score
3:00 pm – China vs. Syria Live Score
5:00 pm – Malaysia vs. Iran Live Score
7:00 pm – Bahrain vs. Hong Kong Live Score
* Live scores from official FIBA Asia site.
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