FIBA Asia Cup: China, Lebanon drawn in Gr. A; Japan, Iran in Gr. B TOKYO, Japan (4th FIBA Asia Cup): Reigning FIBA Asia Championship winners China were drawn alongside defending champions Lebanon in Group A, while hosts Japan chose to play in Group B as the draw for the 4th FIBA Asia Cup to be played in the Japanese capital from Sept 14-22 was completed at the host city on Sunday. FIBA Asia Secretary General Hagop Khajirian supervised the Draw Ceremony in the presence of President of Japan Basketball Association and former Prime Minister of Japan Mr. Taro Aso and FIBA Asia Second Vice-President Mr. Yushi Samuro with representatives of various participating teams attending. Former twice FIBA Asia champions Iran, Chinese Taipei and Qatar – the winners of the inaugural edition of this competition when it was called FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup – along with the representatives of South Asia Basketball Association, which will be known at the end of the qualifying tournament at New Delhi (India) from July 24-26 are the other teams in Group A. Apart from Lebanon, China, who are already preparing for this event under coach Fan Bin, will have fellow East Asian team Macau and the qualifiers of SEABA – known after the 2012 SEABA Cup in Chiang Mai from July 3-7 – and Central Asia. The top four teams from each group will qualify for the quarterfinal play-offs. “The draw promises some great competition,” said FIBA Asia Secretary General Hagop Khajirian. “There is an excellent facility at the OTA Gymnasium that has come up exclusively to host the event and I am sure the competition on the court will be intense,” he added. “All in all the 4th FIBA Asia Cup promises to hold the key to the future of FIBA Asia basketball itself,” Khajirian said. “I therefore can only look forward to an event of intense competition provided by the participants and impeccable organization provided by the JBA,” he added. Khajirian also thanked the FIBA Asia marketing and TV partners adding that “FIBA Asia looks forward earnestly to their continued support.” System of Competition The 10 teams are pooled into two groups of five teams each for the Preliminary Round. Each team will play all the others in their respective Groups. The top four from each Group will advance to the Quarterfinal Play-offs. The teams finishing fifth in the groups will play off for the 9th place. About 4th FIBA Asia Cup The 4th FIBA Asia Cup (earlier known as FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup) is the qualifying event for the 27th FIBA Asia Championship in 2013, which in turn will be the qualifying event for 2014 FIBA World Cup. The winners of the 4th FIBA Asia Cup will automatically qualify for the 27th FIBA Asia Championship in 2013. The top teams at the 4th FIBA Asia Cup will earn additional berths for their respective FIBA Asia sub zones. FIBA AsiaThe bracket is: Group A: China, Lebanon, Macau, SEABA, CABA Group B: Iran, Taiwan, Qatar, Japan, SABA It appeared that South Korea is not sending any team to Tokyo and its spot was replaced by Macau. As this tournament is the qualifying tourney for the 2013 FIBA Asian Championship, I have no idea why South Korea is absent, unless it has secured the right to host the 2013 event and an automatic berth. It also seemed to me that FIBA Asia gave one of two spots for Southeast Asian teams to South Asia, which is not officially listed as a FIBA Asia subzone yet. The current five subzones are: East Asia, Gulf, Middle Asia, Southeast Asia, West Asia. The seeding process and format of the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship is as follows:
According to the FIBA Asia rules, each zone has two berths, and the host nation China and FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup champions Lebanon were automatically qualified. The other four places are allocated to the zones according to performance in the 2010 FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup. Therefore, with Lebanon, Japan, Qatar and the Philippines finishing in the top four in that tournament, West Asia, East Asia, the Gulf and Southeast Asia were all given one additional qualifying berth per zone.Based on this format, the top four teams at Tokyo would win an additional berth for their subzones and the arrangement for 16 seeds of the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship should be: Champion of the Asia Cup at Tokyo 1 Host nation 1 East Asia 2+2 Gulf 2 Middle Asia 2 Southeast Asia 2+1 West Asia 2+1 I would say that the seeding heavily favored East Asian teams, especially when you consider that if both the host and the Asia Cup champion are East Asian teams.