Qatar is gearing up to host the 21st FIBA Asia Champions Cup basketball tournament which will see top ten clubs from Asia competing in the May 22-30 championship at the Al Gharafa Stadium.
Rashid Al Abdulla, Tournament Manager of the 21st FIBA Asia Champions Cup, said the tournament will be exciting that basketball fans have to watch since most of the participating teams including local out fit Al Rayyan are strong and have been preparing so much for this big sporting event.
“It is very difficult to say which team can reach to the finals since each of them are coming out strong and competitive,” Rashid said.
He, however, noted defending champion Mahram of Iran is a heavy favourite, but, Duhok team of Iraq should not be counted out since they have a strong and tall line-up. Other teams which will compete in the tournament are Smart Gilas of the Philippines, Al Rayyan of Qatar, Astana Tigers of Kazakhstan, Al Riyadi of Lebanon, Asu of Jordan, Al Jalaa of Syria, Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia and Al Nasr of UEA.
As host, Al Rayyan team have not been only conditioning its players with tune up games recently in Turkey but beefed up its forces with the signing up of two highly reliable stand outs from the US - point guard Greg Wonder and seven-footer center Michael Fey.
Rashid said the Philippines’ Smart Gilas also has a good chance to make it to the final considering their excellent performance in many friendship tournaments in Doha and Dubai.
“We saw them how they executed well when they played with us,” he said.
There will be two groups, A and B, that will play against each other, in the elimination rounds.
Ticket entrance during the games is only QR 10 and QBF have been relying a horde of hundreds of die-hard Filipino fans to fill the rafters of the 3,500-seater Al Gharafa Stadium basketball court.
As an added treat, QBF will also treat spectators with a friendship match between an all-star Qatar women’s national basketball team against the Philippine women’s national team.
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