NONTHABURI (FIBA U18 Asian Championship) - The draw for the FIBA U18 Asian Championship was held on July 6, 2018 at Stadium29, Nonthaburi resulting in four groups primed to showcase high-level basketball in the youth level.
Prior to the draw, all 16 teams were distributed equally to entertain a balanced level of basketball within the group following the Nike FIBA World Ranking for Boys.
Considering that condition, the pots prior to the draw was:
Pot 1: Australia, China, Korea, and Iran
Pot 2: Japan, Chinese-Taipei, New Zealand, and Philippines
Pot 3: Lebanon, India, Kazakhstan, and Bahrain
Pot 4: Syria, Thailand, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates
Host Nation Thailand decided to be grouped with U18 newcomers Australia and New Zealand in Group C along with Bahrain. Defending Champions Iran were drawn into Group A to start off the drawing ceremony. They are joined by Japan in the group which immediately sets up a rematch of 2016’s final matchup. They will be grouped with Kazakhstan and Indonesia.
Group B is highlighted by the inevitable matchup between the China and the Philippines who were the first two teams drawn into the group. Lebanon and United Arab Emirates round up the remaining teams in the group. 2016 Bronze Medalists Korea were placed in Group D along with Chinese-Taipei, India, and Syria.
“The Team Staff have been studying game tapes and we’ve weighted out our chances between the Bahrain, Kazakhstan, and India,” Mr. Kitsana Vachekrilas, Team Manager of the U18 Thailand National Team says. “Out of those teams, we like out chances against Bahrain the most who are in Group C.”
“Even though we will be going up against very strong teams in Australia and New Zealand, we feel like we have a better shot at finishing at 3rd place in the group to advance to the next round. When we get to the next round, if we can beat Bahrain, we would be playing against the second place of Group D which could be Chinese-Taipei. Again, we feel like even though Chinese-Taipei are a high-level team, we still have a chance at playing them well.”
“If everything falls in place and we keep on advancing, we can make it to the Quarter-Finals which would be the furthest a Thailand U18 team has made ever.” Vachekrilas says with hope.
The FIBA U18 Asian Championship will be held in Thailand from 5-11 August, 2018.