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Old 12-03-2017, 02:26 AM   #601
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Because of the withdrawals of South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland, Zone 6 in Southern Africa was just a two-game Mozambique-Zimbabwe affair in Maputo, Mozambique. Surprised that South Africa withdrew for this. In many other cases, I think this was due to underfunding and support for the women's teams or the inability to gather enough players. Anyway, the well-experienced Mozambique won 90-40 over a tall and improving Zimbabwe and will join hosts Mali, Angola, African champs Senegal, Nigeria, and Cameroon in Bamako, Mali this September 15-24. ZIM may or may not get a wildcard to Bamako because of the withdrawals:
http://www.fiba.com/womensafrobasket...e-6-qualifiers
http://www.fiba.com/womensafrobasket...frobasket-2017
http://www.chronicle.co.zw/blessing-...sketball-team/
http://allafrica.com/stories/201703090862.html

Why did South Africa's Proteas women's basketball team withdrew from qualification before making their possible first-ever consecutive African women's basketball appearances earlier this week? Team seemed more than capable with an influx of younger players and working hard to build upon their appearance in Cameroon. Such a shame because it would boost its national sports profile there even further:
http://www.fiba.com/womensafrobasket...frobasket-2017

A young, rising, and ambitious Egyptian women's squad led by star guard Soraia Delghady and her no-look passes aims for more in Bamako starting with Zone 5 qualifiers it's hosting in Cairo next week against Kenya, Burundi, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Somalia as major faves for two tickets to the Malian capital. If the defense can be tightened, they can run away with it even more against the East African opponents:
http://www.fiba.com/womensafrobasket...sket-qualifier

No Ines Nezerwa and Florence Kalume for Burundi as both are in Jacksonville College here in the USA. So Burundi will have to make do without them with its final 13-player roster as 29-year-old Pascasie Bucumi guides her teammates as captain:
http://www.fiba.com/womensafrobasket...men-qualifiers

3x Olympic gold medalist and South Carolina coach Dawn Staley succeeds Geno Auriemma as Team USA women's basketball coach. She certainly knows the culture from her days as a player:
http://www.fiba.com/news/staley-gets...usa-head-coach
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Old 21-03-2017, 11:33 AM   #602
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Got some more developments in the leadup towards the Asian and African regional qualifications.

The East Asian Basketball Championships will be held in Nagano, Japan from June 2-7 in round robin style at the White Ring Arena, where figure skating and short track speed skating was held in the Nagano 1998 Winter Olympics. 6 teams will participate in two groups of three that 5 will emerge and play in Beirut for the Asian Championships. The East Asian groups are:

GROUP A: Japan, South Korea, Macau
GROUP B: China, Hong Kong, Taiwan (Chinese Taipei)

What's interesting here is that Macau, a former Portuguese Chinese outpost now one of China's special administrative areas, is a part of it in the strongest Asian basketball region. Why haven't Mongolia and North Korea expand the field? Yet to see Mongolia sport a team here with interest rapidly growing among the young. North Korea has yet to make an appearance. Macau has got to be the weakest team by far in the field being the least experienced. I'll explore on Macau more later.

Back in Africa, the latest news is that the Democratic Republic of the Congo, an African nation with tremendous potential as a African basketball nation if the organization improves along with the deepening talent trying to get in league with the better basketball nations in the continent, qualify out FIBA Africa Zone 4 for the first African Basketball Championship in a decade with a new chapter coming finishing 1st despite closing with a 80-76 loss to the Central African Republic with 161-144 scoring aggregate. As for the tremendously disappointed Central African Republic, it will mark the first time it will miss African basketball's showcase event since 1999 while hosting in Bangui with hopes of also relaunching its basketball profile in the landlocked nation in recent years. Equatorial Guinea apparently pulled out:
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasketqualif...frobasket-2017

Mozambique also qualifies in Harare's City Sports Centre in what turned out to be just a two-game Group A Zone H qualifier with Botswana, Namibia, and Madagascar all pulling out. Mozambique beats fellow 2015 African Basketball participant Zimbabwe 80-68 and 85-65 in Group H for their 10th straight appearance as the 5th qualifier. Zimbabwe will await the Group B Zone H second place finisher out of Lusaka, Zambia with Angola, South Africa, hosts Zambia, and Seychelles next weekend for the third place winner to head to Brazzaville (Go South Africa!):
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasketqualif...frobasket-2017
http://www.herald.co.zw/zim-lose-to-mozambique/

Ivory Coast's Elephants are one step closer in making it to Brazzaville after trouncing winless Burkina Faso and Benin in Contonou, Benin's Hall des Arts Group C games with the second leg of two games coming up next weekend in Abidjan. Fellow French-speaking West African nation Niger, originally planned to compete, pulled out due to lack of funding
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasketqualif...pick-first-win
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasketqualif...17-final-round
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasketqualif...t-from-group-c

Benin, an all-domestic team featuring with Zerbo, Yacoubou, Savadogo, Quenem, and Gandjeto is in striking distance with the Ivory Coast coming into next weekend with their sole win over winless Burkina Faso at home in a fast-paced game with Benin's sports minister with a great crowd before the scene shifts to Abidjan. Certainly represents the growing investment and support into the national team program:
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasketqualif...r-burkina-faso

Egypt's Pharoahs and Uganda's Silverbacks both secured the two tickets out of FIBA Africa Zone 5 with both being in the finals as Egypt blasts Burundi and fast-rising Uganda taking care of former participant Rwanda in a much closer match in Cairo. Needless to say, Egypt wins it all at home 95-72. Zone 5 saw the international basketball tournament debut of South Sudan, which saw them defeat Kenya twice in group play and classification. Kenya managed to get a win eventually stopping a rebuilding Somalia team:
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasketqualif...ne-5-qualifier

As hosts of the North African Arab Zone 1 first leg, Algeria, a nation that competed at the 2002 FIBA World Basketball Championships in Indianapolis, endured a rough go as hosts in the capital city of Algiers going winless losing to Morocco and faves Tunisia. Algeria could've earned a win had Libya not pulled out. When the stage moves to next door Tunisia in Tunis with strong pro-Tunisian crowds like with the African Basketball Championships, I can't see the Algerians getting one of the two tickets with Tunisia--minus Salah Mejri and Michael Roll with their pro teams like the Mavs in the former--and Morocco ahead of them. Wildcard is all Algeria can hope for like last time:
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasketqualif...frobasket-2017
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Old 22-03-2017, 07:07 AM   #603
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The 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup logo now revealed for all the world to see coming from Shanghai with inspiration from two Chinese cultural legends merged here: the Beijing Opera with the characteristic-symbolizing colo(u)rful face makeup and the Chinese dragon dance battling for the "shining pearl". In this case the Naismith Cup:
http://www.fiba.com/basketballworldc...-logo-unveiled

Qualifying rounds draw is May 7.

Possible that Thailand could pull the rug from under the Filipinos for the Philippines-hosted SEABA Championship and the sole spot from that region to Beirut? To read what 23-year old Patiphan Klahan say it, they're capable but it will take a tremendous effort. Came close in the SEABA Cup 2016 by one point:
http://www.fiba.com/news/klahan-and-...he-philippines
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Old 28-03-2017, 09:53 AM   #604
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Maybe I should've stuck with my original picks for FIBA Africa Zone 2 before Cape Verde managed to participate after all with the second leg coming in from Dakar, Senegal. I knew Senegal is the class of the zone and would advance with its pedigree, but it's Mali at 3-3 that's also joining them and not Cape Verde, who got eliminated. Senegal's Lions' additions of Maleye Ndoye and Xane D'Almeida, as well as tactical adjustments, turned their fortunes around. Even with the final game Senegal and Mali had turned into a thriller:
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasketqualif...after-thriller

We all know that Angola is the class of Southern African basketball. No question about it. So far, they have shown this as they, South Africa, and Zambia compete in Lusaka, Zambia at the NASDEC in Group G. They remain unbeaten as Eduardo Mingas returns to the squad as they apparently run away with it. Hosts Zambia has their back against the wall losing to both Angola and South Africa; their lack of consistent previous experience in African tournament championships since 1989 will surely hurt them. Can't see them beating those two again with their 0-2 record to start things, much less advance to the second place game with Zimbabwe. South Africa's Proteas will be the easiest team to win over for Team Zambia and even that will be a challenge. Contains preview:
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasketqualif...frobasket-2017
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasketqualif...emain-unbeaten

With the qualifying stage changed to Abidjan, the Ivory Coast turned things around culminating with a 62-52 win over an ambitious Benin team to secure the sole qualification spot from Zone 3. Benin and Burkina Faso only had pride to play for now:
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasketqualif...frobasket-2017

Tunisia as expected claim their own ticket to Brazzaville, Congo this past weekend at home in Tunis too for their 10th trip to the African Basketball Championship out of Zone 1. With Omar Abada's offensive help Friday night. So too has Morocco against winless Algeria:
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasketqualif...frobasket-2017
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasketqualif...n-over-algeria

Brief preview of the Zone 4 Group D qualification with the French-speaking Central African nations Cameroon, Chad, and Gabon currently in Yaounde, Cameroon with the hosts the team to beat even with not using an array of NBA and Europe-based players at Lazare Adindogo's with Gabon close to them to dethrone them. Chad, a 2011 African participant, meanwhile has a "herculean" task ahead of them. Second and third-place finishers will get attributed wildcards:
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasketqualif...frobasket-2017

Visit TeamZambia Basketball's Facebook and Twitter pages to see the all the latest developments about the Zambian men's national basketball team, especially at this stage. By the way, the team has an Aussie woman as an assistant coach in Liz Mills (the other is Obed Shamboko). Also see their FIBA Africa profile as they prepare coming at the eve of the Group G qualification. And the hope for some home advantage and cooking to propell them:
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasketqualif...p-g-qualifiers
https://www.facebook.com/ZambiaAfroBasket2017/
https://twitter.com/ZedAfroBasket?re...emain-unbeaten

Let's not forget that with the Indian men's basketball team getting much national attention for what it did in Hunan, China, the women certainly deserve some respect and attention as it too rises in the Asian women's basketball hierarchy. Realistically, they have no shot at conquering the Chinas, South Koreas, Japans, and Taiwans--too much experience ahead of them. Maybe North Korea now that it too jumped to Division I. But they will be no doubt prepared with everything in their power and arsenal as the highly-regarded Paradeem Singh and his women hosts this Asia Cup in Bangalore with the nation investing in better basketball facilities, organizations, and infrastructure:
http://www.fiba.com/news/singh-confi...-asia-cup-2017
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Old 31-03-2017, 10:45 AM   #605
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Angola becomes the 12th nation to qualify for this year's African Basketball Championship in Brazzaville, Congo with such a weak competition, by their standards, facing them. Clinched with a 91-57 win over South Africa:
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasketqualif...frobasket-2017

But with Angola beating the host Zambians soundly in the final game in Lusaka, Zambia 83-45 in a game Team Zambia needed to get second place on a point differential over the Proteas. Actually win over the Angolans, which wasn't going to happen with all that experience and many years of organization. Even when Zambia won a revenge match against South Africa 82-71 for the first win against them after losing to them in the previous game. So it will be South Africa moving on to face its northern neighbo(u)r Zimbabwe for the third and final Zone 6 qualifier thanks to South Africa's -44 points to Zambia's -89. Date TBD:
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasketqualif...on-hopes-alive

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was asked this week about a women's prospects coaching in the NBA. He said it will happen "sooner rather than later". I too believe it will happen. But Africa made some history with Benin's Brigitte Affidehome Tonon becoming the first to coach a national team with ties to her dad Pierre Coffi Tonon, now FBBB's General Secretary. She had a strong performance as a head coach taking charge in the qualifying legs. Aussie Liz Mills is an assistant for Zambia. Hopefully, Tanon can build Benin into a improved force to match their ambition:
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasketqualif...ier-experience

Making the African Basketball field almost complete, Cameroon just ends Chad's dream to directly qualify going undefeated to be the 13th team to qualify to neighbo(u)ring Congo-Brazzaville in Yaounde. Stopping surprising Chad 70-59, ending at 2-2. Gabon greatly disappointed like their soccer counterparts as hosts at the ACN. Actually worse than the Panthers by losing all their games:
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasketqualif...to-final-round

Spanish legend Laia Palau calls time to her EuroLeague and Spanish national team career, which means something as her club ZVVZ USK Prague and the upcoming Eurobasket Women are in the Czech Republic. Interestingly, she's got eyes towards playing for Sydney or Melbourne in the WNBL perhaps next season!
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasketwomen/...al-team-career

Out of the San Juan meetings with the FIBA Americas' national basketball federations, the FIBA Americas U17 men's and women's tournaments will both be played in Argentina in Formosa on June 14-18 and in Buenos Aires on June 7-11, respectively; ABASU will now revert to its original name CONSUBASQUET (Confederacion Sudamericana de Basquetbol), as confirmed by the South American Sub-Zone Executive; there will be 2021 FIBA Americas Championship pre-qualification geographical subzones in the FIBA AmeriCup 2021 Caribbean Pre-Qualifiers, the FIBA AmeriCup 2021 Central American Pre-Qualifiers and the FIBA AmeriCup 2021 South American Pre-Qualifiers with formal hosting proposals and draws conducted later; and finally no 2017 FIBA Americas Pre-Qualification slated for Bolivia in July as that was cancelled, rather the 6th and 7th place teams from both Centrobasket and South American Championships 2016 (Bahamas, Cuba, Chile and Paraguay) will complete the 16-team field for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers set to tip-off in November 2017, leaving regional 8th place finishers could've-been hosts Bolivia and fellow participants Nicaragua out in the cold:
http://www.fiba.com/news/americas-na...-of-the-region

Nations not involved in the participation or eliminated for 2019 China (so far):

Mongolia
Oman
Laos
Cambodia
Palestine
Monaco
San Marino
Bahrain
East Timor
Brunei
Liechtenstein
United Arab Emirates
North Korea
Yemen
Saudi Arabia
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Old 02-04-2017, 02:47 AM   #606
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Yes, it's now official: Now that the Angolans gave South Africa's Proteas a lifeline in their final game win over Zambia with that 37-point gap from the first game with them, South Africa will now face Zimbabwe in Johannesburg April 8-9 for the winner to head to Brazzaville in August. Likely at Wembley Indoor Stadium:
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasket/2017/...2017-qualifier

FIBA's new Basketball Championship League has its first-ever Final Four: AS Monaco, Banvit, Iberostar Tenerfire, and Umana Reyer Venezia. Two Turkish clubs, a French one, and one from Spain. The venue will be at Tenerife right in Spain's Canary Islands starting April 28-30:
http://www.basketballcl.com/16-17/ne...gue-final-four
http://www.basketballcl.com/16-17/ne...ield-confirmed
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Old 06-04-2017, 12:17 PM   #607
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Argentina will host the men's version of the FIBA Americas Championship (or the renamed FIBA AmeriCup) too. But not only that, Argentina will triple share it with Uruguay and Colombia with group games in Medilin (Colombia, Group A), Montevideo (Uruguay, Group C), and Bahia Blanca (Argentina, Group B) with the semifinals and final in Cordoba, Argentina from August 25-September 3. Perhaps with 3 South American nations hosting here may be a reason why FIBA Americas acted to cancel the FIBA Americas Pre-Qualification Tournament slated for Bolivia in July:
http://www.fiba.com/news/argentina-c...-americup-2017

NBA stars Bismack Biyombo and Emmanuel Mundiay certainly are looking forward to deepen the Democratic Republic of the Congo's national team in Brazzaville and help fufill its potential:
http://www.fiba.com/news/biyombo-mud...frobasket-2017

Angola's gonna need a new head coach again with Carlos Dinis having to leave his post again for personal reasons:
http://www.fiba.com/news/angola-laun...frobasket-2017
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:58 PM   #608
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In Malaysia's last Asian campaign, Ivan Yeo was the Simbas' bright spot as he was nearly averaging double doubles with his team team getting blown out in group play by an average of 47 points. Now the young "half full"-seeing humble forward and captain Kuek Tian Yuan will be back with greater responsibilities for a bid at South East Asian qualification out of the Philippines. But the talent gap from Malaysia, one of two SEABA nations to win gold not named the Philippines, will expectedly work against them when dealing with regional superpower Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand in their group--all with naturalized import players like with those in the other group. Yeo's rise coincides with Malaysian basketball's growth at the domestic level, and both are learning:
http://www.fiba.com/asiacup/2017/sea...y-for-malaysia

American-Indonesian Mario Wuysang from CLS Knights Surabaya aims for the golden glory days for Tinmas Basket Indonesia like it was 21 years ago. Indonesia seems to be the closest to topple the hosts like it was back then in a nation that's further developed in its national basketball scene than Malaysia's. Beating The Philippines is no easy task:
http://www.fiba.com/asiacup/2017/sea...o-make-history

Nick Galis doesn't get much attention in the mainstream sports news scene when news broke about his enshrinement to the Naismith Hall of Fame during Final Four weekend despite being from New Jersey and having played at Seton Hall in the NCAA. Those would been nice angles to introduce him to the masses. But it went to the familiar faces, and I can understand people scurrying to find out about him when seeing his name on the list. Here's some articles about him upon his selection to the Hall. A few are of course in Greek:
http://www.app.com/story/sports/coll...fame/99907600/
http://nba.sport24.gr/article/460527...o-nikos-gkalis
http://usa.greekreporter.com/2013/01...-hall-of-fame/
http://www.cnn.gr/news/sports/story/...o-nikos-gkalis
http://usa.greekreporter.com/2013/05...dan-of-greece/
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Old 23-04-2017, 05:39 AM   #609
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Congo-Brazzaville will no longer host the African Basketball Championships this summer, citing logistics in their inability to conduct that responsibility. A little odd considering it hosted the African Games two years ago of which basketball was involved. I presumed Brazzaville will use the 2015 African Games-built venues like the 10,134-seat Palais des Sports and either the Massamba Debat Gymnasium or the Makelekele Gymnasium, both seating 3000, for games. Instead, Angola, a longtime proven and highly-organized basketball nation, will take over following a FIBA Africa executives mid-term Congress meetings in Bamako, Mali with 5 different venues each in 5 western Angolan cities including Luanda's 12,720-seat Kilamba Arena (the rest seat around 2000+). Last hosted a decade ago in which they won. Because of this withdrawal, Congo-Brazzaville (or the Republic of Congo) relinquishes its automatic host spot, won't participate, and an additional wildcard spot will be granted:
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasket/2017/...frobasket-2017

Unfortunate that the Republic of Congo national team can't take part for the third consecutive tournament. Romaric Kondzy and Kris Morlende probrably won't get to finish out their international careers at home. And the majority domestic-based team could use some additional youth to build around. Only a couple players on the team actually professionally in France. Based on their recent performance, we shouldn't have expect them to make an impact as hosts save for making it out of group play; they're also outside the FIBA Africa Rankings top ten.

14th and last qualifier for Africa is South Africa's Proteas, who won their 2-game series at Johannesburg's Wembley Indoor Stadium against Zimbabwe on a 144-135 scoring aggregate. First game South Africa wins 74-67, but Zimbabwe wins 70-68 with Tawanda Chitsende doing everything in his power to get them back to African basketball's biggest stage without the Italy-based Vitalis Chikoko unavailable due to a foot injury. Had Chikoko was fit, I think ZIM could've returned. Both games South Africa had to make comebacks. In the second link Tskani Ngobeni is only one of two South African players with African Basketball experience with Neo Mothiba (didn't count Craig Gilchrist as he's now the coach) with a young squad that will endure how physical and mentally taxing things can get now in Angola:
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasket/2017/...frobasket-2017
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasket/2017/...frobasket-2017

FIBA Africa has been known to award wildcard spots to different nations in the previous four African Championships in an aim to diversify participation across the continent and cause surprises. Apparently, Algeria, Rwanda, Guinea, and Cape Verde submitted for the then-2 wild card spots. FIBA Africa selected Rwanda and for the first time, somewhat surprisingly, Guinea's Syli Nationale for its impressive performance in Zone 2 qualification games in beating Senegal, Mali, and Cape Verde in the first leg in Bamako, Mali. Rwanda, meanwhile, has some experience already there, so they're competitive. With Congo-Brazzaville unfortunately gone, there may be hope for Zimbabwe, Cape Verde, Algeria, Gabon, and Central Africa just yet in a second chance
http://www.fiba.com/news/who-should-...frobasket-2017
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasket/2017/...frobasket-2017

Back in the early 2000s, Kazakhstan from Central Asia was considered a rising Asian basketball power by being competitive starting with bronze at the 2002 Asian Games, culminating with a 4th place finish a decade with a great mix of youth and experience at the 2007 Asian Basketball Championship in Tokushima, Japan, breaking into the top 4 for the first time with a semifinal appearance. Kazakhstan was crowned Asian team of the future and be a mainstay in Asian basketball. Reasonable observation, yes, but one that fueled high expectations. Then things turned downhill from there afterwards. But Enzo Flojo says the time is ripe for a resurgence, even though the task for reclimbing for recapturing that 2007 mojo is tall:
http://www.fiba.com/news/will-kazakh...-magic-of-2007

Looking at AS Monaco's qualities that got them into the FIBA Basketball Champions League Final Four and finishing atop France's Pro A Basketball League for the first time in its history following its rapid rise from the second division in 2015. See, it's more than just soccer in France's Ligue 1:
http://www.basketballcl.com/16-17/ne...-a-closer-look

Jaoan and Japan's supporters are eager about the new era of FIBA Asia basketball competition, starting with the upcoming FIBA Asian Basketball Championship (or FIBA Asia Cup) in Beirut with the Boomers and Tall Blacks now in culminating with Tokyo 2020. And it also starts with a new head coach in charge for Japan in experienced Argentinian Julio Lamas as basketball gets more national attention. Fans now get to see them more in Japan:
http://www.fiba.com/basketballworldc...cup-qualifiers

Marcin Gortat retired to Polska this time for Eurobasket 2017. Maciej Lampe recovering from hip surgery after getting Poland in (but may join the team after all). Meet these candidates with varied skills and games like Gonzaga star Przemyslaw Marcin Karnowski, Damian Kulig, Adam Hrycaniuk, Aleksander Czyz, France-born Aaron Cel, Maciej Bender, and Dominik Olejniczak in being the Polish post man at center:
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasket/2017/...d-do-at-center

FIBA Americas Championship 2017 logo gets unvieled with the iconic Argentina and Uruguay sky blue combining with Colombia's red and yellow flags and uniform colo(u)rs help making up the trophy to signify the triple co-hosting:
http://www.fiba.com/americup/2017/ne...-logo-unveiled

Draw was made for that in Buenos Aires a couple days ago.

GROUP A (Medelin, Colombia): South American TBA, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Mexico
GROUP B (Bahia Blanca, Argentina): Argentina, Canada, Venezuela, US Virgin Islands
GROUP C (Montevideo, Uruguay): Uruguay, USA, Dominican Republic, Panama
http://www.fiba.com/americup/2017/ne...-americup-2017

What's interesting lies in the fact that FIBA Americas didn't officially name the unknown South American qualifier in Group A. If you know your Americas basketball seriously, you can safely assume Brazil will be that. And it still can be...but Brazil's suspended again likely for the same reasons two years ago: Not paying its annual FIBA dues. It knows that Brazil's one of the best teams in that region with heavy experience, but Brazil's national basketball governing body, the CBB, is not making it look good for itself and can hold the international prospects back for several years with a new competition system in effect unless something gets worked out quick. Decision of the 5th South American team FIBA will make at a later date by the FIBA Central Board. A lower-tiered South American team like Chile, Paraguay, and Peru would lack that outside the continent, though it can be valuable for any of them.

Interestingly, Group A has nations that are in close proximity with each other geographically. Plus, Canada needs to win or at least finish second in Group B with the toughest group drawn with direct Olympic dream killer Venezuela, a reloading and younger Argentina saying farewell to its aging golden generation, and easybeat but decent US Virgin Islands. Argentina qualifies automatically into the final semifinal stage as it's the main organizer here.
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Old 23-04-2017, 05:41 AM   #610
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Time to go back in time to Atlanta 1996 Olympics 21 years ago. Brazil was a serious Olympic medal contender that would eventually face the USA in the final event in Atlanta for gold at the Georgia Dome. It had a class of legends with Hortencia Macari, Magic Paula (Maria Paula Silva), Houston Comets star Janeth Arcain, Marta de Souza and Leila Sobral, Cintia Tuiu Silva dos Santos, Maria Angelica Silvinha, and Adriana Santos that were world champions two year earlier down in Australia. Canada meanwhile, the winners of the last year's Americas Championship as hosts in Hamilton, Ontario with the USA already in as hosts, returned after 12 years away. Did have one of the greatest Canadian and best international women's basketball players in Bev Smith, formerly of Oregon and at this time winding down her basketball career. The next year, she became a head coach of the women's national team program. But she wasn't enough. Most of the Canadian players here apparently had CIS ties and were young like Kelly Boucher and Karla Karch from Calgary; Shawna Molchak of Cardston, Alberta; and Dianne Norman of Fredericton, New Brunswick. Many players came from Canada West except for Norman over at Laurentian in Ontario. Team Canada were way over their heads and lost all their group matches, despite hoping to win a game or two in their group. Wasn't until they defeated Zaire, the first Olympic African women's basketball participant (thanks to an expanded field) and since renamed the Democratic Republic of the Congo a year later, that had teen WNBA star Mwadi Mabika for 11th place in a 42-point blowout that got its first win. Italy was the closest for the Canadians in a 59-54 defeat in group play. Played well overall even with the losses. But they learned from it and improved to QF status in Sydney with Stacey Dales, Tammy Sutton-Brown, and Cal Bouchard as many made their Olympic debut there. This was their first Olympic match for both in Atlanta that was shown live here on Brazil's Band/TV Bandeirantes (and surely was on the CBC/Radio Canada in Canada if not cable sports network TSN in both English and French). Hence the Brazilian Portuguese commentary you hear from Marco Antonio Mattos. Many of the women's preliminary matches then (though not all) were held at the Morehouse College Gymnasium like this 69-56 Brazil win:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyViU3z63Ig (First Half)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1dTSP9LVhU (Second Half)
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Old 26-04-2017, 11:33 AM   #611
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Time now to take a detour into the upcoming African Women's Championship in Bamako developments with all the other big news going on that we will get into.

Tunisia's women team automatically qualifies out of Zone 1 for the first time since 5 years ago simply due to Morocco pulling out in what was supposed to be a 2-game series up in Tunisia on April 5-7. Morocco has some young, talented players, but I think either the national basketball bosses feared a blowout or lacked enough funds to send them there Nonetheless, Bamako will serve as a showcase for 23-year old star forward for Morocco's Club Omnisport de Meknes Houda Hamrouni, making her senior national team debut and already making her name across the African continent like with international 3x3 games:
http://www.fiba.com/womensafrobasket...t-of-qualifier

Could the young and talented Egyptian women fufill that promise as a team on the rise in Africa and qualify for the World Championship next year in Spain while breaking the Senegalese stranglehold? With a potential influx of United States-based players honing their games there, it's possible. Young s harpshooter Soraia Yahia Delgahy obviously and certainly has faith in her teammates even realizing a daunting challenge ahead of them in Bamako. Don't forget in the very beginning of this championship's existence Egypt was THE African women's national team:
http://www.fiba.com/womensafrobasket...obasket-trophy

Mali's Aissata Boubacar Maiga, younger sis to WNBA champ, African champ, 2008 Malian Olympian Hamchetou and also plays professionally in Morocco but with FUS Rabat, hopes for banks on home cooking in their hometown to lead the way this September:
http://www.fiba.com/womensafrobasket...ket-2017-crown

Phase One of Senegal's Les Lionnes' 3-phase African title defense with 16 players chosen for a Far East to China for May 1-6 in preparation for Bamako. Will play 2 friendlies against the Chinese of course, one of the teams that handed them all 5 of their Group A losses in Rio De Janeiro last August during the Olympics:
http://www.fiba.com/womensafrobasket...ation-in-china

Ivory Coast (or Cote D'Ivoire) coach Simon Guillou selects the 26 preliminary players to prepare not just the upcoming African Women's Championships but also for Zone 3 qualifiers against Burkina Faso and Benin next month for the only ticket there. Of these 26 players, only 3 of them were on the 2013 African team that finished 7th in Maputo, Mozambique:
http://www.fiba.com/womensafrobasket...017-qualifiers

One nation that clearly has potential for African success is former host Cameroon. They're on the right path and came a long way but still has ways to go before finishing among the top 2 in the Final for a trip to Spain. Unlike many other African basketball national governing federations, Cameroon's gives the women's national program much support in competing as many tournaments as possible:
http://www.fiba.com/womensafrobasket...rmance-in-mali

Fineza Da Silva Eusebio says Angola will be back better than ever after suffering "uncharacteristic" defeats last time in Yaounde, Cameroon:
http://www.fiba.com/womensafrobasket...ngolas-eusebio

So far, 7 nations are in: Tunisia, Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroon, Egypt, Mozambique, Angola, Mali

ICYMI, that triple-hosted Americas Championship coming up in September has 12 teams, each in a different South American nation. And I told you that Cuba, Bahamas, Chile, and Paraguay were initially supposed to be in this to make it 16. I guess to keep the costs down or couldn't find a 4th SA nation with perhaps Chile involved to take that group. Or the fact that Argentina got one of the 4 semifinal spots automatically regardless of what happens as top organizer. So it's reduced to 12, and now Cuba, Bahamas, Chile, and Paraguay won't compete either with Nicaragua and Bolivia. Maybe all of them will head to Division B.

One person who's emtionally happy to be in Bahia Blanca, Argentina for Group B games is Venezuela coach Nestor "Che" Garcia. Because that's his hometown, which will get him extra motivated for the Vinotinto to display a good showing with his family and friends:
http://www.fiba.com/americup/2017/ne...for-che-garcia
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Old 06-05-2017, 07:45 AM   #612
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Already discussed the new FIBA Basketball Champions League Final Four setup. Now it's the Euro League's turn as Istanbul's Sinen Erdem Dome welcomes four teams in two weeks to its large arena at a time when Turkey's undergoing some power-reinforcement and the rise of strongman following a failed coup attempt. Enough about that bit.

Istanbul's Fenerbahce, Turkey's sole hope in this Final Four and will certainly bring out many of its fans to fill up the Sinan Erdem Dome, will face the always big time contender Real Madrid in the first semifinal. Defending champs CSKA Moscow takes on Olympiacos in the other on May 19. Final is May 21. We'll touch on both the EuroLeague and the FIBA Basketball Championship League when we get closer to the Final Four.

Just a seed though before I go in-depth soon. But I would very much like NBA2K18 go even much further on the international realm than what it already has. Like more national teams (women included) and national leagues to further boost its reach. The FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer series should provide strong models for NBA2K.
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:35 AM   #613
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FIBA's just-concluded Mid-Term Congress in Hong Kong officially brought forth how the continental/regional qualifiers towards making the 32 nations that will make up next year's FIBA World Basketball Championships in China across 8 Chinese cities at 8pm Guangzhou time, (10pm AEST?, 7am US/Canada/Mexico CT time, 12 GMT). Structures with groupings and pots in draw principals nations will go into that will be 7+hosts China for Asia/Oceania, 5 from Africa, 7 from the Americas, and 12 from Europe. Draw takes place tomorrow. Mind you, there are nations that have yet to qualify like the naming of the wildcards and regional tournaments' qualifiers worldwide. Also, Brazil's fate is yet TBD due to its suspension:

Europe:
http://www.fiba.com/basketballworldc...ciples-English

Americas:
http://www.fiba.com/basketballworldc...raw-Principles

Asia/Oceania:
http://www.fiba.com/basketballworldc...ciples-English

Africa:
http://www.fiba.com/basketballworldc...ciples-English

In a related story, the official draw at the Canton Tower in Guangzhou, China will have bring some global star power in international basketball stars, representing 4 qualifying continents (but no African reps involved), to help handle the live draw with Scottie Pippen, Drewy, Yi Jianlian, and Andrei Kirilenko tomorrow to help determine the fate of the 80 nations taking part in the Division A qualifying level of the 2019 FIBA World Basketball Championship:
http://www.fiba.com/basketballworldc...019-qualifiers

Nations that failed to qualify/participate (may head into Division B)--updated:
Belize
Jamaica
Cambodia
Papua New Guinea
Haiti
Norway
Namibia
Laos
Madagascar
Tanzania
Kenya
Kuwait
Botswana
UAE
Oman
Ireland
Guyana
Suriname
North Korea
Libya
Ghana
Somalia
Peru
Bolivia
East Timor
Solomon Islands
Zambia
Burundi
Sudan
Niger
Sierra Leone
Mauritania
Gambia
Burkina Faso
Saudi Arabia
Moldova
Liechtenstein
Denmark
Malta
Cyprus
Eritrea
Djibouti
Guinea-Bissau
Comoros
Seychelles
Azerbaijan
Armenia
Mongolia
Tonga
Tuvalu
Vanuatu
Gibraltar
Andorra
Costa Rica
Togo
Central African Republic
San Marino
South Sudan
Palestine
Bahrain
Brunei
Liberia
Swaziland
Lesotho
Monaco
Kiribati
Malawi
French Polynesia/New Caledonia
American Samoa
Chad
Equatorial Guinea
British Virgin Islands
Monteserrat
St. Kitts-Nevis
Anguilla
Trinidad & Tobago
Bermuda
St. Vincent & the Grenadines
St. Lucia
Antigua & Barbua
Grenada
Honduras
Turks & Caicos Islands
Cayman Islands
El Salvador
Guatemala
Cook Islands
Niue
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Old 08-05-2017, 06:28 AM   #614
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Mates, the big World Basketball Championship draw is now out for the inaugural 80 nations in Division A that will take part in the brand new World Basketball Championship format and competition system starting this year:

AFRICA:
Group A: Guinea, South Africa, Cameroon, Tunisia
Group B: Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Mali
Group C: Angola, Egypt, Morocco, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Group D: Ivory Cost, Senegal, Mozambique, African wildcard

AMERICAS:
Group A: Argentina, Panama, Paraguay, Uruguay
Group B: Venezuela, Chile, Colombia, Americas qualifier TBD (hopefully Brazil)
Group C: USA, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico
Group D: Canada, US Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Bahamas

EUROPE:
Group A: Montenegro, Slovenia, Spain, Euro qualifier X2
Group B: Latvia, Turkey, Ukraine, Euro qualifier X1
Group C: Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Euro qualifier X2
Group D: Italy, Croatia, Euro qualifier X1, Romania
Group E: France, Russia, Belgium, Euro qualifier X2
Group F: Finland, Iceland, Czech Republic, Euro qualifier X1
Group G: Germany, Serbia, Georgia, Euro qualifier X2
Group H: Great Britain, Greece, Israel, Euro qualifier X1

ASIA/PACIFIC:
Group A: China, New Zealand, Hong Kong, South Korea
Group B: Australia, Japan, Philippines, Taiwan (Chinese Taipei)
Group C: Lebanon, India, Jordan, Syria
Group D: Kazakhstan, Iraq, Iran, Qatar

It still may be possible, according to Wikipedia, that either Nicaragua or Bolivia could qualify and replace Brazil, assuming if Brazil's current FIBA suspension isn't lifted in time. (It would be a terrible optic if Brazil, with its very strong basketball heritage, does not take part; this is more of a bad mark on the CBB rather than the bad state of Brazilian basketball.) If so, it'll come in a play-in or home and home game. With this in mind, the WC qualifications doesn't impact Cuba, Paraguay, Bahamas, and Chile. Just only the FIBA Americas Basketball Championship (AmeriCup). I do wish more nations were involved worldwide like Ireland, Switzerland, Mongolia, Peru, Norway, Jamaica, Monaco, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Gabon, Malaysia, and Denmark. Safe to presume the Kazaks and India will qualify out of Central and South Asia, respectively. Maybe for 2023 expansion. Staring to think Cape Verde, because of its consistent African tournament experience, will get the African wildcard, though I wouldn't put it past Gabon, Zimbabwe, Algeria, or the Central African Republic if they all apply. Still don't know what exactly will the Division B structure will be worldwide from FIBA. Will speculate.

http://www.fiba.com/basketballworldc...019-qualifiers

The Naismith Cup World Basketball Championship trophy gets a new look first unveiled in Guangzhou to heighten its prestige and tradition:
http://www.fiba.com/basketballworldc...-and-tradition

The Southeast Asian championship starting this coming week in Quezon City, Philippines at the Smart Araneta Coliseum will be a single standings round robin with top finisher, presumably hosts The Philippines, directly goes to Beirut as the sole SEABA rep. I'll definitely get into it.
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Old 13-05-2017, 07:34 AM   #615
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Everything went as expected and reasonably competitive in Quezon City for the first day of competition in the SEABA Championship...except for that major, take-no-prisoners 107-point blowout the hosts Philippines inflicted on the incredibly outclassed Myanmar (Burma) on their first game. Indonesia, the only real threat to the Gilas here, beats young, rising Singapore. Thailand defeats neighbo(u)ring Malaysia by 7 in a scramble as Vietnam makes its first day of comp tomorrow against the said Thais:
http://www.fiba.com/asiacup/2017/sea...nd-philippines

FIBA Africa Zone 3 women's will be a weekend battle tonight between the Ivory Coast and Benin in Abidjan. I think the Cote D'Ivoire's Elephants will win here. Benin won't have many of its France-based players, which will hurt them severely:
http://www.fiba.com/womensafrobasket...et-2017-ticket

Ivory Coast's roster under head coach Simon Guillou:
http://www.fiba.com/womensafrobasket...e-3-qualifiers

Benin's roster with many from the local rivals ASPAC and Energie basketball clubs:
http://www.fiba.com/womensafrobasket...e-3-qualifiers
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Old 14-05-2017, 07:41 AM   #616
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Vietnam makes its start of the SEABA Tournament in Quezon City and gets blasted by Thailand 76-49. Gilpan Filipinas produces another blowout this time on Singapore, though the winning margin wasn't it as huge as it was with Myanmar (a far more competitive 47-point win in comparison), who quite rightly perhaps needed the next day off to recover from that thrashing. And Indonesia beats Malaysia with still only nine men:
http://www.fiba.com/asiacup/2017/sea...mpionship-2017
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Old 15-05-2017, 05:42 AM   #617
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The Ivory Coast's national women basketball team becomes the 10th African women's team headed to Bamako, Mali after convincingly beating fellow French-speaking neighbo(u)r Benin over the two-game weekend in Abidjan in FIBA Africa Zone 3 on a 153-90 scoring aggregate. Edjime René Edwige Djedjemel was a leader for them Aishatou Kondoh Sobabe, with her impressive play, and Benin have to wait for another two years for another crack at making its debut in African women's basketball's biggest stage:
http://www.fiba.com/womensafrobasket...frobasket-2017
http://www.fiba.com/womensafrobasket...017-qualifiers

Egypt wins the FIBA Africa Zone 5 qualification as hosts in Cairo as the 7th team to qualify just like the men did later. Following the withdrawals of Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania, it was supposed to be a 4-team round robin tournament with Egypt, Uganda (made the last African championships in its debut two years ago), Kenya, and Somalia. But the unknown Somalians pulled out at the last minute, and it was forced to be a 3-team group with the young, talented, and dynamic but experienced hosts, starring Reema Osama and Soraia Deghady, wound up playing both Kenya and Uganda twice. Kenya was more competitive to the Egyptians than Ugandans were; both of those teams ended up splitting their games against each other. Both wound up 1-3:
http://www.fiba.com/womensafrobasket...ne-5-qualifier
http://www.fiba.com/womensafrobasket...frobasket-2017

Guinea was supposed to play against Cape Verde for the sole ticket out of FIBA Africa Zone 2. But Cape Verde pulled out of the regional qualifier, likely due to budget issues from the national sports governing body that temporarily affected the men, and Guinea wins by default for its second straight appearance with hopes to build on its 3-4 record in Yaounde, Cameroon like beating Algeria:
http://www.fiba.com/womensafrobasket...nal-qualifiers

Only the Central African Zone 4 and the wildcard is next.

Meanwhile in Quezon City, The Philippines, as expected, and Indonesia are the only two teams remaining unbeaten. Thailand, still at third place, were outlasted by Indonesia in an anticipated match for the best SEABA team not named Philippines 60-59. Thai playmaker Nattakarn Muangboon were forced by the Indonesians to commit a costly turnover in the final sequence of the game. Vietnam gets its first and likely only win in this dominating lowly Myanmar, who are quickly showing they're unquestionably the worst team in Quezon City despite its good start before the Vietnamese got into a groove behind Nguyen Van Hung's 22 points and 15 rebounds and Tran Vu Linh's 18 points. Scored mightily in the paint and outrebounded But Myanmar's Aung Wana wasn't too bad with his own 21 points (including 2 3-pointers). Another lopsided win for the Philippines blasting Malaysia 105-56 in the evening closer. It was too much of a challenge for the Malaysian forces. Philippines now take an off day Monday until going back to work facing the Thais:
http://www.fiba.com/asiacup/2017/sea...mpionship-2017

Jordan Brand signs 23-year old Chinese basketball star Guo Ailun from the CBA's Liaoning Flying Leopards. Was actually at LeBron's Skills Academy. Like to see him make it into the NBA:
http://www.slamonline.com/kicks/repo...eR1wAgVfTG3.97

Very interesting direction how the Yao Ming-led Chinese Basketball Association is determining how China will place its best foot forward come 2019 as hosts by unpreceedentingly setting up two different Chinese national teams instead of A and B teams called Team Red and Team Blue--Guo, Li Gen, and Yi Jianlian are with Blue with Zhou Qi and CBA 2016-2017 MVP Ding Yanyuhang in Red. Will other nations follow suit?
http://www.fiba.com/basketballworldc...sters-revealed

Yes! Kristaps Porzingis finally will rep for the already talent-packed Latvia in Eurobasket 2017 as his debut as its superstar:
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasket/2017/...urobasket-2017

With no citation yet, Wikipedia has for its 2017 FIBA AsiaCup entry that India qualifies for South Asia and Kazakhstan in for Central Asia with neither having played their respective regional tournaments. Says they weren't held with the South Asian one apparently cancelled. The SABA Tournament was supposed to play May 7. Then again, India is head and shoulders above everyone else in South Asia like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Afghanistan, Nepal, and Bhutan in every way in basketball, male and female in terms of development and progress. Uzbekistan could give Kazakhstan a run for its money in Central Asia (got some recent experience since 1995 but yet to qualify for Asia since 2011), to say nothing about Krygyzstan and Turkmenistan but all lack the depth and experience Kazakhstan has. If Central Asia is to proceed, I think it will be a two-game playoff between the Kazaks and Uzbeks.

Orlando Magic's Evan Forunier rejoins Les Bleues in a reconcilling move to make a 10-minute call to Vince Collet as he made himself available for Eurobasket 2017 after disappointingly was left off the OQT and Rio 2016. He's expected to have a greater offensive role on the national team with some of the older French guard like Parker, Pietrus, and Gelabale now gone and Nicholas Batum not coming this summer:
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasket/2017/...ing-for-france
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Old 16-05-2017, 08:01 AM   #618
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Focusing more on the European international basketball front this time with the big continental tournament right around the corner but will head back over to Quezon City and recap Day 4 of the SEABA Championship in it too.

No doubt we are watching France turning the page after last year's Rio 2016 Summer Olympic basketball with a younger and dynamic squad beign formed to kickstart a new era without Tony Parker, Michael Gelabale, and Florian Pietrus leaving a major void. Continuing on what I ended on the last post with Orlando's Evan Fournier, Fournier says very much the same thing, which includes the current crop involving a couple from his school days that he knows like Utah's Rudy Goubert and Oklahoma City/Chicago's Joffrey Lauvergne. Tony's pal Boris Diaw is still there for Les Bleues and willing to help his younger teammates out and organize things. We can also see Adrian Moerman join:
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasket/2017/...ys-are-leaving

There's also Nando De Colo, Antonie Diot, Fabien Causeur. Leo Westermann, Philadelphia's Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, SIG Strasbourg's Frank Ntilikina, and Thomas Heurtel from Turkey's Andoful Efes to turn to. The return of ex-Dallas Maverick Rodrigue Beaubois, a player emerging back earlier this decade with lots of promise before injuries sidelined him since now at Baskonia. Shortage of talent and depth certainly is no issue for Vincent Collet when it comes to playmakers and wing players:
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasket/2017/...ker-no-worries

Joffrey Lauvergne and Tim Luwawu-Cabarrot always have Les Bleues as a high priority:
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasket/2017/...-national-team
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasket/2017/...urobasket-2017

But just breaking: because of the injuries he endured in the just-completed series with Golden St. Utah's Rudy Gobert just announced he's pulling out of Eurobasket 2017 when they start their campaign in Helsinki. Bad news for Collet, who greatly admires Gobert's size, length, and defense:
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasket/2017/...-french-talent

In the recent past, Team GB played very hard against tough opponents but always come up short to advance. For Great Britain to succeed and advance in group play this summer with no doubt again such tough competition facing them in Istanbul's Eurobasket 2017 group, it would serious must utilize the right guard play combos. I mean, a very, very good backcourt in their skills like dictate tempo, score and stay out of foul trouble to thrive with. There's a docket of young players to choose from here:
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasket/2017/...urobasket-2017

Latest strong sign how basketball fever continues to grip Finland: Eurobasket 2017 ticket sales in Helsinki are at 50,000 mark with almost all of Finland's Susijegi's matches sold out:
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasket/2017/...he-50-000-mark

Belgian Lions, also in that same tough group as Team GB,--sometimes I still call them the Black Knights--look towards to qualification star Jean-Marc Mwema, Vincent Kesteloot, Hans Vanwijn, Baylor guard Manu Lecomte, Retin Obasohan, Sam Van Rossom, Matt Lojeski, Axel Hervelle, and Jonathan Tabu as the program looks back on a successful campaign. Lots of choices will be made from the preliminary 24-player mix for coach Eddy Casteels for a nation that's more advanced right now in international basketball than the Dutch. Though they're not quite like the much vaunted Red Devils soccer brethren generation, the Lions are gaining a bigger national profile for Belgian basketball:
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasket/2017/...urobasket-2017
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasket/2017/...ix-for-belgium
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasket/2017/...urobasket-2017
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasket/2017/...ey-for-belgium

Turkey started off the new year by having the TBF hire Besiktas' Ufuk Sarica as its new head coach to guide 12 Dev Adam (12 Giant Men) in succeeding his former national team boss Ergin Atamin as Istanbul looked forward to host its Eurobasket 2017 group games. But the former Turkish international from back in the 1990s was left pondering about who to replace Omer Asik after Asik stricken with a mysterious bacterial illness that will undoubtably result in tactical adjustments. Got some choices with sure Ilyasova, who knows not to take anybody lightly like Iceland in Berlin two years ago and Switzerland, has to be among them regardless.
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasket/2017/...for-eurobasket
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasket/2017/...iba-eurobasket
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasket/2017/...asket-campaign

Tornike Shengelia got his wish to play in Israel's group, partly because of the large Georgians living in Israel. Assuming and hopefully Zaza Pachulia is healthy and back from Golden St. Warriors postseason campaign, Shengelia hopes Georgia strengthens its 4th consecutive Eurobasket appearances to further build its pedigree and take the next step. For a small nation, it's establish itself quite well. So does Zaza too and hopes it'll improve as he goes into the 4th campaign:
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasket/2017/...n-to-celebrate
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasket/2017/...ket-appearance

Arizona Wildcats' Finnish sensation Lauri Markkanen no doubt looks forward to the NBA but also to Susijengi, where he has a great chance in making the team, that will the Finns go crazy just like when Hannu Mottola joined the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks two decades ago:
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasket/2017/...-for-susijengi

Damjan Rudez is available as a veteran for Croatia's Kockasti (the Checkered Ones) that are now back in greater prominence following a great last summer and no he didn't retire:
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasket/2017/...if-called-upon
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Old 16-05-2017, 08:02 AM   #619
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Two years ago Evanthia Maltsi would enjoyed her final international basketball taste in the Greeks' national colo(u)rs. But she got injured and Greece failed to qualify then. Now this year it will be the legend's swansong with the most experienced team in the Czech Republic after winning the Greek Cup and Greek championship with Olympiacos this season. And Maltsi's still very productive. Along with Evanthia Maltsi, Greece's gotta hope for a balance of young and some new on the 16-player squad with Styliani Kaltsidou, Iouliti Lymoura, Aikaterina Sotiriou, majorly talented center Maria Fasoula, Eleanna Christinaki, the free-scoring Anna Stamolamprou, perhaps finally get a major senior level tournament after excelling at the youth level, and Artemis Spanou:
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasketwomen/...he-final-round
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasketwomen/...and-experience

Italy's and its coach Andrea Capobianco got high hopes for the debut of the excitable young gun Cecilia Zanadalsini in their wide and varied cast with the great veteran duo of Laura Macchi and Raffaella Masciadri as mainstays, and newly crowned Italian Champions such as Martina Crippa and Francesca Dotto--although the players from both Gesam Gas Lucca and Beretta Famila Schio will join later this coming week. This Azzurri will play in a series of weekend tuneup tournaments across Europe leading up to Eurobasket 2017 women:
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasketwomen/...nd-varied-cast

No Sandrine Gruda (skipping out) or Isabelle Yacoubou (retired) this time for Les Bleues. But there's still Celine Dumerc, LFB Player of the Year Amel Bouderra, and the electrifying Olivia Epoupa, newly crowned EuroLeague Women winner from Dynamo Helena Ciak, and the classy Endene Miyem, plus some excellent young guns like Marine Johannes, who had a breakthrough year last year with making into Rio 2016, WNBA draftee Lisa Berkani, Marine's Tango Bourges Basket excellent rookie teammate Alexia Chartereau, and the ever-improving Aby Gaye. Just like the men, France women are always a threat to win serious gold:
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasketwomen/...g-young-talent

Back after a decade away, Belgium's Belgian Cats women are back in style as the nation's basketball fans get excited with the WNBA stars the legendary Ann Wauters and Emma Meesseman along with the only other holdover from that 2007 team Marjorie Carpreaux headlining 19-player preliminary roster. Got some firepower in the backcourt and wings like Julie Vanloo. Shame about Wisla Can-Pack ace Hind Ben Abedelkader:
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasketwomen/...-belgium-squad
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasketwomen/...-down-the-days

While the Filipinos were enjoying their day off, Indonesia for the moment took over first place at 4-0 in overwhelming Vietnam 95-52 despite being undermanned again before going idle tomorrow. Had a 9-point lead until busting out in the second half. Thailand gives another royal drubbing to--guess who?--undersized Myanmar 102-35 after falling to Indonesia yesterday. Wutipong Dassomhad 40 points and 11 rebounds with Nakorn Jaisanuk and Naratip Boonserm also scoring in double figures. Once again, Aung Wana came off the bench to be the only Myanmar player to reach double figures with only 10 points. Thailand may get into more serious trouble with a second L when the Philippines come back tomorrow. Real game today was Malaysia and Singapore, coached by former Aussie NBL assisant and the second NZ Breakers head coach Frank Arsego. Malaysia tied but Arsego's Singapore forces rallied fiercely that saw Malaysia missing free throws but couldn't complete the comeback at 45-41. But don't worry Singapore, a certain first 2017 SEABA win will come your way when you face Myanmar the next day:
http://www.fiba.com/asiacup/2017/sea...nue-undefeated

Another lesson along the way in the Opals' rise to be an international force: Back in 1992 in Vigo, Spain the Australian women participated in a Pre-Olympic Tournament with 16 teams--though Senegal eventually pulled out and forfeited all its games likely due to funding issues. Out of that the top two teams made it, and Australia, still aiming for its first Olympic medal in this sport and still not yet sporting the Spandex, endured more heartbreak for its touted young and talented group under coach Rob Cadee. It lost again to Czechoslovakia this time in the quarterfinals 72-69, prompting its elimination in the double elimination format. Here they face Brazil in Group A, a group the two shared with Czechoslovakia, China, Zaire (will make it in Atlanta as the first African participant), Hungary, Poland, and the Dominican Republic. The Opals finished tied for third with Brazil at 5-2 and advanced to the QFs. You can see the physicality from the Aussies at work on Hortencia Macari, Magic Paula, and Co. with their coach Maria Helena Cardoso but fall in the first QF 99-97. Of course, Australia falls short in qualifying for its third straight Olympic appearance as Brazil and Czechoslovakia both did. Italy, who finished third in Vigo over Canada BTW, later joined as a replacement for Yugoslavia due to the IOC's banning of its team sports due to UN sanctions for its role in the Yugoslavian civil war. Looked like Canada and the CIS (Unified Team) warming up afterwards. Taken from Brazil's TV Bandeirantes' coverage of the game (note the eye logo) that annoys with those ad placements like from Golden Cross and Mercadao Do Oleo during the game. Must be a Brazilian thing...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6q_1U4b3xWo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK3ZfRzloeY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cn2sjWppEjc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfBWDiGMHrQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5VO7spdbhg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oppi57WWDw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmgZqS3-juY
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Old 18-05-2017, 05:51 AM   #620
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OK, the 2017 FIBA Asian Women's Championship draw for this July got unveiled today at the Krishna Hall, Bengaluru, India this morning for both Asian divisions now with the Opals' and Tall Ferns' repping the Pacific inclusion for the competition system. I do wish a few more Asian nations are included into Division A instead of having 4-team groups. But the competitive balance gulf was perhaps too wide for that.

DIVISION A
GROUP A: China, New Zealand, North Korea, Chinese Taipei (Taiwan)
GROUP B: Australia, Japan, South Korea, Philippines

DIVISION B
GROUP A: India, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, American Samoa
GROUP B: Lebanon, Kazakhstan, Fiji, Singapore

The Opals, as one of the major international forces that they are for years now, obviously should absolutely have no issues with the very easy group they're drawn in with that depth of talent they have. Look for them to go 3-0 in this. South Korea, even with Park Ji-Su and Kim Dan-Bi, some size, and are rapidly getting better, is still a little young and maybe an international tournament away from a breakthrough after being so close in qualifying for Rio 2016 from France's OQT before losing to internationally-experienced Belarus with the final Olympic spot on the line. Then again, things might be favorable for them. Although the Filipinos LOVE basketball, the women are too undersized and will get a rude lesson being in top-flight international basketball after moving up from Division B two years ago; the men by far have a better chance of making noise in Asia and globally on a more consistent basis. So that leaves defending Asian champs Japan starring WNBA star Roma Tokashiki and dazzling guard Asami Yoshida as the main group threat, if at all, partly based on that. A team that's getting serious come that 2020 target. Got speed and can shoot outside, something the Opals must keep a watch on.

Tall Ferns have it tougher. Not to say they aren't there to round out the numbers. They will definitely play hard and will take some things out of this endavor. Just it will be a challenge to make the top two for advancement. China is the class of that group led by Shao Ting. Would like some more athleticism out of them to truly take the next global level. Taiwan is more on par with New Zealand, though the one advantage NZ has is more size and can get the rebounds off the boards, both types. When the two face other, it will unquestionably determine who gets Group A's second place into the semis. North Korea is the great unknown after promotion from Division B. That's the way it's preferred with them. No distractions. Don't expect much from them at this level.
http://www.fiba.com/womensasiacup/20...oups-confirmed

As for Asia-Pacific Division B, there's an all-new look. It's a shame that Hong Kong, Thailand, and Malaysia are missing from the tournament this year after being in the previous one in Wuhan, China. Those three should be there in India. But Lebanon, Singapore, and Uzbekistan are now back. Lebanon really should be back and firmly in Division A and would be a serious West Asian threat; that national basketball federation's FIBA suspension worked against them as the women's national basketball program was building momentum. Uzbekistan skipped the 2015 edition after being in 2013. Indonesia also isn't present and skips 2017 as well as 2015. Jordan, Vietnam, Macau, Mongolia, Qatar, Kyrgyzistan, and Nepal aren't here either again. Mongolia, Nepal, and Qatar all have yet to send teams in the Asian Championships despite being in the Asian Games. Can't and shouldn't expect Syria due to the civil war. Would like to see many of these nations further build their international basketball pedigrees and developments instead of just not sending teams or withdrawing for various reasons, a subject I want to touch on later here.

In any case, India's women will have strong support in Banguluru and are improving that bounce them back into promotion after an exciting nail-biting loss to The Philippines in the promotion/relegation zone dropped them there. Sri Lanka's small but could earn a win. Yet its national basketball federation expressed interest in registering for the event. Uzbekistan is the only threat. But they don't seem to have much going for them beyond the semifinal round. Group B, my picks are Lebanon and Kazakhstan to emerge out of that group. The latter is strong with size and can hold their own like winning three games out of 5 two years ago--never count them out. We now got the top 2 South Pacific Games 2015 women's basketball winners in Fiji and American Samoa in repping the Pacific Division B teams. Much attention will be made about them, but both are too weak to make an impact. Fiji is the stronger of the two given that they even were in the 2008 OQT and before that played against New Zealand for the automatic Oceanic Olympic spot--and lost. All because the Opals won the 2006 FIBA Women's World Basketball Championship in Brazil. Maybe former LIU-Brooklyn Blackbird Mikaelar Whippy could still be on the team?
http://www.fiba.com/womensasiacup/20...e-div-b-return

Just when Myanmar's woes might end, along comes Singapore and coach Frank Arsego unleashes 16-year old V Lavin Raj for the first time and didn't disappoint. Arsego surely did it so as he knew Myanmar wouldn't effectively respond with its own matchups and left Delvin Goh to the tougher matchups. Vietnam-Malaysia was the first overtime and the Vietnamese nearly sprung an upset for their second win but just fell heartbreakingly short 86-85. The Thais led in the opening quarter only to endure The Philippines flick on the switch towards another blasting for win #4 108-53:
http://www.fiba.com/asiacup/2017/sea...mpionship-2017

Day 6 that just happened many hours ago was a penultimate day as Indonesia, The Philippines, and Thailand all emerge as winners. Indonesia laid it on the poor Myanmar players with 73-point margin 123-50 with naturalized player Jamarr Johnson and IBL MVP Arki Wisnu finally suited up for Indonesia after clearance that had their teammates shorthanded in the beginning. Thailand was neck and neck for much of the game with Singapore but the Thais prevailed. But Thailand was officially out of the 1-2 running after this game and ends their campaign. Though Philippines made short work of Vietnam and stayed even with Indonesia both with 5 wins atop the standings, Vietnam was game. Now to cap Day 7 The Philippines and Indonesia battle it out for the virtual championship tomorrow:
http://www.fiba.com/asiacup/2017/sea...nd-philippines
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Old 19-05-2017, 02:40 AM   #621
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As expected in SEABA in Quezon City, it was projected to be between the Gilas Pilipinas and Indonesia, both undefeated coming into this day, for Southeast Asian men's basketball supremacy--and that sole ticket to Beirut, Lebanon for the Asian Championships for that region. Certainly turned out that way at the final day of competition without a playoff format. And The Philippines wins over an athletic, hungry, and motivated Indonesia 97-64 with another wide margin for their 5th SEABA title out of the previous 6 (last one was won by Indonesia). Coach Chot Reyes's wards did their homework in this one all tournament long on its opponents, limiting Indonesia's outside shooting while also controlling the boards and continuing to punish the smaller Indonesians in the paint. Malaysia and Myanmar both ended their campaign. Myanmar actually produced its best game by staying with the Malaysians and score more points than ever with 71--but it didn't create a stunning win for them. Malaysia was still too talented for them as Coach Goh Cheng Huat's players finished Quezon City on a 3-game winning streak. Starting the game with guns ablazing, Liaw Chee Huei spearheaded the victors with 25 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals, while Aung Wana top-scored for Myanmar with an eye-popping 31 points. Also impressing for Malaysia were Chin Zhih Shin and Heng Yee Tong, who scored 22 and 12 points respectively. Later on as the second match of the final day, Singapore gets its own streak going with two wins at the end, overcoming Vietnam's good start all the way to the fourth quarter in the lead. But the more experienced Singaporeans, who drew 15 points each from Leon Kwek, Larry Liew and Delvin Goh with the last player padding his stats even more with 10 rebounds and 2 rejections. On the other end, Han Minh Trieu was Vietnam's best player with 17 points and 3 three-pointers:
http://www.fiba.com/asiacup/2017/sea...-asia-cup-2017

Just now announced that Zimbabwe, Chad, the Central African Republic, and Cape Verde will compete this weekend in Bamako, Mali at the last chance saloon for the second wildcard FIBA African Basketball Championship spot to Angola left by original hosts Congo-Brazzaville dropping out and thus disqualified. Later turned out that Cape Verde since withdrew. A tournament will make this fairer rather than just choosing. My pick would be Zimbabwe were it not for France-based Vitalis Chikoko's serious foot injury a month ago--he now plays for Élan Béarnais Pau-Orthez. So, based on FIBA rankings, it'll be the Central African Republic:
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasketqualif...frobasket-2017
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasketqualif...frobasket-2017
https://www.newsday.co.zw/2017/05/17...sketball-side/

Also this week FIBA Africa awarded the two original wildcard spots to a couple of French-speaking nations in Guinea (West Africa) and Rwanda (Central Africa):
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasket/2017/...frobasket-2017
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Old 19-05-2017, 09:13 AM   #622
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Gonna take a look at international basketball more with a junior angle this time.

Right now, the NBA currently has no Chinese players now that Yao, Wang, Yi, Sun, and Mengke are well out of the picture. Hopefully the following could help change this. From the northeeastern sports-mad city of Shenyang, China to the American Midwestern heartland at basketball-mad Indiana (specifically at La Porte). Meet Kevin Zhang, son of 1992 Olympic and 1994 World Championship silver medalist Chinese star Wang Fang who since dabbled in coaching and now is the top provincial basketball management official, and read about his interesting and pioneering basketball journey as a beloved national HS champion teammate through Basketball Without Borders. Kevin will definitely get better with time:
http://www.espn.com/mens-college-bas...etball-pioneer

I've mentioned about quite a bit here and on the Toronto thread (and will continue to do so). From ESPN's The Undefeated, check out how an increasingly multicultural and multiethnic Canadian youth population, specifically Toronto, is ditching hockey and producing an elite breeding ground pipeline for American basketball. Becoming young prodigies and attracting attention from many American college coaches in this explosive growth. Has the BioSteel All-Canadian Basketball Game as the backdrop:
https://theundefeated.com/features/c...ep-basketball/

Inside Yao Ming's ambitious vision in making the Chinese Basketball Association one of the elite pro basketball leagues worldwide along with the NBA. But not without some growing pains, struggles, political pushback, and execution. CBA's growing prominence will take some time, especially now since the Chinese Super League in soccer is now stealing the national and global sports headlines and the CBA and Yao may be a little jealous with it right now:
http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/1...ketball-league
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Old 21-05-2017, 04:55 AM   #623
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South Asian men's basketball IS having its regional tournament for the winner gets the sole ticket to Beirut, Lebanon. It's going on right now in Male, Maldives until May 23. India, like the Philippines in the just-completed SEABA in Quezon City, definitely has to be SABA's runaway favo(u)rite as it seeks a historic 5-peat. No doubt its tremendous success, by its standards, in Changsha/Hunan, China helps make it so, earning local team of the year considerations. That, and being seen as a Asian rising force with its rapid national development of basketball. India also wants to provide opportunities for 3 U22 junior players during this that will be crucial in their exposure and development mixed with the vets. Present day Indian basketball icons Vishesh Bhriguvanshi and Amritpal Singh gets paired together with seasoned veterans Akilan Pari, Yadwinder Singh, and Rikin Pethan. Also read that Yadwinder, Bhriguvanshi, and Amritpal showcased their wares at the NBL Combine in Melbourne!

Rounding the field are Sri Lanka, Bangledesh, Nepal, and hosts Maldives, whom India played in the first game before heading into their day off the next day. Because how India is so head and shoulders above everyone else with everything like size in SABA, expect some blowouts. No Pakistan, Bhutan, or Afghanistan, once the darlings of the 2006 Asian Games basketball in Doha, Qatar involved. Afghanistan hasn't played internationally since around 2010 when they won gold in the South Asian Games:
http://www.fiba.com/news/india-aimin...onship-5-peat1

Arizona's Lauri Markkanen, now an NBA Draft prospect teen sensation, definitely has to get to be in Henrik Dettmann's final Eurobasket 2017 roster out of the preliminary 34-player Susijegi (Wolf Pack) when hosting in Helsinki as Finland's most competitive team to date. Never mind the vast majority of these players are making its senior international debut here:
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasket/2017/...ket-2017-squad

The new-look Eurobasket trophy paid a visit to jolly ol' Britain, culminating with time to see the British Basketball Finals at London's O2 Arena this past weekend!
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasket/2017/...british-sights

I can easily see why some African nations didn't get the nod for the wildcard into AfroBasket. Algeria, normally a contestant here and still competitive, went winless in Zone 1 group play behind faves Tunisia and Morocco. So did Gabon. Zambia, South Sudan, Burundi, Benin, and Burkina Faso all haven't won enough and lack ample experience or competitiveness.

Morocco's electrifying international point guard Mustapha Khalfi plans to retire after playing in Angola for the 2017 African Basketball Championships. He may finish behind Morocco's second most capped player after Zakaria El Masbahi, who counts six FIBA AfroBasket appearances dating back to 2003:
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasket/2017/...frobasket-2017

Ivory Coast has 25 players to choose from for its upcoming African campaign in Angola with an internationally-based set from many nations worldwide for former French international Hughes Occansey:
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasket/2017/...7-preparations

Basketball Federation PNG and FIBA Oceania make the public launch of the first-ever 2017 FIBA Melanesia Basketball Cup as one of the three new Oceania sub-zone competitions (along with Polynesian and Micronesian) that will take place September 26-October 1 2017 in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea at the Taurama Aquatic and Indoor Centre with hosts Papua New Guinea, Fiji (FIBA Asia-Pacific Division B participant), Solomon Islands, and New Caledonia:
http://www.fiba.com/news/countdown-t...sia-cup-begins

Don't worry Armando Costa, I firmly believe Angola will be among the 5 teams in China out of Africa. More so this time because Angola's the host:
http://www.fiba.com/basketballworldc...world-cup-2019

Italy-based Esteban Batista, who plays for Umana Reyer Venezia in the Italian Lega A, gets a charge out of Uruguay's upcoming FIBA Americas Championship that it co-hosts in Montevideo--and the national passion it can stir up for the Celeste--and the 2019 FIBA World Basketball Championship campaigns. Particularly when the Americans show up:
http://www.fiba.com/americup/2017/ne...americup-games
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Old 23-05-2017, 06:50 AM   #624
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Now Angola actually won't host the 2017 African Basketball Championship this August after FIBA Africa appointed it because Angola's Ministry of Sports and Youth rejected the proposal on the account Angola's national attentions, priorities, and financial resources lied with the upcoming national elections going on at that period--and had 10 days to respond to FIBA Africa on the matter since it was made aware of this issue. Many of the venues located in western Angola that I mentioned about planned for it (in Lubango, Huambo, Cabinda, and Banguela), with the exception of the Kilamba Arena in the capital city of Luanda, were all built for the 2007 African Championship occassion, the last time Angola hosted. When Angola's FAB, Angola's national basketball federation, was chosen this time when Congo-Brazzaville couldn't host, it was chosen over the Ivory Coast (the 2013 and 1985 host) and South Africa (never hosted). Won't effect its participation of course with its orgainzation and championship/top contender reputation having soundly won Zone 6 in Lusaka, Zambia.

As for Congo-Brazzaville's pull-out, it was deemed officially as "financial issues" attributed to falling global oil prices impacting the nation as to why, which certainly is true. Situation was strong and deepened between FIBA Africa and the Congo Ministry of Sport with the new venues built for the 2015 African Games with the national basketball infrastructure seemingly perfect with the hope the Brazzaville Sports Palace Arena not becoming a white elephant and FIBA Africa's desire to host it organized there:
http://www.angop.ao/angola/en_us/not...6c6ba750b.html
http://www.angop.ao/angola/en_us/not...011cce960.html
http://www.angop.ao/angola/en_us/not...c69551d0f.html
https://translate.googleusercontent....73xGnP42lRhHvQ

Yeah, why not give South Africa a try for the first time? It would have to start the promotion, marketing, media creds, TV rights, and the like right away with its top-level organizational on the continent skills in all that. Those and the right venues to play in across the nation--though Johannesburg's Wembley Indoor Stadium isn't big enough for these events although it's a proven and best-known basketball venue like for BNL-SA games. Basketball nonetheless could get an important national attention boost there that hopefully will impact it in the long run with the game in SA making rapid developments.

And the final African wildcard spot that would've automatically stayed with Congo-Brazzaville if remained host was won by the Central African Republic beating Chad by 3 67-64 in Bamako, Mali during the final game. Just like I predicted. Having beaten both Zimbabwe and Chad. 2015 African qualifier ZIM went winless out of the three teams losing to both French Central African teams but was more competitive against Chad with survival at stake. And The Triggers missed Chikoko much. I do wish Cape Verde was still in this and had not withdraw due to financial reasons. Might have been a threat and could hold its own with all three. May not win though against CAF. Hope those three for the best in Division B for promotion. Central African Republic now moves into not just the 2017 African Basketball Championships in a very tough Group D with Senegal, Mozambique, and the Ivory Coast but also secures a spot into the 16-nation FIBA Division A's African Qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA World Basketball Championship:
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasketqualif...nal-qualifiers
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasketqualif...rican-republic
http://www.fiba.com/afrobasketqualif...019-qualifiers

Meanwhile French star captain Celine Dumerc announces her Les Bleues international retirement with the upcoming Eurobasket Women in Prague with hopes of a dream finish for her and her team after France losing out on a medal last summer in Rio De Janeiro with Dumerc eventually getting injured and 14 years of thrills. Yet she also knows what else could happen to other notable teammates from the past. France will always be a Euro contender. Definitely here in the Czech Republic. But there's others now like Spain:
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasketwomen/...for-les-bleues

Italy's Andrea Capobianco made cuts to make way for incoming Gesam Gas Lucca and Beretta Famila Schio players who had been allowed extra time to rest ahead of training camp as 4 players (Andre Olbis Futo, Martina Kacerik, Marcella Filippi and Debora Carangelo) were all released for the start of the second week of preparation. Bad news for Belgian Cats in its return from a decade away: WNBA draftee and rising star Julie Allemand is added to the injury count with Abdelkader. Belgium does win a weekend series with Slovakia without Ann Wauters and Emma Meeseeman. Olympic bronze medalists Serbia sails past fellow Yugoslav neighbo(u)r and former SR Montenegro both with recently appointed coaches. Spain's top playmaker Leticia Romero, fresh out of Florida St., will follow in the footsteps of the legendary Laia Palau not just for Spain but will also suit up for ZVVZ USK Prague in EuroLeague Women next season after the Czech giants confirmed she had signed for 2017-18. Latvia wins a double on the Ukraine. As did Eurobasket debutants Slovenia on Hungary:
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasketwomen/...mps-show-class

Spain will have the passing of the torch from Laia Palau as she hangs it up to 21-year old fast-rising with a bullet Leticia Romero, also with WNBA's Connecticut, on the national team shining as a point guard and Dynamo Kursk's and national teammate Anna Cruz becoming the team leader and her support for Romero post-Eurobasket 2017:
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasketwomen/...hine-for-spain

Philip Mestdagh stresses caution with ambition on the Belgian Cats upon their Eurobasket return with respect to injuries and foul trouble. Still capable of a nice deep splash out of group play:
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasketwomen/...l-round-return

Speaking of splash, the Ukraine hopes to make one out of this wide net 25-player preliminary roster with a real shot of possibly making it to the 2018 Women's World Championship in Spain featuring the incredibly talented and explosive Alina Iagupova at the center of it:
http://www.fiba.com/eurobasketwomen/...t-the-net-wide

Iceland's got the hunger, drive, camaraderie and team spirit like the now-famed Icelandic soccer counterparts from Euro 2016 to get through a very difficult group. So says Jon Steffansson, who moved back to play in his first Icelandic basketball club KR in Reyjkjavik after playing in some of the biggest basketball leagues in Europe to be closer to his fam and friends. We could see a basketball version of that now that they're back again for the 24-team Eurobasket campaign this year and the Euro FIBA qualifiers later on after the 2015 debut:
http://www.fiba.com/basketballworldc...nd-team-spirit

Been so long since Romania was last in European basketball's biggest national team stage. 30 years to be exact in Greece. A new generation who wasn't born when it happened is ready to happily make its mark like star Vlad Moldoveanu from Cluj-Napoca. Thanks to co-hosting, Romania's back for a while!
http://www.fiba.com/basketballworldc...-the-big-stage

Enzo Flojo's takeaway thoughts on the SEABA written on the eve of the Philippines-Indonesia match up. Some young unicorn talent is making its mark in almost all these nations like Kai Sotto, Delvin Goh, and several Malaysian upstarts. An oldie but goodie in Indonesia's Mario Wuysang. The region surely will get deeper with Vietnam creating a new national basketball culture to grow the game and building itself internationally, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam going to be rivals, but still right now The Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand are still the SEABA studs. What the other nations need are thriving national pro basketball leagues:
http://www.fiba.com/news/most-signif...mpionship-2017
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Old 24-05-2017, 10:09 AM   #625
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India stomps the decidedly weaker and smaller South Asian competition with everything at its arsenal against them--Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka in Male, Maldives by a point differential of +186, the only team out of the five with a plus en route to that unprecedented 5peat. Bangladesh finished second and Nepal third followed by Sri Lanka and the winless hosts Maldives. India's Young Cagers, whose last game was a win now join the list of those to play in the 2017 Asian Basketball Championship (or the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup) in Beirut from out of South Asia and enters among those same nations in FIBA Asia Division A 2019 World Basketball Championship qualification:
http://www.fiba.com/asiacup/2017/new...-asia-cup-2017

Many lessons were learned for inexperienced Myanmar as they went through incredibly outclassed. And will continue to learn them with the SEA Games coming up with their Malaysian head coach Ten Kok Heng, a member of Malaysia's 1989 SEA Games basketball, to guide them and is proud of their efforts. What it also must do is cultivate a thriving national basketball culture:
http://www.spin.ph/sea-games/news/te...related_search
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