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Early Finals rematch highlights six Games to watch at FIBA U18 Asian Championship 2018
NONTHABURI (FIBA U18 Asian Championship 2018) - There’s going to be plenty of exciting basketball going on in the FIBA U18 Asian Championship 2018. Over the course of seven days and 40 games between 16 of the brightest young talents in Asia, the sparks will surely be flying from start to finish. Here are six games that fans should keep their eyes on in particular!
All Game Times listed are GMT +7.
Iran vs Indonesia (5 August, 10:00 AM)
There’s no better way to kick off the tournament than by having the defending champions set the bar in the very first game. After Iran hosted and won the 2016 edition of the FIBA U18 Asian Championship, they will get a chance to display their dominance again in the very first game of the competition. Amirhossein Rezaeifar is the only player than was on the 2016 championship squad and we will see if he can continue his stellar form this time around.
Australia vs Thailand (5 August, 3:30 PM) Host Nation Thailand will be the opponent of Australia’s first ever FIBA U18 Asian Championship Game. The newcomers have been quite dominant so far since their inclusion to the region, winning the FIBA Asia Cup 2017 and the FIBA U16 Asian Championship 2017.
Australia are loaded with youth stars from the U17 World Championship squads in 2016 and 2018, but Thailand will surely not go down easily with the home crowd backing them up.
Lebanon vs China (6 August, 3:30 PM)
Two of the proudest basketball nations in Asia highlights the second day of the competition as they clash. Back in the FIBA U18 Asian Championship, China finished in 4th place, only one spot up ahead of Lebanon who finished at 5th. While they never did play each other that tournament, the two faced each other in the FIBA U16 Asia Championship earlier this year resulting in a China win in the quarterfinals. The team Lebanon is sending to this tournament will have quite a number of players who were on that losing squad and it’s possible that they are looking for an early chance at redemption.
Iran vs Japan (7 August, 12:45 PM)
Speaking of redemption, fans will be treated to a rematch of the FIBA U18 Asian Championship Finals in the last day of the group phase. Only one player from each squad remains from the exciting 2016 Championship game, but the competitive tradition should linger on especially with the talents stacked on team. Two future stars in Chikara Tanaka and Ehsan Dalirzahan are primed to collide in what should be quite a spectacle.
China vs Philippines (7 August, 5:45 PM)
The two nations have had gone back and forth at each other in nearly every level of competition of basketball and they’ll get to extend their rivalry here at the FIBA U18 Asian Championship. In the past, the Philippines have normally given up an edge in height to China, but will now stand tall with twin towers of their own in Kai Sotto and AJ Edu. Those two prized youngsters of the Philippines will be going up against China’s own blue chipper, 6’10” Jiao Boqiao who starred for his team in the FIBA U17 World Championship 2018.
The Championship Game (11 August, 3:45 PM)
After a grueling 39 games being played in the span of a week, the tournament will conclude here in the final game between the two teams for a claim as the best youth team in Asia. No matter who makes it to the final stage — whether it’s the defending champions Iran, 11-time Champions China, powerhouse newcomer Australia, or any of the other talented teams in the field — you can expect the two teams that reach the championship game to play their hearts out.
And that’s something you do not want to miss out on.
The FIBA U18 Asian Championship will be played in Thailand from 5-11 August 2018. The Group Phase will be played at two venues, Stadium29 (Nonthaburi) and Thai-Japanese Stadium (Bangkok), while the Playoffs and the Final Phase will be played only at Stadium29 (Nonthaburi).