Blatche called up to lead Champions Cup title defense of China Kashgar
XINJIANG (FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2017) - China Kashgar are not pulling their punches, calling up Andray Blatche as they embark on their quest to defend their FIBA Asia Champions Cup crown.
China Kashgar marched to the country's fourth FIBA Asia Champions Cup title last year, sweeping all 7 of their assignments en route to the top podium position. The team have chosen to bring back ten holdovers from that squad after they released their preliminary 13-man list.
|China Kashgar 13-man national pool for FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2017|
|Abudurexiti Abudushalamu||Darius Adams||Andray Blatche||He Jingjia|
|Li Gen||Makan Kelanbaike||Sidikejiang Kamiran||Sun Mingyang|
|Sun Tonglin||Tang Caiyu||Wang Zirui||Xirelijiang Mugedaer|
The standout, of course, is former NBA player and naturalized Filipino Andray Blatche. The 2.10m big man averaged nearly 20 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists per game last year, carrying the team on his broad shoulders. More will probably be asked of him this time around, however, as frontline partner Zhou Qi, who is currently in the United States with the Houston Rockets, was left off the pool.
Returning with Blatche is American guard Darius Adams, who was the team's leading scorer in 2016 with 23.1 points per contest. National team shooting guard Li Gen is also back, fresh from helping China finish in the top five of the FIBA Asia Cup 2017.
China Kashgar were drawn into Group B together with Al Ahli of UAE, ONGC of India, Al Riyadi of Lebanon and the Dacin Tigers of Chinese Taipei. In Group A are club teams from Thailand, Kazakhstan, Iran, Palestine and Japan. The top four teams in each group will move on to the knockout Quarter-Finals, where the victors will advance to the Semi-Finals. The winners in the Semi-Finals will dispute the FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2017 crown in the Final.