FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2017 Final Preview - Repeat or Redemption?
CHENZHOU (FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2017) - It will be an epic rematch between defending champions China Kashgar and unbeaten Al Riyadi at the FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2017 Final.
CHINA KASHGAR vs AL RIYADI LEBANON
On one hand, we have a team that is looking to repeat as champions on the same floor where they hoisted the 2016 title. On the other, we have a team that have marched undefeated in six games, bent on redeeming themselves after falling short last year. Will it be a title repeat for China Kashgar, or will it be sweet redemption for Al Riyadi Lebanon?
The key for China here will be their local players. Everyone knows star guard and 2016 CBA Finals MVP Darius Adams will be hella tough to stop, but the Lebanese will surely focus on him. This means guys like Makan Kelanbaike, Wang Zirui and Mugedaer Xirelijiang have to step up. Of course, one other guy who will be relied on is foreign player Andray Blatche. We haven't seen much from him in this tournament, but he is surely one player who can impact the game in a significant way. If he unleashes his total skill-set here, he could be the difference-maker.
As for Al Riyadi, this is a culmination of a year's worth of hard work. They certainly want payback from last year, and though they did beat China Kashgar in the group phase, total redemption means they have to bring home the crown. Quincy Douby's matchup with Adams will be crucial. It is next to impossible to totally stop Adams, but if Douby's production can match Adams's, then the door is open for Al Riyadi's other top-level players to take over. This means Ali Haidar, Jean Abd El Nour, Amir Saoud and Wael Arakji have to leave everything out on the floor if they are to complete their sweep of the tournament.