24 - 29
September 2019
16 Wael Arakji (RIY)
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Loaded cast of stars from Wael Arakji to Daiki Tanaka are hyped up at FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2019

BANGKOK (Thailand) – This FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2019 has been one of the most intensely contested ones yet. Check out what the stars had to say about the competition!

Samad Nikkah Bahrami has won 4 Asia Champions Cup title already, but he's just as pumped up to play for another one. 

"Every time it’s different and it’s always fun. Hopefully we can get good result, too and it’ll be even more fun."

“That [championship] was a very special for [Petrochimi] because in Iran, no one expected them to win. They did a great job. I don’t think this tournament is like the last one because I see the teams coming more ready. I like this new shape of the competition,” added Samad Nikkah Bahrami.

Another former champion, Wael Arakji, expressed his excitement to play at the FIBA Asia Champions Cup once again. He's been a star in the Group Phase so far and is looking forward to a good run at the Semi-finals.

"After missing last year’s edition, I’m very excited to come back. Last time I played, we were lucky enough to win it. Last year wasn’t the best for us, so we’re here to fight and win the championship again."

Muharraq's Mike Harris has been relishing his time in the tournament but is enjoying the chance to play against a fellow former teammate.

“It’s exciting, I’ve been talking and messaging [with Hamed Haddadi], talking trash back and forth to each other. That’s one of my closest teammates I’ve played with. We know each other, we’ve got a good history with and against each other and we’ve been able to win a championship together," said Harris..

"It’s exciting and I know he’s just as competitive as I am, we want to win equally as bad."

Last season, Daiki Tanaka and Alvark Tokyo fell just short of winning it all. This year he is back and motived to come back stronger.

"I look forward to the challenge. We were runners up last year so we were thinking of a championship this time."

Fellow teammate and All-Star Five member of FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2018 is also looking forward to the competition this year, especially against some specific players.

“I’m looking forward to play against Bahrami. We played together in China a few years ago. I played against Sim Bhullar in college. I’m just excited to see if I can go against some former teammates and former opponents,” said Alvark's Alex Kirk.

"For sure, I just want to go against Samad Bahrami, first of all!"
Kirk will be facing Bahrami in the Semi-finals when Alvark Tokyo and Naft Abadan clash for a ticket to the championship game.
Arsalan Kazemi experienced something special last year with Petrochimi and he hopes that it can be the same with Naft Abadan this year.
"Well, it feels great. Last year was really special for us and hopefully this year is going to be another special year. Hopefully we can repeat the championship and take it back to our country."