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''I have no doubt that basketball is truly the number one sport in Mongolia'' says MBA president

ULAANBAATAR (Mongolia) - The First Round of the FIBA Asia Cup 2025 Pre-Qualifiers has been one to remember for Mongolia basketball fans.

"I have no doubt that basketball is truly the number one sport in Mongolia," - Battsengel Gotov

For the first time in a long time, Mongolia were back to competing in a FIBA Asia competition and they were hosting the games. The fans filled in the seats at the beautiful UG Arena and roared along as they rooted for their heroes whether it was Sanchir Tungalag or Bilgunn Battuvshin. They would chant "MVP" as they stars lineup for free-throws and would raise their volume even louder in an attempt to drown out any plays of the opposing teams.

It’s been an impressive experience for Mongolia basketball and one that they take with pride.

"Firstly, we are very grateful to be trusted with hosting FIBA Asia Cup 2025 Pre-Qualifiers Group D games in Mongolia. It is great responsibility to organize international event to the standards required by FIBA," said Mongolia Basketball Association (MBA) president, Mr. Battsengel Gotov.

"I believe that Mongolian fans have demonstrated their passion for this beautiful sport by creating unforgettable atmosphere for all teams playing at UG Arena."

"As a host, I was touched by our fans cheering for the Tahiti team after their game with Mongolia. Indeed, basketball is sport and it is about competition, about winning. However, we respect each other and we are all bound together by our shared passion for this spectacular sport."

With moments like that spread throughout the entire competition from November 10-14, it was clear that Mongolia were ready to be get back into the FIBA Asia competition setting and continue to develop basketball in the country.

"MBA celebrates its 60th anniversary this year," said Mr. Gotov. "The Mongolian basketball community has successfully concluded reconciliation at its General Meeting in April and our utmost goal was to reinstate MBA’s rightful position as FIBA’s member and ultimately increase Mongolia’s basketball presence and visibility at international stage in both genders across all age categories."

"In line with this objectives, it was very important step to bring our national team back to FIBA Asia regional competition by entering FIBA Asia Cup 2025 Pre-Qualifiers."

"Also, I’m extremely pleased that Mongolian girls reached final in U18 Women’s Asian Championship 2022 Division B held in September in India."

"Please don’t forget the success achieved by Mongolian’s FIBA 3x3 basketball teams. Mongolian men’s team won the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup 2017 and the women’s team proudly represented our country at Tokyo recent Olympics."

The performance from the youth women’s team in September or the performance of the senior men’s teams here at home were all very positive signs pointing to the future. Whether it is long term or short term, Mongolia are committed to building and growing basketball here in the country to be recognized region-wide.

"The short term objective is continue to perform and advance from Pre-Qualifiers to Qualifiers, be among the 24 teams competing for 16 slots available for FIBA Asia Cup 2025," added Mr. Gotov.

"The long term objective is establishing youth development network interconnected with professional league and further with the national team. At the same time we shall focus on systematic programs for coaches and referees as well."

All of this activity and planning towards the future from MBA is based on the true belief of how big basketball is and can be in Mongolia.

"I have no doubt that basketball is truly the number one sport in Mongolia," Mr. Gotov confidently said. "FIBA Asia's regional competitions open the possibilities for our fans to follow national team and its players performance."

"It motivates the young generation and indeed will further boost the development of basketball in Mongolia."