TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Bahrain have finalised their roster for the FIBA Asia Cup 2022, the continent’s premier basketball tournament, which gets underway on Tuesday in Indonesia. The Bahrain Basketball Association (BBA) announced yesterday a 12-player line-up that will be taking on the best Asian national teams for glory and bragging rights. Bahrain’s squad, coached by Lithuanian tactician Mindaugas Lukosius, features two new players from the team that competed earlier this month in their final two qualifiers for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023—both games which the Bahrainis won away against Syria and Kazakhstan.
The roster includes Ahmed Hassan Alderazi, Maitham Jameel, Ahmed Bin Danea, Ali Hussain, Mustafa Hussain, Ali Shukrallah, Mohammed Ameer, Ali Jaber, Nader Shaker, naturalized big man Wayne Chism, Hussain Shaker and Ahmed Najaf. Court general Hussain Shaker and Najaf are the two new callups who did not participate in the World Cup qualifiers. They are replacing Nader Ali and Subah Hussain. The nationals are scheduled to leave for Jakarta today.
The Kingdom’s delegation is headed by BBA national teams committee member and team manager Nooh Najaf. Bahrain are in Group B for the FIBA Asia Cup’s preliminary round along with continental powerhouses China, South Korea and Chinese-Taipei. There are 16 countries in all participating in this year’s competition, which was postponed from its original slot last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The other groups in the preliminary round feature Saudi Arabia, Jordan, defending champions Australia and hosts Indonesia in Group A; Iran, Japan, Kazakhstsan and Syria in Group C; and India, Lebanon, the Philippines and New Zealand in Group D.
This year’s event marks the 30th edition of the continent’s leading basketball tournament. Bahrain begin their campaign on Tuesday against Chinese-Taipei. They then face off with China on Thursday, before taking on South Korea on Saturday next week.
After a single round-robin, the top team from each of the four groups advance directly to the quarter-finals, while the second and third-ranked squads move on to the play-off round, where they will play a single game for a berth in the last eight. Bahrain have appeared in the Cup, originally known as the Asian Basketball Championship, eight times in the past. Their last participation was in 2013 when they finished 12th overall.