JOHOR BAHRU, Malaysia (21st FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Women): The replacement of Syria and Laos with Hong Kong and Uzbekistan in Level II of the competition were the only changes that were seen as the Final 12 were finalized for the 21st FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Women to be played in Johor Bahru (Malaysia) from Sept 29-Oct 6.
Level I, the Elite division of the competition will witness China, Japan and Chinese Taipei the three medalists – in that order – at the 20th FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Women at Surat Thani (Thailand) two years ago match wits with traditionally regular teams Korea, Malaysia and Thailand.
Current hosts Malaysia had beaten India and erstwhile hosts Thailand had overcome Kazakhstan in the play-offs for Level I at the 20th FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Women to remain in Level I.
The top four teams will from Level I will qualify for the semifinal play-offs with the three medalists qualifying to represent FIBA Asia in the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women.
Japan were a quarterfinalists at the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women at Chile, while China finished 9th and Chinese Taipei 11th.
India and Kazakhstan will once again play in the Qualifying division Level II against Singapore, Hong Kong, Uzbekistan and Sri Lanka aiming to become one of the top two teams and earn a play-off game.
Level I: China, Korea, Japan, Ch. Taipei, Malaysia, Thailand.
Level ll: India, Singapore, Kazakhstan, Hong Kong, Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka.