ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia (22nd FIBA Asia U18 Championship): First things first. The civilization that emerged from Mongolia is the mother of many cultures of the world. Not now and not in the recent past, but since the time hunger and thirst has been known to mankind. Therefore associating the word ‘future’ to Mongolia is only apt considering the erstwhile capital of one of the world’s earliest empires will host the 22nd FIBA Asia U18 Championship that starts on Friday.
Nine-time gold medalists China, looking for their second successive title, might look the overwhelming favorites on paper and might even justify such a billing eventually, but their quest will surely not be easy.
Teams that finish with medals in this event will earn the right to represent FIBA Asia in the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship to be played in the Czech Republic, but that again might become a matter of importance only when the final stages of the play-offs beckon.
Till then of course is the opportunity to witness, analyze and assess the future of FIBA Asia basketball. For surely it is these youngsters – all of whom are born on or after Jan 1, 1994 – who will dominate and decide the sport in FIBA Asia in years to come.
Never before has the anticipation of the talent on show at a FIBA Asia U18 Championship been this high – not even when Yao Ming took part in the FIBA Asia U18 Championship at the Calcutta (India) edition in 1998 when he cut his teeth at the international stage.
There is already more than a general idea about the youngsters who will take to the court at the Buyant-Ukhaa Arena (pic above), each of them having already given enough evidence as talented young players who hold enormous potential.
For sure, the talent that is expected to show itself up at Ulaanbaatar holds the promise to send the bitterness of China’s defeats at the 2012 London Olympics to distant memory!
In short, the Mongolia holds the key to the future for things to come in Asia, like it did a few hundred years ago for the things more encompassing. For now, let’s look at the future of Asian basketball!
Group A Preview
Group B Preview
Group C Preview
Group D Preview