The 7th edition of the FIBA U16 Asian Championship 2023 is set to kick off in Doha from September 17 to 24. Sixteen teams will be battling it out for the title.
The lineup is diverse, featuring defending champions, former titleholders, first-time hopefuls, teams seeking recognition, and even a debutant.
Here’s a glimpse of the teams in contention for the 2023 FIBA U16 Asian Championship:
Australia, China, and Korea
China, with an impressive streak of three straight titles led by stars like Guo Ailun, Zhou Qi, and Hu Jinqiu, remains the all-time leader in FIBA U16 titles. However, they haven’t clinched the title in a decade.
In 2015, Korea broke China’s dominance, securing their first-ever championship with emerging talents like Yang Jae Min and Lee Hyunjung. Australia took the reins in 2018 and hasn’t lost a game since, boasting players like NBA Draft Pick Luke Travers and highly-rated prospect Rocco Zikarsky.
Philippines and Japan
While the Philippines fell short in 2013, losing to China in the final, Japan’s recent loss to Australia in the final, despite MVP Yuta Kawashima’s leadership, stung. Both teams remain strong contenders and aim to seize the title.
New Zealand, Lebanon, and Iran
New Zealand, on their first-ever appearances, reached the Semi-Finals and secured a third-place finish. Lebanon also reached the Semi-Finals recently, marking their best-ever performance. Iran, although it’s been a while, still holds the potential to make a deep run.
The top four teams in this U16 Asian Championship earn tickets to the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup next year in Turkiye. Lebanon secured their debut last year. Will we see another newcomer this year?
India and Qatar
India’s historic wins in 2022 grabbed attention, although they won’t have their core players this time. Hosts Qatar rely on home advantage and experienced players from 2022, including top scorer Mohamed Massamba Ndao.
Bahrain and Kazakhstan
Bahrain and Kazakhstan return with the aim of showcasing their developing talents.
Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia
After a 2022 absence, Malaysia earned a return through the SEABA Qualifiers. Saudi Arabia, absent for over a decade, is back, following the senior national team’s success. Jordan, also missing for ten years, returns with potential stars.
Sri Lanka enters the competition for the first time, adding excitement and anticipation to the FIBA U16 Asian Championship 2023.
Betting on the FIBA U16 Asian Championship: A Look at the Odds
Australia, China, and Korea, the previous champions, are unsurprisingly seen as favorites in the betting market. But the ten-year dry spell for China, Korea’s historic victory in 2015, and Australia’s undefeated run since 2018 all add to the unpredictable nature that gamblers find alluring.
For those willing to back the underdogs, teams like the Philippines and Japan, who have previously gone close but lost, present fascinating options. Sports gamblers looking for value in their wagers may find it appealing that a dark horse, like India or Qatar, has a chance to dethrone the established powerhouses.
Saudi Arabia and Jordan, two ven teams making their long-awaited comebacks, would be worth taking into account from a betting standpoint. Bettors may have exclusive possibilities based on their prior successes and the possible development of fresh talent.
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