MANILA –Australia, Japan, Chinese Taipei, and the winner of next week’s SEABA Men’s Championship were grouped together for the first round of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers starting this November.
In the official draw held in Guangzhou on Sunday night, Australia, Japan, and Chinese Taipei make up Group B of the tournament together with the SEABA champion.
The ball that represented the regional tournament winner in the draw bore the name “Philippines” upon assumption that Gilas, which will host the said tourney, will continue its dominance in Southeast Asia.
Should Gilas indeed win the SEABA title, Group B will potentially be the “group of death” in the Asia-Pacific zone with Japan and Taiwan also making vast improvements in their basketball programs recently.
Meanwhile, China, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and South Korea make up Group A of the first round.
Middle East nations Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan comprise Group C alongside India, while three more Arabian countries, Iran, Qatar, and Iraq are in Group D with Kazakhstan.
The top three teams from each group after the double round robin, home and away first round will go to the second round, where they will undergo another double round robin, home and away series.
The top three teams from each second round group and the better team among the fourth placers will barge to the FIBA World Cup. Should China, which will host the global tourney in 2019, still make past the WCQ, the other fourth-placed team takes its spot.