DOHA: The 23rd FIBA Asia U18 Championship kicks off today at the Al Gharafa stadium here with China taking on Malaysia in the first match from 9am. Later, Qatar face India in a match from 5pm.
The draws and schedule of games for the preliminary rounds of the event were announced last week.
Hosts Qatar have opted to play alongside India, Malaysia and two-time reigning gold medallists China in Group A for the preliminary round of the competition.
Korea, who lost to China in the gold medal game at the 22nd FIBA Asia U18 Championship in Ulan Bator (Mongolia), are in Group B along with South East Asia champions Philippines and Jordan.
Group B features only three teams, all of which will move to the second round. Their
performance in the preliminary rounds will decide on the number of wins they carry to the next round. These three teams will be joined by the top three teams of Group A and Group E in the second round.
The bottom half of the draw will feature the top three teams of Group C and Group D matching their skills against the Group F teams in the second round.
Group C features 22nd FIBA Asia U18 Championship bronze medallists Iran alongside Central Asia’s Kazakhstan and the two Gulf teams Kuwait and Bahrain.
Competition in Group D will feature the East Asian trio Japan, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong and West Asia’s Iraq.
The top four teams from each second round group will advance to the quarterfinal playoffs.
Six games of the 23rd FIBA Asia U18 Championship will be played at the Al Gharafa Stadium here.
The 23rd FIBA Asia U18 Championship is the qualifying event for the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship the venue for which will be decided soon.