#China2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers Draw on May 7!



The Draw for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers will be on May 7 this weekend. That's where we'll all find out which teams will be grouped together in the first phase of qualifiers, which will have three (3) windows: November 2017, February 2018, and June 2018. 

The groupings will be based principally on geography, which essentially means the sixteen (16) qualified Asian teams will be divided into the West teams (Kazakhstan, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, India, Qatar) and East teams (China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand). Because Gilas is an East team, we will NOT be grouped with any West team for the first phase. This makes sense, since it'll be less costly to fly to fellow East Asia countries or even down under compared to flying to the Middle East. 

Once we find out what our group is and which teams we'll play, coach Chot Reyes and his staff will be able to plan much better. This is, of course, assuming we survive the 2017 SEABA Championship, which is still not a sure thing no matter what anybody says. 

If you ask me, the IDEAL grouping for us in terms of depth and matchups is to be in the same group as New Zealand, Japan, and Hong Kong. The worst case scenario will be Gilas in the same group as Australia, Korea, and Taiwan. It is IMPOSSIBLE for us to be in the same first phase group as China. 

Watch the video clips below to get a better understanding of the whole process and to get hyped about the Draw!!!









#LabanPilipinas #Puso


FOR MORE FIBA ASIA NEWS, CHECK OUT THIS LINK

FOLLOW THE AUTHOR ON TWITTER: @hoopnut 


LIKE OUR FAN PAGE ON FACEBOOK, TOO! 



#PBA2017 All-Star Week Roundup

Images from PBA.ph.

This season saw a unique set-up to the annual PBA All-Star festivities, what with the league opting for a week-long series of events highlighted by not one, not two, but three All-Star Games featuring different iterations of Gilas Pilipinas against All-Stars hailing from the country's three main island groups: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. When I first heard of this idea, I thought it was brilliant for two main reasons. One, it would be a great way for the league to emphasize their support for the national team, and, two, it would bring the PBA stars to not just one, but a total of three provinces. It's a small step, but I hope this move by the league indicates a progressively stronger stake in the national team and a gradual change in their approach to more constantly bringing the games to the fans outside of Mega Manila. 

Game Capsules: 

GILAS PILIPINAS over MINDANAO ALL-STARS, 114-114
Box Scores. 

Kicking off this year's festivities, the national team settled for a 114-114 draw against the Mindanao Selection Wednesday at the Xavier University Gym in Cagayan De Oro City.

Star's Mark Barroca hit a booming triple with 49 seconds to go to tie things up for Mindanao. Both teams failed to connect from that point on as an All-Star game involving Gilas Pilipinas ended in a draw for the second time in the last four years.

TNT's Troy Rosario led Mindanao with a game-high 28 points off the bench, and he shared MVP honors with Phoenix rookie Matthew Wright of Gilas. PJ Simon added 14 points, while Barroca was good for 13.

Wright also came off the pine and led the national team with 22 points. Terrence Romeo dazzled his way to 18 and 8 assists, while Fajardo (16 points and 15 rebounds) and RR Pogoy (14 points and 13 rebounds) each submitted a double-double. (ABS-CBN.com)

LINES OF THE GAME:
Matthew Wright (PHI) - 22pts, 3rebs, 4asts, 4stls, 4 triples.
Troy Rosario (MIN) - 28pts, 4rebs, 1ast, 1blk.

HIGHLIGHTS:



GILAS PILIPINAS over LUZON ALL-STARS, 122-111
Box Scores. 

Showing incredible heart, Gilas Pilipinas went on a 17-0 closing run, beating the Luzon All-Stars, 122-111, Friday at the Quezon Convention Center.

Jonathan Grey came off the bench to lead Gilas in scoring with 19 points, while MVP Matthew Wright added 15 points and seven assists. Mike Tolomia (15 points), Cruz (13 points), Rosario (12 points), and Almazan (10 points) all finished in double-figures.

Leading by 17 points in the third period, Luzon absolutely collapse in the final 12 minutes, losing the fourth quarter by 20 points, 17-37.

Japeth Aguilar led the team coached by San Miguel's Leo Austria with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Calvin Abueva was good for 16. Stanley Pringle scored 15 points, while the Beermen duo of Alex Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter added 12 apiece. (ABS-CBN.com)

LINES OF THE GAME:
LA Revilla (PHI) - 9pts, 11rebs, 6asts, 1 triple.
Japeth Aguilar (LUZ) - 18pts, 10rebs, 1ast, 2blks.

HIGHLIGHTS:



GILAS PILIPINAS over VISAYAS ALL-STARS, 125-112
Box Scores. 

Calvin Abueva scored 26 points and Terrence Romeo added 25 to lead Gilas Pilipinas to a 125-112 win over Team Visayas in the third and final leg of the PBA all-star series at Hoops Dome.

Fielding its entire lineup that will play for the Southeast Asian Basketball Championship minus Andray Blatche, Gilas rallied behind Romeo in the second quarter to come back from 15 points down and used some stingy defense in the fourth to upend the All-Stars.

June Mar Fajardo added 18 points and 13 boards for Gilas, while Troy Rosario and RR Pogoy scored 14 and 10 points respectively. Five players scored in double-figures for the Visayas All-Stars led by LA Tenorio, James Yap, and Jeff Chan, who tallied 19, 18, and 17 points respectively. (ABS-CBN.com)

LINES OF THE GAME:
Calvin Abueva (PHI) - 26pts, 7rebs, 1ast, 2stls, 2 triples.
Chris Ross (VIS) - 13pts, 7rebs, 5asts, 3stls, 1blk.

HIGHLIGHTS:



FOR MORE PHILIPPINE BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION ACTION, CHECK OUT THIS LINK

FOLLOW THE AUTHOR ON TWITTER: @hoopnut 

LIKE OUR FAN PAGE ON FACEBOOK, TOO! 


My Shoo-ins for Gilas at SEABA 2017

Image from SmartGilasBasketball.com.

This post also appears on PBA.ph.


After tonight's 2017 PBA All-Star Game in Lucena City, national team head coach Chot Reyes is set to name the final roster for the Gilas Pilipinas squad that will compete at the SEABA Championship 2017 this coming May. Many have speculated about who have good chances of making it to the squad, and, not surprisingly, one man's final twelve is quite different from another's. It's a testament to the depth of the current Gilas pool and the amount of sheer talent we have in the PBA. 

In this post, I will name five players whom I believe are shoo-ins to make it to the final SEABA line-up. This is not based on any conversations or exchanges I have had with members of the Gilas braintrust. Instead, these are all my personal picks based on my extensive coverage of the national team and Asian competitions these past handful of years. 

Let's get down to it. 

Andray Blatche (Xinjiang Flying Tigers - CBA) 
- Per Games: 22.5 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.5 blocks, 2.3 steals, 1.5 triples.
- Those are amazing numbers, eh? To be honest, Blatche has the stuff to still play in the NBA, but he will never really get as much attention, production, and playing time there compared to what he's getting in China, where he is fresh from winning Xinjiang's first CBA title. At 6'11 and given his rare skill-set, Blatche has no peer in the ASEAN region, and as long as he is fully healthy and motivated, he should be an unstoppable force of nature at the SEABA tournament.


Image from OSports.cn.

June Mar Fajardo (Sam Miguel Beermen)
- Per Games: 18.0 points, 13.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 2.0 blocks, 62.4 FG%.
- Fajardo has long been the PBA's most dominant local player, earning three straight season MVPs, but he has barely made a ripple in the international game despite consistently being on the roster since 2013. Given the level and size of his competition at SEABA, the Kraken should post significantly better numbers, and this should be great momentum for him as he is also a sure bet to be with Gilas in the FIBA Asia Cup and Qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Don't be shocked if June Mar goes on a tear in the coming SEABA joust.


Image from FOX Sports Asia.

Calvin Abueva (Alaska Aces)
- Per Games: 15.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.1 blocks. 
- Abueva was hurt when he was cut from the 2016 Gilas squad that competed int he FIBA OQT, but he should be among the cornerstones of the national team this year. He is a little undersized at the 3 spot, but that shouldn't be much of a factor at the SEABA level. What he lacks in consistent perimeter shooting, he makes up for in motor and hustle. He will also probably be Gilas's top perimeter defender when it comes to containing other teams' best wingmen like Chitchai Ananti (THA), Arki Wisnu (INA), Leon Kwek (SIN), and Moses Morgan (THA). 


Image from Sports5/Pranz Kaeno Billones.

Terrence Romeo (GlobalPort Batang Pier)
- Per Games: 25.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.2 steals, 3.8 triples.
- Romeo has steadily improved his production as each PBA season has passed, and many are already convinced he will inherit the mantle of being the country's (if not the continent's) best point guard from Jayson Castro anytime soon. Romeo is arguably the best one-on-one payer in the country, and it will be a delight to see him put his ASEAN defenders on skates in a couple of weeks. Hit outside shooting and ability to break defenses down will be key for a team whose offense is predicated on dribble penetration and hitting the three. 


Image from FIBA.

Jayson Castro (TNT KaTropa)
- Per Games: 16.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.0 steal, 1.3 triples. 
- Castro will turn 31 in June, and though he's not exactly a fossil yet, the toll of being TNT's #1 player and Gilas's #1 backcourt weapon has been showing. His efficiency this year in the PBA is at its lowest compared to the past two seasons, and it's clear he has been consciously deferring a lot more to his teammates. The impending acquisition of spitfire guard RR Garcia is also a sign that Castro is on the downturn of his productive career, but, heck, this should not prevent The Blur from having a go at it in SEABA. There may be a few ASEAN guards out there who can claim to be as quick as Castro, but none of them have his craftiness, experience, and ability to finish strong around the basket. 


Image from FIBA.


Here are a few other names that, in my opinion and barring injury, are 99.9% certain to make it to the Gilas roster based on their experience and production this season: Japeth Aguilar (Ginebra), Troy Rosario (TNT), Matthew Wright (Phoenix). 

Who else do you think should  be on Gilas for SEABA 2017?


FOR MORE GILAS NEWS, CHECK OUT THIS LINK

FOLLOW THE AUTHOR ON TWITTER: @hoopnut 

LIKE OUR FAN PAGE ON FACEBOOK, TOO! 


#PBA2017 Commish Cup Roundup: April 23, 2017

Images from the PBA.

Game Capsules:


GLOBALPORT BATANG PIER over MAHINDRA FLOODBUSTER, 105-86
Box Scores. 

With Terrence Romeo out of commission, Globalport turned to its other star guard in Stanley Pringle to dominate the Mahindra Floodbuster, 105-86, in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.

As Romeo continues to battle various illnesses, Pringle stepped right into the alpha role to power the Batang Pier to their second win in the mid-season tournament. Pringle fired a game-high 24 points, 17 in the first half, on top three rebounds and five assists to take over the Batang Pier. Import Malcolm White added a double-double of 16 points and 17 rebounds, while rookie Von Pessumal came off the bench to add another 14 markers.

Mahindra, losers of its last three games, got 23 points from Keith Wright and 18 from Reden Celda. The loss kept the Floodbuster at the bottom half of the standings with a woeful 1-7 mark. (ABS-CBN.com)

LINES OF THE GAME:
Malcolm White (GLO) - 16pts, 17rebs, 2asts, 1stl.
Keith Wright (MAH) - 23pts, 9rebs, 2asts.

HIGHLIGHTS:



BGY. GINEBRA GIN KINGS over TNT KATROPA, 107-89
Box Scores. 

Brgy. Ginebra flipped the switch in the second half, scoring a convincing 107-89 victory over the KaTropa in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Big Dome. Entering the annual All-Star break, Ginebra now holds a 4-1 record, good for third place behind idle Meralco and San Miguel Beer.

As with the theme so far in this mid-season joust, import Justin Brownlee and LA Tenorio were the ones that landed the telling blows for the Gin Kings. Brownlee ended up with a game-high 34 points for Ginebra on top of 15 rebounds and six assists while Tenorio went for 21 and six dimes. Japeth Aguilar had 16 rebounds, 14 rebounds, and five blocks.

TNT, who dropped to 5-2, 28 points from import Donte Greene and another 20 from Jayson Castro. (ABS-CBN.com)

LINES OF THE GAME:
Donte Greene (TNT) - 28pts, 15rebs, 1ast, 1stl, 1blk, 4 triples.
Justin Brownlee (GIN) - 34pts, 15rebs, 6asts, 1stl, 2blks, 4 triples.

HIGHLIGHTS:



FOR MORE PHILIPPINE BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION ACTION, CHECK OUT THIS LINK

FOLLOW THE AUTHOR ON TWITTER: @hoopnut 

LIKE OUR FAN PAGE ON FACEBOOK, TOO! 


#PBA2017 Commish Cup Roundup: April 22, 2017

Images from the PBA.

Game Capsules:

STAR HOTSHOTS over BLACKWATER ELITE, 96-90
Box Scores. 

Star snapped a two-game slide in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup, scoring a 96-90 victory over the Blackwater Elite  Saturday at the MOA Arena.

Losing control as Blackwater rode the hot hands of KG Canaleta, the Hotshots had to rely on a total team effort in the final period to secure the win.

The Hotshots now head into the All-Star break with an impressive 5-2 mark.

Import Tony Mitchell led a balanced Star offense, scoring 17 points and grabbing 15 rebounds.

Paul Lee meanwhile led six locals with at least nine points as the veteran guard dropped 15. Rookie Jio Jalalon was good for 13 points off the bench.

Canaleta led the Elite with 27 points but went scoreless in the fourth period. Blackwater now dropped to 1-6 after losing back-to-back games.

Import Greg Smith contributed 22 points, 29 rebounds, and six assists. (ABS-CBN.com)

LINES OF THE GAME:
Tony Mitchell (STA) - 17pts, 15rebs, 2blks, 1ast, 1stl.
Greg Smith (BLA) - 22pts, 29rebs, 6asts, 3blks, 1stl.

HIGHLIGHTS:



SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN over RAIN OR SHINE ELASTO-PAINTERS, 111-98
Box Scores. 

Charles Rhodes finished with a game-high 26 points, while Arwind Santos scored all of his 13 in a pivotal 2nd-quarter run to help San Miguel beat Rain Or Shine 111-98 in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday.

Gaby Espinas, who came off the bench like Santos, added 15 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists, while Alex Cabagnot finished with 14 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists, as 3 other Beermen scored in double digits.

Shawn Taggart registered 24 points and 10 rebounds for Rain Or Shine, which dropped to 4-3. Maverick Ahanmisi added 16 points for the Elasto Painters, who were out-assisted 25-13.

It was San Miguel's 4th straight game scoring more than 100. The Beermen shot 52% from the field (43 of 82), compared to Rain Or Shine's 42% (37 of 87). (ABS-CBN.com)

LINES OF THE GAME:
Charles Rhodes (SMB) - 26pts, 6rebs, 2asts, 1blk.
Shawn Taggart (ROS) - 24pts, 10rebs, 2blks, 1stl.

HIGHLIGHTS:



FOR MORE PHILIPPINE BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION ACTION, CHECK OUT THIS LINK

FOLLOW THE AUTHOR ON TWITTER: @hoopnut 


LIKE OUR FAN PAGE ON FACEBOOK, TOO! 



#FIBAAsia: Will Kazakhstan recreate the magic of 2007?

Image from FIBA.

This first appeared on my weekly column on FIBA.com.

Can Kazakhstan rediscover the magic that gave them their best ever-finish in FIBA Asia?

In the early 2000s, Kazakhstan were considered a rising power in Asian basketball. They won the bronze medal in the Asian Games 2002 and followed it up being very competitive in the continental competitions of the next few years. It all culminated in the FIBA Asia Championship 2007, where, powered by a sublime mix of seasoned veterans and rising stars, the Central Asian powerhouse broke into the tournament Semi-Finals for the first time in history and finished among the competition's top four teams.



In many ways, that was the peak of Kazakhstan basketball, and it was the closest the team got to qualifying to any world level men's competition. Kazakhstan had 4 wins and 4 losses in 2007, highlighted by massive victories over traditional title contenders Japan and Korea.

The team's success revolved around the efforts of a handful of talented 20-somethings: Yevgeniy Issakov, Mikhail Yevstigneyev, Rustam Yargaliev and then 19-year-old sensation Anton Ponomarev. They combined for 56.9 of the team's average of 81.5 points per game, and, not surprisingly, their performance in the tournament turned a lot of heads. Their youth and production, combined with their top four finish, made a lot of Asian basketball observers label them as the team of the future. It was, of course, a reasonable observation, and one that certainly fueled an increase in expectations for the national team.



Things, however, didn't really go as planned in the succeeding years.

The Kazakhs tumbled to 9th place in 2009 before the disaster of 2011. Just four years after their magical top four result in 2007, they hit rock-bottom when they missed out on the 2011 edition of the tournament entirely. They returned to the biennial meet in 2013, making it to the Quarter-Finals, and once again qualified in 2015, but they finished outside of the top 10 for the first time since 1997.

Clearly things have not gone smoothly for Kazakhstan despite the continued presence of most of their top flight players with Yargaliev, Ponomarev and Yevstigneyev remaining as fixtures of the national pool. Issakov, meanwhile, saw his quality of play degrade and as a result never returned to national duty since 2007.

Is it possible at all for the Kazakhs to experience a resurgence ten years after their landmark top four finish?

I think it is, especially because they have an influx of up-and-coming players who can inherit the mantle of leadership from the previous generation. I'm talking about guys like Pavel Ilin, Nikolay Bazhkin, Anatoliy Kolesnikov, Rustam Murzagaliyev and Alexandr Zhigulin. We can even add naturalized point guard Jerry Jamar Johnson, who has yet to fully unleash his arsenal in any FIBA Asia tournament.



It will be a tall task, for sure, but if these players can raise their level in the FIBA Asia Cup 2017 together with consistent production and leadership from their veterans, Kazakhstan may just be able to summon the same kind of magic they did in 2007.


FOR MORE FIBA NEWS, CHECK THIS OUT!

FOLLOW THE AUTHOR ON TWITTER: @hoopnut 

LIKE OUR FAN PAGE ON FACEBOOK, TOO! 



#PBA2017 Commish Cup Roundup: April 21, 2017

Image from the PBA.

Game Capsules: 


PHOENIX FUEL MASTERS over ALASKA ACES, 94-86
Box Scores. 

Losing a heartbreaker to Rain or Shine on Holy Wednesday, Phoenix responded with a gutsy performance to get its 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup campaign back on track.

The Fuel Masters took advantage of a Calvin Abueva-less Alaska Aces to score a 94-86 victory Friday at the Araneta Coliseum.

Phoenix snapped a two-game skid to improve to 3-4 in the mid-season conference while the Aces dropped to 4-2 following back-to-back defeats.

Jameel McKay finished with a conference-high 42 points on top of 22 rebounds He also had two steals and two blocks.

Former Aces Cyrus Baguio and RJ Jazul also did some heavy lifting for Phoenix, helping the Fuel Masters beat Alaska for the first time in franchise history. The two veteran guards combined for 22 points in starting roles.

Missing Calvin Abueva as the Beast waits for his facial mask to protect his busted lip, the Aces have dropped two straight after starting a perfect 4-0.

Cory Jefferson led Alaska with 31 points and 13 rebounds but only JVee Casio turned in a decent performance from the local crew, scoring 14 off the bench. (ABS-CBN.com)

LINES OF THE GAME:
Jameel McKay (PHX) - 42pts, 22rebs, 2stls, 2blks, 1ast.
Cory Jefferson (ALA) - 31pts, 13rebs, 1ast, 4blks, 1stl.

HIGHLIGHTS:



TNT KA TROPA over GLOBALPORT BATANG PIER, 109-88
Box Scores. 

TNT KaTropa registered what was easily the best win of their current streak, dominating the Globalport Batang Pier, 109-88, Friday in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Big Dome.

Shooting 48 percent from the field, his best performance in the PBA so far, import Donte Greene led the KaTropa with 33 points and 10 rebounds.

Jayson Castro scored 15 points, all in the first half, to pace tne TNT locals while Ranidel De Ocampo added 14. Larry Fonacier was good for 12 points off the bench.

Malcolm White carried Globalport with 21 points and 16 rebounds but it was not enough to push the Batang Pier to victory.

Terrence Romeo added 20 as Globalport fell to 1-5 for the new conference. (ABS-CBN.com)

LINES OF THE GAME:
Donte Greene (TNT) - 33pts, 10rebs, 1ast, 1stl, 4 triples.
Malcolm White (GLO) - 21pts, 16rebs, 3blks.

HIGHLIGHTS:




FOR MORE PBA NEWS, CHECK THIS OUT!

FOLLOW THE AUTHOR ON TWITTER: @hoopnut 


LIKE OUR FAN PAGE ON FACEBOOK, TOO! 


#PBA2017 Commish Cup Roundup: April 20, 2017

Images from PBA.ph.

Game Capsules: 

SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN over MAHINDRA FLOODBUSTER, 109-80
Box Scores. 

The San Miguel juggernaut continued to plow through the competition in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup as the Beermen scored an easy 109-80 victory over the Floodbuster Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The win extended San Miguel's current perfect run in the mid-season joust, improving its record to a league-best 4-0.

Alex Cabagnot had 26 points, eight rebounds, and four assists, while import Charles Rhodes was once again effective, dropping a 20-point, 18-rebound double-double.

Marcio Lassiter torched the Floodbuster with 18 built around six treys. San Miguel had it too easy in the latter part of the game that the team had the luxury of sitting out June Mar Fajardo in the second half.

Keith Wright led Mahindra with 16 points and 12 boards, but the former Ivy League star struggled shooting from the field.

With Senator Manny Pacquiao in attendance, the Floodbuster dropped a fourth straight game for a 1-6 record. (ABS-CBN.com)

LINES OF THE GAME:
Charles Rhodes (SMB) - 20pts, 18rebs, 4asts, 3blks. 
Keith Wright (MAH) - 16pts, 12rebs, 1ast, 1stl, 1blk.

HIGHLIGHTS:



BGY. GINEBRA GIN KINGS over NLEX ROAD WARRIORS, 101-92
Box Scores. 

Brgy. Ginebra sent the Road Warriors to an unlucky seventh straight loss in the Commissioner's Cup after taking a 101-92 decision Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The Gin Kings unleashed a furious third-quarter rally to turn the tables on NLEX and win a third straight game, pushing their record to 3-1 in the mid-season tournament.

With Justin Brownlee and LA Tenorio leading the way, the Gin Kings were able to push the lead by as many as 29 points, 91-62, before settling for a nine-point win.

Brownlee ended up with 18 points to lead Ginebra, 12 coming in that crucial third quarter. Joe Devance also had 18 to emerge as the top local for the Gin Kings.

Japeth Aguilar added 17 points and Tenorio was good for 13.

Import Wayne Chism paced Yeng Guiao's crew with 16 points while Rabeh Al-Hussainin accounted for 14 points. (ABS-CBN.com)

LINES OF THE GAME:
Justin Brownlee (GIN) - 18pts, 13rebs, 5asts, 3stls, 3 triples.
Wayne Chism (NLX) - 16pts, 8rebs, 1ast, 2stls, 1 triple.

HIGHLIGHTS:



FOR MORE PBA NEWS, CHECK THIS OUT!

FOLLOW THE AUTHOR ON TWITTER: @hoopnut 


LIKE OUR FAN PAGE ON FACEBOOK, TOO! 



#FIBAAsia: Guo Ailun is all set to take over Asia

Image from FIBA.
This first appeared on my weekly column on FIBA.com.

The players who took part in the FIBA U16 Asia Championship 2009 comprise a special group. Many of the names who graced the hardwood that year are, by now, among the mainstays of several men's national teams across the continent.

There's Zhai Xiaochuan and Ding Yanyuhang of China, Iran's Sajjad Mashayekhi and Amir Sedighi, Korean center Lee JongHyun, Ray Chen of Chinese Taipei, Ahmad Al Dwairi of Jordan, Alex Zhigulin of Kazakhstan, Delvin Goh of Singapore, and Kevin Ferrer of the Philippines.

There are some marquee names on that list, but perhaps the most promising talent to come out of that class is none other than Chinese point guard Guo Ailun.