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Yao Ming, chairman of the Chinese Basketball Association, and China player Yi Jianlian react during the 2019 FIBA World Cup match between China and Nigeria. Photo: Xinhua

China face Japan, Australia and Taiwan in Fiba World Cup draw

  • Chinese men’s basketball team looking to qualify for 2023 tournament held in Japan, Philippines and Indonesia
  • Top three teams in groups move on to next stage of qualification for global showpiece

China have been drawn against Japan, Australia and Taiwan in the group B of the Asia Pacific qualifiers for the 2023 Fiba Basketball World Cup, with the top three teams moving on to the next stage.

Australia finished fourth at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games where hosts Japan also featured in the group stage, while Taiwan and China were both absent.

China’s men missed out on the Olympics in large part because of their disappointing performance at the last World Cup in 2019, where they were watched on by Chinese Basketball Association chairman Yao Ming.

As hosts of that tournament, China failed to finish as the top-ranked Asian team with Iran instead taking that honour and the automatic qualification spot for the Tokyo Games.

China then failed in their final play-off where they lost to Greece and Canada, thereby failing to qualify for the men’s tournament for the first time since the Los Angeles Olympics of 1984.

Now China – who were third seeds in the draw – are looking to make sure that they do not miss out on the next World Cup as they did at the edition before last.

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China made their World Cup debut in 1978 and have played at every tournament since, except two – Greece in 1998 and Spain in 2014.

Once again the World Cup will act as a qualifier for the next Olympic Games which take place in Paris in 2024.

The 2023 tournament will be held in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia, it will be the first edition of the global basketball showpiece to have joint hosts.

All three hosts will qualify automatically meaning that there will only be five spots for teams in these Asia Pacific groups.

Group A features New Zealand, South Korea, the Philippines and India, while group C is made up of Jordan, Lebanon, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. The final group D sees Iran, Kazakhstan, Syria and Bahrain meet after Tuesday’s draw in Mies, Switzerland.

Qualifiers begin in November and run until next July when the top three teams in each group move on to the next stage.