The Asia Championships have shown year after year that basketball is a beloved sport in every area of the world. Sixteenof the best teams in Asia battle it out for the coveted crown, and the tournament has produced many memorable moments in its prestigious 61 years of existence.
There has never been a shortage of surprises, longshots, and underdogs in the Asia Championships that have sprung viewers out of their seats. Here are the top 5 most memorable moments in the history of the Men’s Asia Championships.
1. Palestine Came, Saw, And Conquered
2020 was the first year that the Asia Championship had a qualifier round, with the winning teams going on to the main tournament. It was also a landmark year for basketball in Palestine, which played for the first time in a FIBA competition.
In their first match-up, they were able to decisively beat Sri Lanka, with the final score reading 102-60, resulting in an emotional celebration from the supporters.
2. Syria’s Return
Syria had missed out on the last two editions of the Asia Championships before returning to the competition in 2017. It was an emotional sight, to say the least, and Syria was not just content on being there, but rather they were looking towin. They showcased great potential throughout the tournament, beating India twice and making the likes of Jordan and China nervous.
3. China’s Dominance
China is believedto easily have the best basketball team in Asia, with such legends as Yao Ming and Yi Jianlian consideredsome of the greatest of all time. This was reflected in Asia Championships when the nation dominated Asian basketball for over three decades, not winning the gold only twice from 1975 to 2007.
4. Qatar vs. Lebanon
One of the most suspenseful and competitive games in the history of the Asia Championships occurred in 2015 between Qatar and Lebanon. Qatar had not defeated Lebanon in the Asia Cup in over tenyears and were the clear underdogs. However, that changed as the game progressed, and they played like champions.
Although they were down by as much as 18 points in the first half, they bounced back and clawed their way back, ending with a narrow yet historic victory of 105-100.
5. New Zealand vs. Korea
These two teams played each other twice in the Asia Championship of 2017, with Korea getting the better of New Zealand both times. This was to the surprise of the entire basketball community, as New Zealand was tenteams higher in the global rankings.
The second of the two bouts was to decide who would take third place, and Korea played like champions throughout the bout, ending with figures of 80-71.
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