The middle east:the new powerhouse of asian basketball
There was a time when china, south korea, the philippines, japan, and kazakhstan dominate asian basketball but it's a totally different story right now. During the past couple of years, we've seen the rise of the middle east teams(jordan, iran, qatar, and lebanon). In the current FIBA asia tournament, 3 of the 4 semifinalists are middle east teams(jordan, lebanon, and iran). Currently, the finals are being played(china VS iran) and iran is leading by 25(3rd quater) pts....Yes, 25 pts....There was a time when china would EASILY blow out their opponents. There was a time when china was unbeatable. China WAS asian basketball. Right now, we're seeing the fall of a once basketball superpower in asia. Given that yao ming is not playing, I don't think he would have made much of a difference. The game might have been closer but just looking at how Iran is dominating right now, I think they'll still most likely beat china. How times have changed...