Inaugural West Asia Super League (WASL) champions Manama will square off against German club Telekom Baskets Bonn, the winners of the 2023 Basketball Champions League – the premier European professional competition for clubs launched by FIBA – in their first game of the 2023 FIBA Intercontinental Cup in Singapore today.
The 2023 FIBA Intercontinental Cup – also known as the FIBA Club World Cup – is the 33rd edition of the tournament which was first officially held in 1966.
Previously a four-team competition, the tournament has been expanded to include six teams this year with Manama, competing as the first WASL champions, and China’s Zhejiang Golden Bulls – pre-selected as the China Basketball Association’s (CBA) representatives – becoming the first two teams from Asia to take part in the championship.
The Bulls and Manama will join US team NBA G Team Ignite, pre-selected as representatives of the NBA G League; Egyptian club Al Ahly, winners of the 2023 Basketball Africa League (BAL); Brazilian side Sesi Franca, the champions of the 2022-23 Basketball Champions League (BCL) Americas and Telekom Baskets Bonn in battle for the prestigious Intercontinental Cup trophy.
Manama, who won their WASL crown last June by defeating Kuwait in a pulsating final in Dubai, have been slotted in Group B with Telekom and the Zhejiang Golden Bulls.
The 2022-23 season, in fact, was a landmark one for the Bahraini club because, along with the WASL, they won the Zain Basketball League, the country’s premier competition, and the Khalifa bin Salman Cup as well to complete a historic three-title triumph.
Manama will play their second and final Group B game tomorrow against Zhejiang Golden Bulls.
The short tournament will end on Sunday with the final, featuring the winners of Group A vs the table-toppers of Group B.
The final will be preceded, on the same day, by a fifth-place play-off between the third-placed team in Group A vs the side finishing third in Group B as well as a third-place play-off between the second-placed teams in both groups taking each other on.