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Riyadi prepares for a new competition this season on the international stage. The journey to a new yellow victory begins on Friday at Sheikh Saeed Bin Maktoum Sports Hall in Dubai City, as part of the Basketball Champions League Asia 2024 (BCL Asia).

The BCL Asia

The Basketball Champions League Asia 2024 will be its inaugural edition, and the 29th season of the continent’s top club competition.

The tournament was previously known as the FIBA Asia Champions Cup and was last held in 2019.

The main tournament is scheduled to take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from June 9 to 15, 2024. It is organized by the United Arab Emirates Basketball Association and Shabab Al Ahli Club and sanctioned by FIBA Asia.

Which teams are taking part?

The champions of China’s Chinese Basketball Association (Liaoning Flying Leopard), Japan’s B. League (Hiroshima Dragonflies) and South Korea’s Korean Basketball League (KCC Egis Basketball Club) qualify directly.

The Philippine Basketball Association opted out of the tournament due to a busy schedule. The Philippines’ place in the tournament has been taken by tournament host Shabab Al Ahli.

Two more teams will qualify through a two-round qualifying tournament for East and Southeast Asia (Pelita Jaya Basketball – NS Matrix Deers), while two more will be determined by the FIBA West Asia Super League 2023-24 (Riyadi Beirut – Shahrdary Gorgan).

The eight teams will play in two groups of four teams each, with each team playing three matches. The top two teams from each group will advance to the final phase, where they will play knockout matches for final classification.

The goal: World Club Championship

After a busy and exciting season, during which the title was their ally in the local league, Dubai Tournament, Wasl West Asia and Wasl Super League, Riyadi aspires to enter the BCL Asia with the same passion and the same objective: to win the title, and nothing less.

It should be noted that the winner of this tournament will represent the Asian continent in the World Club Championship, considered the most important event in the world for clubs.

Notable absences

The yellow team will be without playmaker Ali Mansour, suspended for two months from international competitions following an incident with a member of the Asian Federation after the final.

Riyadi’s management contested this decision, deemed unfair, but the Asian Federation rejected their appeal, confirming Mansour’s absence from the tournament.

Another setback for coach Ahmad Farran’s team is the absence of their star player, Jonathan Simmons, from the field after suffering a fractured foot a week before the start of the tournament.

He will be replaced by player Zack Lofton, a choice that has caused controversy due to the player’s questionable behavior on several occasions this season.

However, options are limited and time does not permit the recruitment of a foreigner who is unfamiliar with the players and Riyadi team’s style of play.

A tough test awaits Riyadi when they take on the Chinese champions in the first phase of Group A at 5:30 PM Beirut time on Sunday.

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