Bahrain is one of the teams that will participate in the 2018 Asia Cup despite not taking part in the 2017 competition. They have been developing their young players over the past few years
In this episode of “Meet the Teams,” allow us to take a moment to introduce Bahrain.
Bahrain’s World Rank according to FIBA World Ranking: 106
Bahrain is the only Asia Cup squad that is not currently ranked in the top 100 in the world and the top 20 in Asia. They have been one of the quickest rising teams in the Ranking since the start of the Asia Cup Qualifiers. Bahrain has moved up 7 ranks (from 113) in the World Ranking and 3 spots (from 24 to 21) in the Asia Ranking.
Bahrain has been working hard to improve its program, and they will undoubtedly be satisfied to some extent with the real outcomes in this regard.
Asia Cup Debut: 1977
Bahrain made its Asia Cup debut in 1977 and, like the majority of first-timers, had to face China in the preliminary round. They competed against Iraq, Thailand, and Singapore in addition to China, losing to each team.
However, Bahrain was able to defeat Sri Lanka in the Classification round for their first-ever Asia Cup victory. They also defeated Indonesia later by the narrowest of margins, 75-74. They came very near to defeating Hong Kong for the third time, but ultimately fell short, 77-75. Overall, Bahrain finished the inaugural Asia Cup in 12th position.
Appearances in Asia Cup (including 2022): 9
Bahrain has intermittently competed in the Asia Cup. After making their debut, they participated in a second straight Asia Cup, and in the 1990s, they made a comeback after missing a few games.
They had a solid finish to the decade with two appearances before taking a decade off from the Asia Cup competition. Bahrain missed a few Asia Cups after making two straight berths (again) in 2011 and 2013. In conclusion, Bahrain will compete in the Asia Cup in 2022.
Best Finish: 10th place (1997)
Despite not having the same luck with the draw in 1997 as they did in 2013, Bahrain still managed to post their best Final Standings finish to date. Bahrain was put in Group A with China, Iran, and the Philippines, the reigning champions. They narrowly defeated the Philippines, 70-68, but ultimately fell to China and Iran, eliminating them from the quarterfinals.
Bahrain stormed through their group in the Qualification for Classification games to earn a rematch for ninth place. Unfortunately, Bahrain would lose this match, but their 10th-place finish in the Asia Cup was still their best ever.
Player to Watch: Husain Altawash
Bahrain’s national team program may not be as illustrious as some of the Nations competing at Asia Cup 2022, but they do have some notable players to take note of. Husain Altawash, a crucial guard in Bahrain’s trips to the Asia Cup in 2011 and 2013, is one of such players.
Over the course of these two Asia Cups, the guard averaged 10.6 points per game for Bahrain. He capped an 11-point, 4-rebound, 3-assist performance in a victory over Thailand in 2013. Altawash had 29 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists in the same season, despite playing in a loss against Hong Kong.
Journey to Asia Cup
Bahrain is one of the teams participating in the Asia Cup 2022 that also took part in the Pre-Qualifiers. They triumphed over every team in the GBA Pre-Qualifiers, including Saudi Arabia. Even though they place third in the Western Region Pre-Qualifiers, the aim of moving on to the Qualifiers was still accomplished.
Bahrain qualified as one of the quickest teams for the 2022 Asia Cup. Bahrain handled its business decisively against both India and Iraq as well. They secured qualification as one of the group’s top two seeds.