FIBA Asia Cup 2022 Qualifiers Round 1 went underway with a lot of promising talent and teams. However, one team’s story is phenomenal and the team’s performance in the Qualifiers was top-notch; Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan swept through Group D and finished with the top position in the table. The Steppen Wolves have improved their game a lot and are one of the most promising teams in the upcoming Jakarta round. So, how does the Kazakhstan Basketball team fare with others in its region? Let’s find out.
FIBA World Ranking
Kazakhstan’s FIBA world ranking is 68 currently, however, the current ranking doesn’t do justice with how the team played in the group stage. When compared with teams in Asia and Oceania region, Kazakhstan is in the Top 10. It’s World Ranking improved by 11 places in the past couple of years. This progress is massive which makes them one of the highest-rising teams in the world.
Asia Cup History
Kazakhstan’s Asia Cup history is rich and replete with jaw-dropping performances. In its debut Asia Cup in 1995, Kazakhstan defeated the 4th placed Iran. Moreover, in the second round, it clinched an unbelievable win against Chinese Taipei 68-67. However, Kazakhstan couldn’t qualify for the semifinals and ended at number 5. An impressive debut run.
However, their most recent Asia cup in 2017 was a forgetful one where the Steppen Wolves were hunted down by all three teams in the group; NZ, Korea, and Lebanon.
Kazakhstan is playing its 10th Asia cup and is looking to repeat its performances from the 2000s. They struggled in the decade from 2010 to 2019. This decade they are trying their best to bring back to get back on the winning ways.
Kazakhstan is playing spectacular basketball and the highlight of their campaign is their win against Iran 73-69. The Steppen Wolves also outclassed Bahrain and Syria along the way.
Kazakhstan’s Best Player
Anton Ponomarev is Kazakhstan’s precious gem with a lot of experience behind his back. He started playing professional basketball for Kazakhstan when he was only 17 years old. As of now, he has played 6 Asia Cups, 43 games, and a plethora of points and rebounds to his name. He is a player to keep an eye on during this tournament.