Zeng Fanbo and Zhou Qi are leading China in the forthcoming 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers’ third window in Pampanga.
The young stars banner the 14-man pool headed to Clark Freeport ,as the Asian powerhouse marks its return to the international arena since hosting the 2019 World Cup, where they finished 24th in the 32-team field.
Zeng, 18, is bound for the NBA G-League Ignite after decommitting from NCAA D1 school Gonzaga. The 6-foot-9 winger is the second prospect to join the pro pathway program, and will be eligible to join the 2022 NBA Draft.
Qi, meanwhile, brings with him a wealth of experience at 25 years young. The former Houston Rocket previously dealt Gilas Pilipinas a heartbreaking 80-82 defeat in the 2018 Asian Games. He spearheads the Chinese’ towering frontcourt.
The 7-foot-1 center will form the team’s last line of defense together with the 7-foot-4 Liu Chianxing, Shen Zijie, Zhang Zhenlin, and Ren Junfei.
Also part of the pool are Ugandan-Chinese player Zhu Mingzhen, Zhao Yanhao, Wu Qian, Hu Mingxuan, Zhao Jiwei, and Zu Jie.
Veterans Zhou Peng and Lu Wenbo, both 31 years old, complete the squad coached by two-time Olympian Du Feng.
China will battle Japan and Chinese Taipei twice each, meaning it will play four games in five days. The former Asia Cup titlist takes on the Japanese on June 16 and 19; then faces the Taiwanese on the 17th and the 20th.