Euro champs and Chinese basketball heavyweights set for showdown

Updated: 2016-08-31 13:10

By Yan Weijue and Yang Fan(

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There is no off season for Chinese basketball fans this summer.

After a disappointing run by the men's national team at the Rio Olympics, Chinese basketball will have the chance to redeem itself against European champions, CSKA Moscow, when it plays two exhibition games in the country on Sept 28 and 30.

The Euroleague titleholder will face off against the recently-crowned Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) champions, The Sichuan Whales, in Chengdu on Sept 28. Two days later, the Russian team will travel to Shenzhen to take on perennial CBA powerhouse, The Guangdong Southern Tigers.

The two exhibition games will be aired live on the China Central Television (CCTV), as well as being streamed online at and Radio commentary will also be broadcast online for the first time, according to a press conference held on Tuesday.

The games are being organized by Euroleague China, a sports industry development company set up by Euroleague and Hualubaina, a Beijing-based media group coordinating Euroleague's business growth in China.

The move marks Euroleague's expansion into the gigantic Chinese basketball market of more than 130 million consumers.

Although late to the game when compared to the National Basketball Association (NBA), which started broadcasting in China some 30 years ago, Euroleague expects to see good returns following the overwhelming success of the American league.

As well as the two exhibition games, Euroleague will be holding a series of promotional events beforehand to drum-up support. A basketball summit will be held on Sept 23, lifting the curtain on Euroleague's brief tour, aiming to boost cooperation between China and Europe.

Euroleague and the CBA will hold a basketball training camp in Chengdu on Sept 27, inviting

renowned basketball coaches from across the globe to share their insights into the game, run drills, develop skills and reveal different coaching philosophies.

Each game day morning, CSKA players will hang out with local Special Olympic athletes to raise public awareness of both sports and charity.

The league has plans to push ahead on the tech front by pioneering live virtual reality-integrated broadcasts of its games, allowing viewers to look around the court in real time and in any direction they choose.

Euroleague also revealed that it is in partnership with Microsoft in developing intelligent insoles for players to wear so that all of their movements can be tracked, analyzed and improved upon.

Euro champs and Chinese basketball heavyweights set for showdown

A press conference promoting the China Tour of Euroleague Basketball is held in Beijing on Aug 30. [Photo provided to]

The major sponsor for the event is Evergrande Group – a modern group engaged in the fields of sports, real estate, tourism, culture, internet, finance and farming. Also provide support for the games include Happy Valley (a theme park brand), Microsoft (China), Beijing Capital Land Ltd, Chengdu Radio and TV Station and Shenzhen Sports Center.