One of the most recognizable teams in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague, FC Barcelona, is set to embark on the Euroleague Basketball Asia Tour from October 6 to 11, in which it will be playing two games in Hangzhou and Taipei, among other activities. On October 7 at 19:35 local time, FC Barcelona will be playing a game in Hangzhou against Zhejiang Lions Basketball Team, one of the most powerful teams in the Chinese Basketball Association. On October 11, FC Barcelona will be in Taipei to face off against the SBL All-Stars at 18:30, local time.
The first stop of the tour will feature the city of Hangzhou, China. Barcelona will land there on October 6, and will participate in several activities with media, as well as offering an open practice session. The following day, there will be some other media activities before the game against the Zhejiang Lions Basketball Team at Hangzhou Stadium, a sports landmark of the city which was rebuilt in 2001 and seats 5,036 spectators. Zhejiang Lions Basketball Team was founded in 2005 and entered the CBA in 2006. The team reached the playoffs of the competition for three straight seasons (2008, 2009 and 2010). It is coached by Chunjiang Li and features star players like Zhijie Lin and Jonathan Gibson.
The day after the game, FC Barcelona will remain almost another full day in Hangzhou. In the morning, at Zhejiang University, the team will participate in a training clinic, speeches, a school visit and a One Team session with local children. In the afternoon, the team will visit one of the most popular spots in the city, the West Lake. At the end of the day, FC Barcelona will land in Taipei, Taiwan.
On October 9 and 10, the team will attend a One Team session, sponsoring events and meetings with media as well as having a practice session. The Barca staff will also be enjoying a city tour before the day of the game. On October 11, FC Barcelona will face the SBL All-Stars at 18:30, local time at the Taipei Arena, the first international integrated large stadium in Taiwan. Seating 15,000 spectators, it is the premium facility in the city, used to hosting big concerts and sporting events.
After the second game, FC Barcelona is set to return to Europe on October 12, putting an end to its Euroleague Basketball Asia Tour.
"Having FC Barcelona represent us on the Euroleague Basketball Asian Tour is another great example of the commitment of our clubs to create synergies with basketball fans around the world," Jordi Bertomeu, President and CEO of Euroleague Basketball, said. "This ongoing process of creating international links within our sport has included many Euroleague Basketball clubs already, and with the help of our partner in Asia, OCEANS Marketing, we are confident that this cultural and sporting exchange will continue getting stronger and stronger."
"As our exclusive partnership with Euroleague Basketball continues to blossom and the love for basketball continues to grow, we would like to express our genuine excitement on putting on another great tour and reaching parts of Asia where basketball is cherished and adored," Mr. Shoto Zhu, CEO & Founder of OCEANS Marketing, said. "We look forward to carrying on this relationship for years to come and once again getting to embrace the people, the players, the fans and the staff that make this game and this league so great."
"We are proud to be chosen to represent European basketball in such an important event as the Euroleague Basketball Asia Tour,"Mr. Joan Blade, FC Barcelona basketball Managing Director, said. "A global competition such as the Turkish Airlines Euroleague and a global club such as FC Barcelona will join forces to develop the sport of basketball in China and Taiwan. We know that there are lots of Barça fans in China and Taiwan, and it will be a pleasure for us to share with them what our club represents and our values in both games, as well as in all the other activities that we are preparing during our stay there."
FC Barcelona's week-long presence in Asia forms part of the Euroleague Basketball World Tour, featuring five teams playing four events on four continents this autumn. The World Tour begins with Turkish Airlines Euroleague champion Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv headlining the Intercontinental Cup with two games against 2014 FIBA Liga de las Americas champion Flamengo of Brazil in late September in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Maccabi continues then to play the Euroleague US Tour with two more games, against its former coach David Blatt and the Cleveland Cavaliers on October 5 and two nights later against the Brooklyn Nets, on the same day that Barcelona debuts in Hangzhou, China. The next night, October 8, the NBA Global Games lands in the German capital as Alba Berlin hosts the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, who then continue on to face Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul in Turkey on October 11, hours after Barcelona becomes the first Euroleague team ever to play in Taiwan.
The Euroleague Basketball World Tour leads up to the start of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Regular Season on Wednesday, October 15.