Preview: Tight race to World Cup qualification in Group F

BEIRUT (Lebanon) – The race towards World Cup qualification will be as close as it can get in Group F with Asia’s elite teams pitted against each other… once again.

Australia, however, are the lone undefeated team in this group which means they have a slight edge but again, it’s going to be close.

Here’s what the standings look like in Group F heading into Window 4 of the Asian Qualifiers:


0/18 games played

All First Round results carry over to Second Round

#TeamPWL%Last 5ForAgt+/-FAAA 
1 Australia660100 51336514885.560.812
2 Kazakhstan65183.3 4523846875.36411
3 China64266.7 4933979682.266.210
4 Iran64266.7 4823958780.365.810
5 Japan62433.3 417483-6669.580.58
6 Bahrain62433.3 380475-9563.379.28


25 August 2022

Bahrain vs Australia – 19:00 GMT +3 – Manama, Bahrain
Kazakhstan vs China – 20:00 GMT +6 – Astana, Kazakhstan
Iran vs Japan – 20:30 GMT +4.5 – Tehran, Iran

29 August 2022

Australia vs Iran – 18:30 GMT +10 – Bendigo, Australia
China vs Bahrain – 20:00 GMT +6 – Astana, Kazakhstan

30 August 2022

Japan vs Kazakhstan – 18:05 GMT – Okinawa, Japan

We’ve got a packed slate right from the start here in Group F. Bahrain have proven to be a tough team to beat in their past few games and if Wayne Chism can continue to dominate the paint, it could take just a good shooting day from the guards to make things interesting against Australia.

Kazakhstan have also had their ups and downs, but when their ups are beating Iran in two straight games, that means it won’t be an easy game for China in their first Window 4 game – especially with it being played in Astana.

The last game of the opening gameday will be a big one between Japan and Iran. The two teams have had multiple clashes a the senior national team level (and even at the youth level) in the recent years.

Even though Japan are already qualified as co-hosts of the World Cup, Akatsuki Japan will certainly be determined to prove themselves after losing to Irani n the recent Asia Cup. Likewise, Iran want to quickly get over their previous two losses to Kazakhstan which have put them in a tougher situation to qualify for the World Cup next year.


The second half of games in Window 4 could get even more intense as it includes an Asia Cup 2017 Final rematch between Iran and Australia (two teams that played against each other in the 2019 World Cup Qualifiers as well) as well as a rematch between China and Bahrain, who faced each other in Asia Cup 2022 where China came way with a one-point win on a last minute bucket.

Star to watch

Zhou Qi – China

Height: 212cm / 6’1″
Asian Qualifiers stats: 16.4 points, 11.0 rebounds, 2.2 blocks per game (5 games)

Literally one of the biggest stars in Group F of the Asian Qualifiers is Zhou Qi. Asia basketball fans should be familiar with how Zhou dominates games and should expect the same in the upcoming window as they face Kazakhstan and Bahrain. 

China are currently in a decent spot to secure World Cup qualification at a later stage, but they will need to do a bit more work to get that locked down.

Top prospect

Alex Toohey – Australia

Height: 201cm / 6’7″
Asian Qualifiers stats: Has not played

We’ve seen Australia put some talented youngsters on the floor in the recent years from Josh Giddey to Dyson Daniels to Tyrese Proctor. Could Alex Toohey be the next in line to succeed as a young Boomer to take a leap?

Toohey has yet to play in the World Cup Qualifiers and has only 9 minutes logged in the Asia Cup Qualifiers, but he’s been pegged as a prospect to keep an eye on in the future. The 18-year-old forward has been playing well locally in Australia and is garnering interest in colleges in the US as well as in Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL).

Toohey’s minutes won’t be handed to him on a silver platter and there might not be many minutes to go around considering how deep the Boomers are, but make sure to keep an eye on him when he goes get on the floor.

Here’s where Group F teams are ranked in the FIBA World Rankings, as well as in Asia: