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Stankovic Cup

New hosts team up to rescue basketball's Stankovic Cup

FAN NEWS (Edward Cheung, Sportingo) - Guangzhou and Macau step in after financial, legal and venue issues force Chinese provinces to pull out

Chinese basketball officials announced on Wednesday details for the 2007 Borislav Stankovic Cup. The event, which will be held for the third time since its inauguration in 2005, was to be originally co-hosted by Chengdu and Hangzhou provinces in China.

That initial plan changed when both provinces faced financial, legal and venue issues which forced the China Basketball Association (CBA) to turn to other potential host locations. After a long process, officials announced that the new co-hosts of the third Stankovic Cup will be Guangzhou and Macau.

The two locations have had their share of major basketball games in the last year. Last July, the 'China Basketball Challenge' was held in Guangzhou, where China's national team faced off against the US team and Brazil as they prepared for the FIBA World Championships in August that year.

Last November Macau held a basketball event organised by the Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel, which saw China's national team match-up against the National Basketball Development League's (NBDL) Albuquerque Thunderbirds for a one-night only showdown. The 'Las Vegas of Asia' is also due to host the Chinese national team again in October, when the Orlando Magic will be flying in as part of the NBA's 2007 China Games.

The official dates for the 2007 Stankovic Cup are from Saturday, July 28 to Thursday, August 2. China will be sending its A-team to participate against Angola, New Zealand, Venezuela, Slovenia and an NBDL All-Star team to represent the USA.

The following schedule was also announced, but it could still be subject to change:

July 28, Guangzhou - 1600: Angola vs New Zealand, 1900: China vs Venezuela, 2100: Slovenia vs NBDL All-Stars.
July 29, Guangzhou - 1600: Venezuela vs Angola, 1900: China vs Slovenia, 2100: New Zealand vs NBDL All-Stars.
July 31, Macau - 1600: NBDL All-Stars vs Venezuela, 1930: Angola vs China, 2130: Slovenia vs New Zealand.
Aug 1, Macau - 1600: NBDL All-Stars vs Angola,1930: New Zealand vs China, 2130: Venezuela vs Slovenia.
Aug 2, Macau - 1600: Venezuela vs New Zealand, 930: China vs NBDL All-Stars, 2130: Angola vs Slovenia.

Meanwhile, China's national team star, Yao Ming, is still in the United States considering surgery on his shoulder. If he goes under the knife, Yao is likely to miss much of the national team's training schedule.

The CBA's plans are still on track for their next NBA star, Yi Jianlian, formerly of Guangdong Hongyuan, to meet up with his national team colleagues in July. Yi will be flying out from the US, where he is currently training in preparation for the upcoming NBA Draft, which will be held on June 28 in New York City.
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