South Korea, Iran, the Philippines and China are expected to challenge for the top honours in men’s basketball at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games starting on September 19. Also Read - Inspiring! Meerut Woman Who Left Home To Avoid Forced Marriage Returns As PCS Officer 7 Years Later

South Korea, who are ranked 31 in FIBA rankings, are aiming for their first basketball Asian Games gold medal in 12 years, reports Xinhua. Also Read - Before Reporting For Duty, This Bengaluru Cop Teaches Children of Migrant Workers Everyday For An Hour

The South Koreans have won the Asiad title three times — Bangkok 1970, New Delhi 1982, and Busan 2001. In the last Asian Games held in Guangzhou, South Korea lost to China in the final. Also Read - Ready to Send Children Back to School? 78% Parents Say No, Willing to Let Kids Repeat An Academic Year

However, in the upcoming Incheon Asian Games, things are looking promising for the South Korean men’s basketball team to win the gold medal as they have the home advantage.

Iran, with a ranking of 20th, are a strong contender in this competition.

Iran were not considered power players until they won the 2007 FIBA Asian Championship.

Iran won the FIBA Asian Championship in 2009, and 2013, as well. Hamed Haddadi, an ex-NBA player, played a remarkable part in his team’s victory in the championships. However, they are yet to win a gold medal in the Asian Games.

The Philippines, placed 34th place in the FIBA rankings, were crowned the Asian Games champions four times in a row from New Delhi 1951 to Jakarta 1962.

Since their last victory in Jakarta, they have not won a gold medal in 54 years. However, the Philippines have recruited an American player, Marcus Douthit, who became a naturalised citizen of the Philippines. On top of that, the team has fast guards with excellent skills, such as Jeffrei Chan and James William.

China, who hold 12th place in FIBA, have won gold medals in the Asian Games seven times, and have advanced to the finals in succession from New Delhi in 1982 to the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games.

South Korea defeated China in the 2013 FIBA Asian Championship, and China started to rebuild the whole team with new young players.

Only five players who played in the 2013 Asian Championship were recruited for 2014 Incheon Asian Games.

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Image courtesy: Wikipedia