The JW Marriott hotel in Beijing was the magnificent stage for the official presentation of the 2016 Euroleague Basketball China Tour, which will be featuring defending champs CSKA Moscow playing against the Sichuan Blue Whales, CBA defending champions, on 28 September in Chengdu and the Guangdong Tigers on 30 September in Shenzhen, among other activities.
More than 40 journalists and the promoters of the two games attended the presentation of the new trip of CSKA to China, as the team from Moscow already was the first European team to play in the country back in 2007.
"It is a big pleasure to be back to Beijing where we must say we feel at home", Euroleague Basketball Head of Business Development Luca Scafati said. "Since 2007 the Asian continent became the main priority in our global expansion strategy as we wanted to share the values of European basketball with our Asian fans."
"The presence of CSKA Moscow this year shows the great commitment of Euroleague Basketball with the Chinese market as this will be the first time in history that the reigning European Champion will visit the Chinese territory." Scafati added. "We wanted to bring the best we have in Europe and give the chance to all our Chinese fans to enjoy a team full of stars."
"We feel awarded in collaborating with Euroleague Basketball." HLBN Sports vice-president Yan Zhe said. "We are sure that CSKA will play fantastic games in China with the CBA champion (Sichuan Blue Whales) in Chengdu and with the Guangdong Tigers in Shenzhen. We are all excited for the games. We will have a chance to watch both games on TV and bring them closer to our spectators and fans."
"First of all, on behalf of our coaches, players and staff we'd like to thank the Euroleague and our Chinese partners for the invitation." CSKA Moscow vice-president Natalia Furaeva said through a video presentation. "We are very excited to come to China soon. It is a country with very special traditions and history, a growing industrial business and of course, big devotion to sports. As you know, CSKA was the first European team to visit China in 2007 and we had a really great time there. We started that season winning in China, and we finished the season winning the Euroleague. We are the current Euroleague champions and it lays some extra responsibility on us, so we will do our best to continue the successful traditions and to bring a lot of fun to the local fans."
"We hope to promote friendship and improve communication between the CBA and Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champions." Blue Whales Chairman of the Board Geng Jie said. "Meanwhile, we wish we can also go to Europe to study their advanced management philosophy, and experience a different game atomosphere. We are waiting for you at the Sichuan Province Stadium on September 28."
"It's our pleasure to have a game with CSKA Moscow on 30 September." Tigers coach Du Feng said. "It means a lot to us. As we all know, CSKA is the defending champion of the EuroLeague. Guang Dong is a young team, it will be a wonderful opportunity to learn on the court and to communicate face to face with CSKA. After their China Tour, we will have a deeper understanding of Euroleague Basketball. Welcome to Guangdong."
Besides the presentation of the two games, which will be broadcast by the national Chinese channel CCTV5, there has also been talk about some of the parallel activities that the CSKA Moscow visit will entail. One of them is the International Coaches Clinic organized by Giorgio Gandolfi, the mind also behind the coaching clinic at the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four.
The clinic will be featuring three top coaches - Xavi Pascual, Luca Banchi and Lionel Hollins - and it will be held from September 27 to 29 in Chengdu with the collaboration of the CBA, whose coaches will be the only people able to attend.
As every year in China, there will also be a One Team and Special Olympics session and activity in both Chengdu and Shenzhen that will be attended by the CSKA Moscow ambassadors and players.