As part of its ongoing engagement with the biggest basketball market in the world, ALBA Berlin has landed in China this week to start its preseason in style, by playing the first exhibition game by any 7DAYS EuroCup club this summer on Saturday in Changchun.
With lengendary Aito Reneses Garcia as its new head coach and a host of incoming players, the team came together earlier this week for some get-to-know sessions before jetting off to China on Thursday. Coach Reneses Garcia used a stopover in Frankfurt during the trip to announce to the team that its new captain is Niels Giffey, who has played with ALBA since he was a boy apart from a four-year stint at university in the United States.
ALBA will inaugurate its preseason schedule with a game on Saturday against the Jilin Northeast Tigers, a Chinese Basketball Association club, at Changchun Gymnasium. The game takes place at 19:30 local time in China, which is 13:30 CEST in Berlin, and may be watched on-line through the local broadcaster in Changchun at http://www.chinactv.com/tv/folder162/.
ALBA's intercontinental initiative dates to 2011, when the team held its entire training camp in Beijing. Since then, it has built cultural exchanges with China based on basketball, language and business to connect people from both countries.
At home in Germany, ALBA engaged 10,000 Chinese who are university students in the country with ticket promotions and their own basketball tournament. In China, agreements with schools and basketball associations for youth tournaments and clinics provide ongoing exchanges that showcase ALBA's basketball expertise.
On the business side, Chinese metals manufacturer ZhongDe has been a jersey sponsor of ALBA for two seasons. This season ALBA wlecomes a second main Chinese sponsor, Techcent, which will be part of the game in Changchun and of the club's entire Sino-German basketball program. Around the game on Saturday, ALBA Group and Techcent will participate in a parallel agricultural fair as well as other economic events in which German and Chinese entrepreneurs can network.
Its game in Changchun marks the third time that ALBA's professional team has played in China, after facing both the Beijing Ducks and Sichuan Blue Whales in recent seasons.