NBA-Opening-night rosters feature 108 international players

(Reuters) – The National Basketball Association’s 2018-19 season will tip off later on Tuesday with 108 international players from a record-tying 42 countries and territories on opening-night rosters, according to the league.

The record for international players (113) and mark for countries and territories (42) were set at the start of the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons, respectively, the NBA said in a statement.

Canada remains the most-represented foreign country for a fifth consecutive year with 11 players, followed by Australia (9), France (9), Spain (7) and Germany (6).

The NBA also said opening-night rosters also feature a record 65 European players, up from 64 last year.

The Dallas Mavericks boast the most cosmopolitan lineup with seven international players, followed closely by the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers who each have six.

Houston Rockets center Zhou Qi of China, which is the NBA’s biggest international market, is the only player from his nation to feature on opening-night rosters.

The season kicks off later on Tuesday with a clash between Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers followed by a game between the reigning champion Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder.

On Wednesday 2018 first overall draft pick Deandre Ayton of the Bahamas and the Phoenix Suns host Slovenian third overall draft pick Luka Doncic and the Mavericks.

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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