2013 FIBA Asia U16 Championships Roundup: Final Day

The 2013 FIBA Asia U16 Championships in Tehran, Iran ended last night with China being crowned champions for the third time in as many editions, while the Philippines finally finished on the podium and the Japanese booked the third and last Asian ticket to the 2014 Dubai U17 World Cup.

Team China captured the FIBA Asia U16 title
for the third straight time.

In the first game of the day, Kazakhstan played one of its best games in the tournament to blowout the overachieving Bahrainis, 97-42. Unlike in their previous outings, Coach Orhan Guler’s boys seemed listless in this one, shooting 24% from the field, giving up 19 more rebounds, and turning the ball over 22 times. The Kazakhs led practically for the whole game and didn’t encounter much trouble in finishing 7th place. Five players scored in double-figures for coach Alexey Yeropkin, led by Andrey Litvinenko’s 19 points and 12 rebounds. Konstantin Neff also did well with 18 markers, 9 rebounds, and 2 steals, while Alexandr Danilchenko and Leonid Voronushkin each tallied 12 points. Bahrain, meanwhile, had nobody scoring more than 8 points. Even one of the tournament’s most impressive athletes, Mohamed Juma, played rather insignificantly, scoring just 8 markers in 25 minutes.

The second game of the day featured the Koreans salvaging fifth place at the expense of the home side, 66-53. It was a pretty close game in the first half, which saw Iran trailing by just 5 at the break. Things opened up for coach Kim Do-Wan’s wards in the third period, however, as they built a double-digit lead that they never relinquished. Park Min-Uk had maybe his best game of the tournament here, rattling in 18 points, while Kwon Hyeok-Joon chipped in 15 markers, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, and 4 steals. Big man Park Sang-Kwon also held his own with 13 points and 15 boards. On the other end, Behrooz Razeghin and Seyed Seyedi led Iran with 16 and 13 points respectively. This is the lowest finish for either team in this competition. Korea finished with the silver medal in 2009 and 2011, while Iran placed third in 2009 and missed the 2011 edition.

The third game saw how Japan booked the last Asian ticket to the 2014 Dubai U17 World Cup by collaring Taiwan, 85-72. Hayato Maki and Rui Hachimura were the leaders for coach Takashi Ideguchi again. Maki hit three triples on his way to 23 points, while Hachimura anchored the inside with 21 markers. Naturalized Chinese Gen Hiraiwa also contributed heavily, scoring 15 markers on top of 9 boards, and 2 steals. Taiwan was never given any opportunity to take the lead as Japan was the more aggressive outfit from the tip. Undersized center Hsu Cheng-Shun paced the losing side with 18 points, 17 rebounds, 3 steals, and 3 blocks, while the duo of Wu Yen-Ju and Tu Su-Han paired up for 27 markers. Japan also placed third in 2011, when they beat a Kyles Lao-led Pinoy squad, 94-81, in the bronze medal game.

For the competition’s final match, the Philippines managed to give China fits before falling short in the end, 85-78. This loss means the Philippines had to settle for the silver medal, but that’s not anything to scoff at as it goes down in history as the Pinoys’ first-ever podium finish in the U16 tournament since it started in 2009. The Philippines placed fourth in both ’09 and ’11. This was also the first time China won by just single-digits, and the first time that the FIBA Asia U16 Finals was tight. In 2009, China beat Korea, 104-69, and in 2011 the Chinese repeated over Korea, 92-52. On many levels, the performance of the Pinoy boys in Tehran was quite historic. In this particular encounter, the Filipinos stuck close to the Chinese for the entire game despite never taking the lead. Though China’s height advantage proved to be critical, the severely undersized wards of coach Jamike Jarin showed a lot of heart and smarts by playing to their strengths – speed and shooting. Perennially unstoppable inside operator Hu Jinqiu was limited to just a dozen points, though he did haul 15 rebounds and reject 4 shots. It was the duo of Zhao Yanhao and Fu Hao that did majority of the damage, combining for 47 points. Zhao also hit 4 treys, while Fu collected 18 boards. On the other end, Jolo Mendoza continued to be the main man for the Philippines, dropping 20 points (16 in the first half). Mike Nieto contributed 13 points and 8 rebounds, while Paul Desiderio added 11 markers. Both teams will fly to Dubai in late June next year for the FIBA U17 World Cup. It is reasonable to expect that a few names will be added to both squads as the age/eligibility restrictions will be “more relaxed” by then.


KAZ 97 – Litvinenko 19, Neff 18, Danilchenko 12, Voronushkin 12, Aitkali 10, Kurochkin 8, Levakovskiy 8, Satkeyev 4, Kadyr 2, Tinyayev 2, Kirilin 2, Korzhov 0
BRN 42 – Al Musalli 8, Mohamed 8, Juma 8, Al Waddaei 6, Husain 4, Baqer 3, Kadhem 3, Al Madeh 2, Ghazwan 0, Hasan 0, Khamis 0, Shakeeb 0
QS: 15-8, 43-23, 65-31, 97-42

Konstantin Neff is a potential member
of Kazakhstan's future senior NTs.

Ali Shakeeb challenges the Kazakh double team.

KOREA over IRAN, 66-53
KOR 66 – Park MU 18, Kwon 15, Park SK 13, Mun 9, Yang JH 9, Yun WS 2, Yun DB 0, Yang JM 0, Han 0, Park JC 0
IRI 53 – Razeghin 16, Seyedi 13, Barzin 11, Farhadi 10, Naziri 3, Azari 0, Meraji 0, Poat 0
QS: 16-18, 38-33, 56-46, 66-53

Yang Jae-Hyuk rifles one from downtown.

Seyed Seyedi drives down the gut of the defense.

JAPAN over TAIWAN, 85-72
JPN 85 – Maki 23, Hachimura 21, Hiraiwa 15, Maeta 10, Muto 8, Taira 6, Hayashi 2, Igarashi 0, Nanna 0
TPE 72 – Hsu 18, Tu 14, Wu YJ 13, Chan 10, Chang 6, Chen 5, Huang 4, Sun 2, Wu CY 0, Tung 0
QS: 25-19, 45-31, 59-51, 85-72

Hsu Cheng-Shun collars the carom for Taiwan.

Hayato Maki proved to be a potent long distance shooter.

CHN 85 – Zhao 25, Fu 22, Xu 14, Hu 12, Liu 7, Luo 4, Yuan 1, Zhang 0
PHL 78 – Mendoza 20, Nieto Mi 13, Desiderio 11, Escoto 7, Dela Cruz 6, Padilla 6, Nieto Ma 4, Go 4, Panlilio 3, Navarro 2, Abadeza 2, Dario 0

QS: 24-20, 42-35, 59-55, 85-78

Hu Jinqiu tries to grab the ball against
Richard Escoto.

Jolo Mendoza goes under the Chinese trees.

Mike Nieto launches from rainbow country.

Xu Mingzhi flashes a distinct Asian shooting form.

Team Hayabusa finishes third for the second time in three editions.

The Filipinos make the podium for the first time in the history of the FIBA Asia U16 tournament.

Unless otherwise specified, all images are from Milad Payami/FIBAAsia.net.

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