2013 FIBA Asia U16 Championships Roundup: Day Eight

The semifinals of the 2013 FIBA Asia U16 Championships in Tehran, Iran started and ended yesterday with only two teams left to fight for the diadem. China blasted Japan with its superior size, while the Philippines leaned on a strong finishing kick to defeat Taiwan. Both the Chinese and Filipinos, by virtue of their contrasting wins, qualified to the 2014 FIBA U17 World Cup in Dubai.

Lorenzo Navarro hangs in the air as the
Pinoys defeat the Taiwanese.

In the first game of the day, India beat Syria, 81-67, to finish in 11th place. Mahipal Singh shot 8/15 from the field to finish with a team-high 19 points for the South Asian champs. Vishal Gupta and Akhilesh Kumar Tudu backed him up with 12 and 10 points respectively. The lanky Gupta also hauled down 11 rebounds and had 5 blocked shots. India started really strong here, going on a 13-0 spurt in the first five minutes and never relinquished the advantage. The Syrians couldn’t really get anything going and were outplayed in almost every aspect. Ronaldo Shammas and Mohamad Hadri led them with 22 and 12 markers respectively.

The second game of the day featured the Malaysians ending their compaign on a bright note, defeating the Jordanians, 86-80, to finish in 9th spot. Jordan had the edge for most of the game, leading up until the middle of the fourth quarter, but then the Malaysians woke up and dropped 19 points in the final 5 minutes of the game to rally and take the W. Malaysia connected on 13 triples in this game, with 5 coming from Tan Wei Jie. Tan eventually finished with 21 points, with frontliner Yek Liang Chuan also scoring 21 on top of his 10 rebounds. Team captain Foo Ting Jun effectively quarterbacked the Malaysians with 11 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals. On the other end, the Jordanians were led by the combined 50 points of Yazeed Hijazi and Mohammad Daher.

The third game saw how Korea bounced back from its loss to Japan by defeating Kazakhstan, 88-75, and staying alive for a top five finish. Korea led practically the entire game here, and enjoyed sublime shooting from Park Min-Uk and Park Sang-Kwon. Both Parks combined for 7 of Korea’s 9 triples and finished with a total of 39 points. Team captain Kwon Hyeok-Joon, meanwhile, scored 18 markers, had 7 assists and stole the ball 4 times in another impressive performance. Kazakhstan was paced by Andrey Litvinenko and Konstantin Neff, who scored 19 points each. Neff also grabbed 14 boards to add yet another double-double to his tournament total. Korea has a rematch with Iran for fifth place, while the Kazakhs face the Bahrainis for seventh spot.

In the day’s fourth game, Bahrain’s luck ran out in the face of a spirited Iranian side, 79-56. Iran finally played like the deep team they were expected to be, leading by as many as 26 points in the second half. Bahrain actually led at the break, but Iran outscored them, 35-9, in the third period to break the game open and seal a chance for redemption against the Koreans, who beat the Iranians earlier in the tourney. Big man Barzin Baban led Iran with 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 blocks, while Seyed Seyedi, Soheil Farhadi, and Amir Poat each dropped a dozen markers. Farhadi also hauled down 11 boards, while Seyedi and Poat each had 6 steals. The losing team was paced by Mohamed Juma’s 29 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Juma has proven to be one of the emerging stars in the Middle East, and he is someone all FIBA Asia fans should watch in he coming years.

In game number five, China didn’t waste any time in asserting its superiority by outgunning Japan, 99-78. This victory paved the way for China to enter the Finals, which they have never missed since the initial staging of the FIBA Asia U16 tournament in 2009. The Chinese led for the entire match, and their advantage even stood at 34 points at one point. Coach Takashi Idegushi’s boys tried to will themselves back in the game, but in the end, the Chinese proved to be too big and too strong. Zhao Yanhao had a great shooting game, making 5 triples and scoring a total of 32 points to spearhead the Chinese cause. As usual, the twin towers, Hu Jinqiu and Fu Hao, also did well with a combined 32 points and 34 rebounds. Hu also recorded 5 rejections. Rui Hachimura was the most impressive Japanese here, registering 25 markers, 8 boards, and 4 blocks. China will face another undersized team, the Philippines, for the gold medal, while Japan will fight for the last World Cup slot against Taiwan.

For the final match, the Philippines managed to avenge an earlier loss to Taiwan by dealing them a critical loss, 77-72. Coach Jamike Jarin’s boys actually led for most of the game until coach Hsieh Yu-Chuan’s wards waxed hot in the third quarter and seized the initiative going into the final frame, 59-54. Team captain Hsu Cheng-Shun gave Taiwan its largest, and final, lead of the game, 70-62, with under six minutes to go, but that would prove to be their last field goal. Behind Ateneans Jolo Mendoza, Mike Nieto, and Matt Nieto, the Filipinos rallied and ended the contest with a 15-2 blast that solidified their entrance into the Finals and formalized their claim to qualify to the 2014 Dubai World Cup. Mendoza, in particular, sizzled in this encounter, hitting 4 triples and going 11/16 from the field all in all to finish with 28 points. The inside game, meanwhile, was anchored beautifully by Mike Nieto and Paul Desiderio, who paired up for 25 points and 29 rebounds. Mike’s twin, Matt, also impressed with 11 points, 6 assists, and 2 steals. Taiwan, for its part, was led by Tu Su-Han and Hsu Cheng-Shun, each of whom scored 14 points, while Wu Yen-Ju added 13 markers. The Pinoys now try to snare the gold, but it will he a colossal task as they face the seemingly indomitable Chinese, while Taiwan has another shot at making the World Cup in the bronze medal game opposite Japan.


INDIA over SYRIA, 81-67
IND 81 – Singh M 19, Maan 14, Gupta 12, Tudu 10, Singh P 8, Briggs 6, Pandit 5, Sunil 4, Mehla 2, Hooda 1, Das 0, Kanderiya 0
SYR 67 – Shammas 22, Hadri 12, Khori 9, Al Kerawan 6, Tarzikhan 5, Egho 5, Akhdir 3, Al Majzob 3, Diab 2, Hadad 0, Balkes 0, Kurd 0
QS: 22-10, 43-26, 66-44, 81-67

Vishal Gupta stood tall against Syria.

Anas Al Kerawan tries to avoid the defense.

MAS 86 – Tan 21, Yek 21, Foo 11, Chang 8, Lau 7, Chong 6, Heng 6, Soong 6, Lim 0, Wong 0, Liew 0, Rosli 0
JOR 80 – Hijazi 28, Daher M 22, Abu Aboud 13, Al Bdour 6, Al Abed 4, Al Jadidi H 3, Jumean 2, Daher A 2, Al Battikhi 0, Al Jadidi R 0
QS: 19-19, 36-40, 57-64, 86-80

Khaled Abu Aboud goes for the open two.

Foo Ting Jun and the Malaysians surprised many
with their aggressive play in Tehran.

KOR 88 – Park MU 21, Kwon 18, Park SK 18, Yun WS 7, Yang JH 6, Yun DB 6, Lee 4, Mun 2, Yang JM 2, Han 2, Park JC 2, Choi 0
KAZ 75 – Litvinenko 19, Neff 19, Voronushkin 11, Satkeyev 9, Danilchenko 6, Aitkali 5, Kadyr 4, Kurochkin 2, Levakovskiy 0, Korzhov 0, Kirilin 0
QS: 26-17, 44-34, 70-51, 88-75

Coach Kim Do-Wan of Korea gives some
instructions to his young wards.

IRAN over BAHRAIN, 79-56
IRI 79 – Baban 22, Seyedi 12, Farhadi 12, Poat 12, Sheikhi 9, Naziri 8, Meraji 3, Azari 1, Razeghin 0, Kabir 0, Azizi 0
BRN 56 – Juma 29, Kadhem 11, Hasan 8, Al Musalli 2, Baqer 2, Al Madeh 2, Mohamed 1, Husain 1, Ghazwan 0, Khamis 0, Al Waddaei 0, Shakeeb 0
QS: 13-10, 27-19, 36-54, 79-56

Coach Ali Towfigh Ketab of Iran has a chance to salvage fifth place.

CHINA over JAPAN, 99-78
CHN 99 – Zhao 32, Hu 22, Yuan 12, Fu 10, Liu 8, Xu 7, Wang Z 5, Luo 3, Zhang 0, Wang C 0, Wu 0
JPN 78 – Hachimura 25, Nomi 16, Taira 12, Igarashi 8, Maeta 7, Hiraiwa 6, Maki 2, Gunji 2, Hayashi 0, Muto 0, Kono 0
QS: 32-21, 58-37, 77-49, 99-78

Rui Hachimura is shaping up to be one player to
watch in Japan's future.

Hu Jinqiu joins the long line of promising
big men for Team China.

PHL 77 – Mendoza 28, Nieto Mi 17, Nieto Ma 11, Desiderio 8, Navarro 6, Escoto 4, Dela Cruz 3, Dario 0, Padilla 0, Go 0, Abadeza 0
TPE 72 – Tu 14, Hsu 14, Wu YJ 13, Chang 9, Chen 8, Huang 8, Chan 4, Sun 2, Wu CY 0, Lan 0

QS: 23-17, 42-37, 54-59, 77-72

Matt Nieto unleashes a jumper from long range.

The Filipino boys celebrate after clinching a
spot in the 2014 Dubai U17 World Cup.

Wu Yen-Ju weaves through the Filipino defense.

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

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