2014 FIBA Asia U18 Championships: Day Three

The Philippines fell big time to a taller and speedier Korean side on Day 3 of the 2014 FIBA Asia U18 Championshipa. In other developments, China, Iran, and Taiwan also continued undefeated.

Preliminary group play closed yesterday with many of the big
teams notching big wins.


Day Three:

Radge Tongco continued to be Batang Gilas’s top offensive option, scoring 24 points on the strength of 5 triples, but Korea just had more weapons here. With superior size and athleticism, coach Kim Seung-Hwan’s crew frustrated the Filipinos at every turn and eventually opened things up in the fourth quarter. Twin towers Kim Kyung-Won and Song Kyo-Chang (both 6’7) paired up for 34 points and 23 rebounds to underscore Korea’s inside edge. Kim also blocked 7 shots to pad his stat-line, Jeon Hyun-Woo and Byeon Jun-Hyeong hit crucial treys to keep the Pinoys at bay the entire game. Korea tops Group B with a 2-0 record even as the Philippine team falls to 1-1.
Byeon Jun-Hyeong tries an acrobatic shot against Batang Gilas.

Undersized center Mark Dyke goes up for an easy twinner.

CHINA over INDIA, 100-40
As expected, the Chinese ran roughshod over the Indians to close out play in Group A. China, moving up undefeated to the second round, was led by Zhou Qi and Zou Yuchen, who tallied 21 and 19 points respectively. Three other Chinese also broke the double-digit barrier as Wang Zhengbo, Zhao Rui, and Zuo Zhennian each dropped at least 10 markers. Zhao Rui was the best all-around player here, grabbing 8 boards, handing out 11 assists, and getting 3 steals. As for India, Gurvinder Gill and Narender Singh each scored 13 points in a losing effort. China sweeps the group and is heavily favored in the second round as India drops out of the race.

Narender Singh launcehs one from the top of the key against China.

Zhou Qi was dominant in his limited time on the floor.

TAIWAN over JAPAN, 84-75
Taiwan leaned on a strong third quarter to open things up and keep the Japs at bay for its third win in as many games. The two Tsengs – Tseng Po-Yu and Tseng Pin-Fu – paced the victors with 20 and 17 points respectively and a combined 18 rebounds. Taiwan’s defense was sterling here, forcing 17 Japanese turnovers. Lin Ming-Yi, Taiwan’s diminutive playmaker, was the bulwark of the winners’ defense, netting 5 swipes on top of his 16 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds. 6’7 Taiga Watanabe tried to carry the fight for Team Hayabusa with 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Akito Uchida and Yuki Mikami paired up to drill 7 threes in Japan’s losing cause. Taiwan earns a 3-0 slate in group play while the Japanese settle for a 2-1 card heading to the second round.

Sun Szu-Yao and Taiga Watanabe battle for the rebound.

Tseng Po-Yu scores in transition for Taiwan.

HONG KONG over IRAQ, 94-86
The Iraqis were favored in this one and, for the most part, they held sway. Things turned sour, however, when Hong Kong found its mark in the final frame and outscored Iraq, 31-18. Coach Kai Mo Ng leaned on the hot shooting of Yee Fu Ho and Ka Chung On to power his team’s counterattack in the fourth quarter. That duo combined for 8 of Hong Kong’s 9 treys and a total of 55 points. 6’3 center Wai Hang Yip also did well, tossing in 21 points along with 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals as the victors overcame a huge 25-52 rebounding disparity. Iraq just wasn’t able to close out here after leading by as many as 18 points in the first half. Jassam Al-Saadi paced the Iraqis with 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 steals, but he did commit 8 turnovers, the same number also committed by point guard Mohammad Al-Fahham. This result effectively boots Iraq out of contention and keeps Hong Kong’s hopes alive.

Ihab Al-Zuhairi attacks the basket with impunity.

Ka Chung On gave Hong Kong a huge lift against Iraq.

MALAYSIA over QATAR, 78-70
It was a great time for Malaysia to notch its first win of the tournament as its improbable triumph over Qatar propelled the SEABA side to the next round of competitions while giving India the boot. Though Qatar jumped out to an early 10-point lead in the first canto, Malaysia persisted and took the lead in the second half. Coach Yong Kian Ann’s wards utilized better outside shooting (33% from beyond the arc) to frustrate Qatar, which made just 1 three-pointer out of 13 attempts. Wee Joon Lock led the way for Malaysia with 5 triples, scoring  a total of 28 points. He was effectively backstopped by Ting Chun Hong, who registered 10 points, 9 boards, and 3 steals. Over on the hosts’ side, Abdulrahman Saad and Mohammad Al-Shawaqfeh scored 28 and 14 points respectively. Malaysia moves on to Group E with a 1-1 slate, while Qatar carries a 0-2 record.

Abdulrahman Saad slices and dices on his way to the hole.

Ting Chun Hong goes up strong against Qatar.

The Kazakhs gave Iran a bit of a scare in the first quarter before the latter broke the game open in the second period and beyond. As expected, Mohammad Yousofvand recorded an impressive line – 22 points, 11 rebounds, 3 steals, and 1 block – to lead Team Melli, which now advances to the second round undefeated in two matches. Navid Rezaeifar also did well, contributing 19 points, 4 boards, 4 dimes, and 2 swipes. Only one player scored in double-figures for the losing team – Alexandr Danilchenko, who managed to tally 11 markers on 4/4 FG shooting, mostly in garbage time. Kazakhstan also advances to Group F with a 1-1 slate.

Mohammad Yousofvand is intent on jamming this one home.

Navid Rezaeifar hoists a lefty floater in the lane.

Images are from FIBA Asia.

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