2014 Asian Games Basketball Roundup: Day Four

It was another day of upsets in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. Kazakhstan and Mongolia came up huge, pulling the rug from higher-seeded Taiwan and Jordan, respectively, to continue their winning ways, while the Philippines and Qatar played true to form to dispose of their own opponents.

Coach Bayartsogt Odonbaatar of Mongolia raises his hands in
triumph after his team defeated Jordan.
(image from Jumpball.co.kr)

Game recaps:
The forward duo of Anatoliy Kolesnikov and Dmitriy Gavrilov was on-target in Kazakhstan’s fourth game in as many days. That pair combined to shoot 16/24 from the field, scoring a total of 36 points to lead the Kazakhs in their upset win over fancied Taiwan. Kolesnikov flirted with a double-double here, collaring 9 rebounds on top of his 18 points, while Anton Ponomarev tallied 10 markers and 11 boards in the win. The Taiwanese were grossly outrebounded here, 39-29, and they relied too much on their three-point shooting, hoisting 31 shots from beyond the arc. They did, however, make only 9 of those threes, while also allowing their foes to shoot 27 free throw attempts. Lu Cheng-Ju led the losing side with 17 points on the strength of 5 triples, while Tien Lei and Lin Chih-Chieh each scored 11. This was a great bounce-back win for Kazakhstan, which was routed by India two days ago.

Gilas Pilipinas started its Asiad campaign in the best way possible, scoring the game’s first 16 points and holding the lead till the final buzzer. Coach Chot Reyes, however, wasn’t very happy with how his team closed out this match as a slew of turnovers in the fourth quarter enabled India to mount a last-ditch rally that made the score a little too close for comfort. In all, the Filipinos turned the ball over 19 times in this one while also allowing India to connect twelve times from long distance. Still, Gilas compensated by outrebounding their foes, 41-24, and pounding the ball inside to big men Marcus Douthit, June Mar Fajardo, and Japeth Aguilar, who all combined to drop 36 points and 25 rebounds. Jeff Chan and LA Tenorio presided over Gilas’s strong start here and eventually paired up to tally 24 markers, while Gary David provided instant offense off the bench with 13 points in only 11 minutes. India takes on powerhouse Iran for its fifth game in five days, while Gilas gets its turn against the Asian champions tomorrow.

Jared Dillinger goes up strong as Gilas Pilipinas beats India.
(image by Nick Bedard)

Coach Rajko Toroman surely fumed after his ballyhooed Jordanian squad got their legs cut with this unexpected loss to upstart Mongolia. The East Asian team outscored its West Asian opponent, 47-25, in the middle two quarters to seize the initiative heading into the final frame, where they proceeded to complete the upset win. Bilguun Battuvshin recorded 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 steals in leading Mongolia, which has won three games in four tries. Versatile swingman Sanchir Tungalag backed him up with 19 markers and 7 boards. Despite an advantage in size, Jordan lost the battle of the boards and turned the ball over way too often here. They led after the first ten minutes, but couldn’t get the job done against a less experienced Mongolian quintet. The inside-outside duo of Mousa Al-Awadi and Ahmad Al-Dwairi paced Al Nashama with 22 and 18 points respectively. Al-Dwairi also grabbed a dozen rebounds and had 2 rejections in the sorry loss. Jordan now has to win tomorrow against title contender South Korea to have any hopes of advancing.

Home team Korea lies in wait in Group D.
(image from Jumpball.co.kr)

Mongolia celebrates after its huge upset over Jordan.
(image from Jumpball.co.kr)

QATAR over KUWAIT, 79-69
It was a war of Gulf neighbors in Group F, with the bigger and more experienced Qataris coming up with the win after the dust settled. The forward pair of Khalid Suliman Abdi and Erfan Ali Saeed did most of the damage for the Qataris here, scoring 25 and 14 points respectively. Abdi shot 11/14 from the two-point area here as he was hardly challenged by the smaller Kuwaiti wingmen. He also grabbed 9 rebounds, handed out 3 assists, and had 4 steals in a sterling effort. Naturalized guard Boney Watson started for Qatar here and showed solid playmaking, collaring 7 boards and dishing out 4 assists. His back-up, Mansour El-Hadary, provided instant offense off the pine with 10 markers in 15 minutes. Ahmad Al-Baloushi and Hussein Al-Khabbaz paced the losing side with 17 and 12 points respectively. Kuwait goes up against Japan today and must win to advance to the quarterfinals.

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