2014 Asian Games Basketball Roundup: Day Five

Day Five saw many of the tournament favorites strut their stuff in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. Iran, China, and Japan expectedly blasted their respective foes even as South Korea had to make adjustments in the second half to throttle upstart Mongolia.

Oh Se-Keun played splendidly in returning to action for the Korean NT.

Game recaps:
This is an example of the final score not really doing justice to the kind of hardships Korea had to go through just to dispose of pesky Mongolia. Behind the prowess of Sanchir Tungalag, the Mongolians led the hosts after one quarter and trailed by a solitary point at the half. Coach Yoo Jae-Hak proceeded to make adjustments as his squad finally caught fire in the third period to break the close game open. Returning veterans Oh Se-Keun, Heo Il-Young, and Moon Tae-Jong were at the forefront of the Korean attack, scoring 22, 12, and 10 points respectively. Korea utilized its size advantage fully, outrebounding their foes, 49-23. Tungalag finished with 24 points for Mongolia, which should still advance to the quarterfinals unless Jordan upsets Korea.

Heo Il-Young shoots a lefty three over the Mongolian defense.

Sanchir Tungalag challenges the D of Lee Jong-Hyun in midair.

Though wanting in experience, the Chinese are surely not short on talent and size, both of which they showcased in routing the tired Kazakhs. Kazakhstan, playing for the fifth straight day, was visibly gassed, scoring just 12 points in the entire first half and playing catch-up till the final buzzer. China forced its foes to commit 18 turnovers and shoot under 29% from the field. Six Chinese scored 8 points or more, led by young center Wang Zhelin, who tallied 14 points and 5 rebounds in 18 minutes of play. The backcourt duo of Guo Ailun and Zhao Tailong paired up to score 19 markers. Kazakhstan, meanwhile, was paced by Anton Ponomarev and Dmitriy Gavrilov, who recorded 11 and 10 points respectively. Kazakhstan should still make the quarterfinals unless Taiwan manages to beat China.

Guo Ailun impressed in his first Asian Games match.

Wang Zhelin tries to move in traffic against Kazakhstan.

IRAN over INDIA, 76-41
Iran opened its account by upending an Indian team that was just too exhausted to offer much resistance. After a tough loss to the Philippines, coach Scott Flemming’s wards just didn’t have much left in the tank as they squared off against a fresh Iranian side. Coach Memi Becirovic’s boys outrebounded India, limited them just 31% shooting from the field, and forced them to cough the ball up 22 times. It was just sheer domination by a team many feel is on-track to win the gold medal. Hamed Haddadi led Team Melli with 18 points, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks, while the wingman tandem of Samad Nikkhah Bahrami and Mohammad Jamshidi scored 16 and 14 points respectively. Amritpal Singh was the only Indian to score in double-digits with 10 points, while the usually prolific duo of Vishesh Bhriguvanshi and Amjyot Singh were shackled and produced a combined 12 markers. India is now eliminated after going 0-2 in the second round, while Iran battles the Philippines for the group’s top spot.

Hamed Haddadi tries a fadeaway against India.

Mohammad Jamshidi continues his rapid growth for Iran.

JAPAN over KUWAIT, 89-75
Kuwait mounted a mini-comeback in the final frame but even that wasn’t enough to overhaul the big lead Team Hayabusa already built in the first three periods. Japan outscored Kuwait, 52-33, in the middle two quarters to break the game open and notch its first win in the 2014 Asiad. Coach Kenji Hasegawa’s wards had a balanced inside-outside attack, shooting 46% (10/22) from beyond the arc and dominating the boards, 46-38. Shooters Kosuke Kanamaru and Naoto Tsuji connected on a total of 6 triples and scored 18 and 14 points respectively to lead Japan, while the Takeuchi twins (Kosuke and Joji) paired up to record 19 markers and 17 rebounds. Kuwait actually shot well from the field (46%), but this was offset by their woeful 53% clip from the free throw line. Ahmad Al-Baloushi paced the losing side with 16 points, while Nayef Al-Rashidi tallied 14 markers, 7 boards, and 2 blocked shots. Like India, Kuwait bows out of contention after absorbing its second defeat in Group F. Japan disputes the group’s top seed against Qatar next.

Kosuke Kanamaru is back in action after missing the 2014 FIBA Asia Cup.
(image from the JBA)

Naoto Tsuji hit four threes for Team Hayabusa.
(image from the JBA)

Unless otherwise specified, all images are from Jumpball.co.kr.

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