2014 Asian Games Basketball Roundup: Day Seven

Day Seven saw the Philippines fall into a couple of setbacks in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. After failing to upend Qatar, Gilas Pilipinas was on the verge of imploding as coach Chot Reyes heavily criticized his wards for their lackluster effort. In other games, China, Korea, and Iran stayed true to form and manhandled their respective foes.

Boney Watson could hardly be stopped as Qatar defeated Gilas.

Game recaps:
CHINA over MONGOLIA, 108-67
China leaned on a hot start to build an early double-digit lead that Mongolia would never be able to overhaul, and Gong Luming’s wards cruised to the big blowout to open their quarterfinal campaign. Coach Bayartsogt Odonbaatar’s team was grossly outrebounded here, 51-23, and shot just 35% from the field, while the Chinese were red-hot, making 66% of their attempts. China hit 11 three-pointers in this game, with 10 coming from the trio of Zhao Tailong, Gu Quan, and Ding Yanyuhang. Zhao had 21 points to lead the way, while Gu and Ding scored 20 and 19 respectively. Projected 2015 NBA draftee Guo Ailun also did well with an all-around line of 7 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists in 25 minutes of play. On the other end, Sanchir Tungalag and Munkhbold Bataa paced the losing side with 15 and 14 markers respectively, but the pair shot a woeful 11/29 from the floor. Team Captain Bilguun Battuvshin struggled with foul trouble and scored just 8 points. China goes up against dangerous Japan next, while Mongolia takes on powerhouse Iran.

Shandong's Ding Yanyuhang had a great game against the Mongolians.

Zhai Xiaochuan goes for a lay-up in China's win over Mongolia.

Kazakhstan’s slow star doomed them against the hosts. The Koreans limited the Kazakhs to just 5 points in the first quarter and continued to dominate proceedings on the way to their third win in the tournament. Korea was actually outrebounded here, 39-29, but coach Yoo Jae-Hak’s wards compensated by forcing 19 Kazakh turnovers and making 10 triples. Veteran power forward Oh Se-Keun led the victors with 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 1 steal, while second-string PG Kim Tae-Sul waxed hot and tallied a dozen markers. Coach Vitaly Strebkov couldn’t get much going from prized forward Anatoliy Kolesnikov, who shot 2/12 and made just 6 points. Anton Ponomarev was the only Kazakh in double-digits with 10 markers. Korea seeks revenge against Gilas Pilipinas tomorrow, while Kazakhstan faces Gulf power Qatar.

Kim Jong-Kyu of Korea battles Dmitriy Gavrilov and Rustam Murzagaliev
for the rebound.

Kim Tae-Sul dropped a dozen points against the Kazakhs.

IRAN over JAPAN, 82-59
This was a tight game in the first half, but Iran put the clamps on Japan in the last two quarters to register a big winning margin. Despite star swingman Samad Nikkhah Bahrami sitting this one out, coach Memi Becirovic’s wards had more than enough firepower to throttle past the pesky Japanese. Team Melli shot 50% from beyond the arc here, powered by the combined 4 triples of Behnam Yakhchali and Oshin Sahakian. Sahakian actually led Iran in scoring with 17 points on 7/10 FG shooting off the bench. Star guard Mahdi Kamrani, meanwhile, notched 14 points on 5/9 FG shooting. Iran was also great defensively, getting 13 steals and outrebounding Japan, 38-24. Three players scored in double-figures for coach Kenji Hasegawa – Kosuke Kanamaru (14 points), Makoto Hiejima (12 points), and Joji Takeuchi (10 points).

Kenji Hasegawa gives some instructions to his shooter, Kosuke Kanamaru.
(image from the JBA)

Takumi Ishizaki and the Japs found the going tough against Iran.
(image from the JBA)

After one half, the Philippine team was in the driver’s seat and looked stable enough to keep the Qataris at bay, but an unfortunate turn of events propelled coach Vasilis Fragkias’s wards to the W over Gilas Pilipinas. Down by 3 at the break, Qatar leaned on the outside shooting of 6’9 Mohammed Yousef to spark a 15-2 run that all but deflated the Filipinos. Yousef, who played for local club Al Jaysh in 2013, is known as a big banger who has a deft perimeter touch. He shot 33% from rainbow country for Al Jaysh and made 36% of his threes in the 2012 FIBA Asia Cup in Tokyo. FIBA Asia fans should recall that he hot FOUR threes against Gilas in the third-place match of that tourney. He basically torched us again here, hitting all three of his three-bombs to lead Qatar with 19 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 steals. Naturalized playmaker Boney Watson also showed up, netting 15 points and 3 assists, while the veteran pair of Daoud Musa Daoud and Erfan Ali Saeed added a combined 21 markers. Jimmy Alapag paced Gilas with 15 points on the strength of 5 treys, while Marcus Douthit added 10 markers. Marc Pingris showed a lot of heart with 9 points and 8 boards, but even his efforts were all for naught. After the game, coach Chot Reyes actually called out some of his players, Douthit in particular, for not playing their best. It remains to be seen how this will affect Gilas in its crucial match against Korea today.

Jimmy Alapag was the lone bright spot in the second half for Gilas.

Mohammed Yousef torched the Gilas defense from the perimeter.

Greek coach Vasilis Fragkias looked well-prepared against the Filipinos.

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

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