2014 Asian Games Basketball Roundup: Final Day

History was made in the 2014 AsianGames in Incheon, South Korea as the hosts pulled the rug from tournament favorite Iran to win its fourth Asiad gold medal. It was a fitting send-off for one of Korea’s most iconic players, too, as they bid farewell to the international career of Kim Joo-Sung, who was also around when Korea last won a gold in the 2002 Busan Asian Games. In the bronze medal match, Kenji Hasegawa’s crew held on to beat Kazakhstan and secure Team Hayabusa’s first Asiad medal since 1994.

23-year old Kim Jong-Kyu represents the bright future of basketball in Korea.

Game recaps:
Kenji Hasegawa drew another superb game from prized sniper Kosuke Kanamaru, who drilled 5 triples on his way to a team-high 21 points as Japan upended Kazakhstan to claim its first Asian Games medal in 20 years. Kanamaru led five Nippon cagers in double-figures. Kosuke Takeuchi and twin brother Joji more than held their own in the paint, finishing with a combined 27 points and 17 rebounds, while backcourt partners Makoto Hiejima and Naoto Tsuji dropped 15 and 13 markers respectively. This result was a pleasant surprise for Hasegawa, who has never coached beyond the college level in Japan, and whose team struggled prior to the Asian Games, finishing just sixth in the 2014 Jones Cup. On the other end, Kazakh mainstays Dimitriy Gavrilov and Anton Ponomarev impressed with a combined 36 points and 24 boards, while star forward Anatoliy Kolesnikov contributed 15 markers and 9 caroms. Vitaly Strebkov’s wards, however, couldn’t hit the mark from downtown, making only 6 of their 26 three-point attempts.

Japan celebrates its first podium finish since the 2012 FIBA Asia Cup in Tokyo.
(image from the JBA)

Joji Takeuchi tangles with Anton Ponomarev in the paint.

Kosuke Kanamaru goes up against Pavel Ilin.
(image from the JBA)

Kosuke Takeuchi was a tower of strength for Japan.
(image from the JBA)

SOUTH KOREA over IRAN, 79-77
Iran looked to be headed to its first-ever Asian Games gold before the home squad uncorked a 9-2 endgame run that all but clinched the title. Samad Nikkhah Bahrami was sensational in this one, scattering 30 points on 50% FG shooting, but even that herculean performance wasn’t enough as Team Melli couldn’t close out the resilient Koreans. Big man Hamed Haddadi recorded 14 points and 6 rebounds, but he also turned the ball over six times, while Mahdi Kamrani couldn’t really get his shot going, finishing with only 10 points. Korea, meanwhile, continued to rely on its perimeter shooting to overhaul the late deficit. Moon Tae-Jong came to play anew, rattling off 19 points on the strength of 3 triples, while young slotman Kim Jong-Kyu stepped up, shooting 7/12 from the floor to register an all around line of 17 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block. Iconic shooter Cho Sung-Min bucked a broken finger to make 3 treys and score 16 markers in 35 minutes of action. It has been a great year for Korean head coach Yoo Jae-Hak, who led his team to the 2014 KBL title and now to the top of the podium in front of hometown fans.

Cho Sung-Min caught fire early as Korea got the jump on Iran.

Hamed Haddadi is dejected as the Asiad gold continues to elude Team Melli.

Seemingly timeless veteran Kim Joo-Sung retires after his second Asiad gold.

Veterans Yang Dong-Geun (L) and Kim Joo-Sung (R) carry the Korean flag after they
defeated fancied Iran in the gold medal game.

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

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