Asian Basketball Journal - June 7, 2015

Here in the Philippines there really is no site (or person) really dedicated to the Asian hoops scene, which is why this series exists. Through this series of Asian Basketball Journals, I hope to address just that void. I believe that Asian basketball is such a vibrant source of stories, and I think this should be shared with hoop nuts here in the Philippines and beyond.

Like in previous posts, I won’t be going into a lot of detail. I’ll use mostly images and then just add captions to each one that will, hopefully, capture the essence of the latest developments in Asian hoops.

Here are the highlights of the past few weekss in Asian basketball:
- The Aisin Seahorses beat the Toyota Alvark to win the 2015 NBL-Japan Finals! Kosuke Kanamaru was named the Finals MVP!
- In the IBF Superleague’s second conference, Mahram-Tehran copped another title after beating upstart Azad University in the championship series.
- In the LBL, Al Riyadi, powered by superstar Fadi El Khatib, capped off a great season by annexing the league crown at the expense of United Byblos Amchit.
- Over in Qatar, Al Gharafa defeated El Jaish to win the 2015 Qatar Cup while El Jaish rebounded by winning the Emir Cup a month after.
- Lebanon also ruled the 2015 WABA Championship, with Jordan and Palestine (for the first time!) also qualifying!

2014-2015 Japan National Basketball League (NBL):
- Images from NBL-Japan.

The Aisin Seahorses whoop it up after annexing the 2015 Japan-NBL crown.
Joji Takeuchi and the Hitachi Sunrockers got booted out of the NBL Playoffs by the Toyota Alvark in the semifinals.
Japanese sniper Kosuke Kanamaru was named 2015 Japan-NBL Finals MVP.

2015 IBF Superleague Second Conference:
- Images from Nasim Online.

Courtney Pilgram of Gorgan was one of the best imports of the IBF Superleague. 

Mahram-Tehran succeeded in lifitng the Superleague trophy for the first time since 2012.

National team stalwart Oshin Sahakian played at a very high level against Azad University in the Finals.

National team big man Rouzbeh Arghavan goes up strong for a slam. Azad had a banner season, making the Finals for the first time ever.

2014-2015 Lebanese Basketball League (LBL):
- Images from Sportscode/Sports 961.

Ahmad Ismail turned out to be one of the best players in the 2014-2015 LBL season.

Al Riyadi successfully repeated as champions after beating United Byblos Amchit in five games.

Lebanese legend Fadi El Khatib was a big reason Al Riyadi bagged the title.

Jasmon Youngblood played really well this season, leading UBA to the Finals for the first time in history.

Two prospective NT guards -- Mo Ibrahim and Ali Mahmoud -- mix it up.

2015 Qatar Cup and Emir Cup:

Al Gharafa succeeded in winning the 2015 QBF Qatar Cup at the expense of El Jaish.
(image from Gulf Times)

El Jaish settled for second after falling to Al Gharafa in the Qatar Cup Finals.
(image from Gulf Times)

El Jaish rebounded, however, by winning the season-ending Emir Cup, beating Al Sadd in the Finals.
(image from Doha Stadium Plus)

Former PBA import Vernon Macklin was a big reason El Jaish climbed to the top of the 2015 Emir Cup.

2015 WABA Championship:
- Images from Sportscode/Sports 961.

Lebanon's Bassel Bawji and Jordan's Mohammad Shaher Hussein contest the jump ball. Lebanon won this one, 92-74.

As usual, Fadi El Khatib was his unstoppable self as the Cedars swept the 2015 WABA tourney.

Jasmon Youngblood provided great help as Lebanon's naturalized player in WABA 2015. Along with Elijah Holman, Youngblood is a candidate to play for Lebanon in #FIBAAsia2015.

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