FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup Recap Day 4: Lebanon & Qatar Perfect, Iraq Pulls Stunner, Japan Delivers Ass-Whooping

Posted: 11/08/2010 by Joe in A Bit of Basketball
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As the championship gets closer to the knock out rounds, the good teams are starting to show apart from the not so good teams. For instance, the hosts Lebanon and Qatar are doing so well in this tournament, they haven’t lost a game yet. Tomorrow’s clash of them could make this a preview to the tournament’s final. Meanwhile, Jordan hasn’t won a game yet, while Iran’s win in the first game suddenly seems a fluke.  Also, unlike Group B, if Iran and Iraq win their matchups tomorrow, all 5 teams would be tied with identical records, 2 wins and 2 losses.What’s going on?

In Day 4’s main event, the Lebanese national team played the defending champs Jordan, where both teams are going to represent Asia in this edition of the FIBA World Championship taking place in Turkey starting August 28. Coming into the tournament, this matchup was previewed to go Jordan’s way, given how they beaten the Lebanese twice in the last FIBA Asia Championship and managed to snatch the bronze medal to qualify automatically for the World Cup while Lebanon had to be awarded a Wild Card. Yet things were different tonight, as the game was miserable free throw-wise and three point-wise, Lebanon dominated the first quarter with the excellent play of Jackson Vroman ( 20 points, 6 rebounds). Jordan responded in the second quarter to bring the game back to a 31-31 tie at the end of the first half. However, Fadi El Khatib had something else in mind, as the Lebanese superstar started to prove that he is shrugging off his injury by scoring six of his thirteen points in the third quarter and drawing most of the attention to bring other players back into the game, creating an eight point advantage by the end of the third and eventually winning the game 63-54. The Jordanian team was horrible offensively, as they had no one in double digit scoring and made a mere 33% of their shots, with Zaid Abbas being their best player with 9 points and 9 rebounds. Jordan will face Syria tomorrow as the winner will advance to face the winner of Group A in the 1/4 finals. If Jordan wins or loses by less than 25 points tomorrow, it will qualify; otherwise, Syria will qualify as fourth.

In the most lopsided game to take place so far, Japan manhandled Kazakhstan 100-57, where it broke the game wide open in the second quarter and kept its foot on the gas throughout the entire game. Takuya Kawamura and Ken Takeda led Japan with 19 points, who have to win their last game against Iraq tomorrow in order to guarantee a berth in the quarterfinals.

Iraq continued to improve its performances game after game, this time achieving an overtime win, 81-77, over Iran, giving itself a shot to qualify for the quarterfinals while making things harder for Iran. Trailing the entire game by as much as 19 and through mid the fourth quarter by 17, the Iraqis went on a rampage and ended the regular time on a 21-4 run and won overtime 16 – 12 with the help of Mohammad Mahdi, 3 of his 16 points forcing overtime, and Omar Ismaerl, 17 points and 8 rebounds. Mohammad Hassanzadeh had 17 points for Iran.

Qatar continues its way of seeking perfecting by defeating the Philippines 66-61, after ending the 1st quarter on a 14-0 run. Qatar stayed in control the entire game but saw its lead slip away slowly and eventually reaching 5 points by the end of the game. Targuy Ngombo was once again The Man for Qatar, scoring a game-high 29 points and grabbing 9 rebounds. Saeed Ali had a good all around game, with 12 rebounds, 7 points and 6 assists. Philippines didn’t have a Ngombo, as their highest scorers were Marclo Lassiter and Christopher Tiu with 11 points apiece.

Qualification to 1/4 finals guaranteed:

Group A: Kazakhstan

Group B: Lebanon – Qatar – Philippines

Standings in Group B:

1- Kazakhstan: 2-2 / -35

2- Japan:             2-1/ +42

3-Ch. Taipei:   2-1/ +22

4- Iran:               1-2/ -13

5- Iraq:               1-2/ -16



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