China used a 30-15 margin in the second quarter to run over Japan 103-80 in their U18 Asian Championships for Men Quarter-Final contest, while Korea had to use the last three quarters to erase a 15-point deficit to set up a rematch in the finals of Thursday’s thrilling overtime contest with China.
China – Japan 103-80
China earned a trip to the U18 Asian Championships for Men Final on Sunday with a decisive 103-80 victory over Japan.
Japan hit the first six points of the game and played China evenly through the first quarter, coming out down by one after the first 10 minutes 24-23.
Japan was still down by only one point with 5:05 left in the second quarter, when China took control of the game. Qian Wu hit a three-pointer to start the rally and put China up by four. By the end of the quarter China had made a 17-2 run and extended their margin at the half to 16, 54-38.
The Japanese cut the deficit to 10 with 3:08 to play in the third quarter, but China pressed on and built the advantage back to 17 going into the final 10 minutes.
The final stanza also belonged to China as they outscored Japan 32-26 to finish up 103-80.
Huaibo Dai paced all scorers with 23 for China, Zhelin Wang added 21, Jinglong Li dropped in 15, and Shang Geo contributed 13 in the win. Masahiro Narita led Japan with 17, Yuta Osaki scored 14, Yuta Watanabe contributed 13, and both Kazushi Mori and Yusei Sugiura added 10 for Japan.
Korea – Iran 96-93
Junyong Choi put the Korean squad squarely on his back and carried them into the Finals against China on Sunday. Choi scored 38 points playing all 40 minutes, shooting 10 for 19 from inside the arc, five of nine behind the arc, and an impressive 13 of 15 from the charity stripe. He also hauled in eight rebounds.
Korea struck first with Sangjae Kang’s jumper after 15 seconds played. That would be the last time Korea would see the lead until 2:41 remaining in the game as Iran built a lead as high as 13 points in the first quarter, settling with a 25-15 advantage at the end of the frame. Eight of Korea’s 15 points in the quarter came on free throws within the last 1:32 to play in the quarter. J. Choi hit six and Seongmo Choi when two for four, three of those pair of free throws were off fouls by Saleh Foroutan Nik. The key power forward for Iran ended up sitting on the bench for almost the entire second quarter.
Korea didn’t give up though and won all three of the final quarters in an effort to chip away at the early Iranian lead. Iran got the lead up to 13, but Korea made their free throws and took advantage of turnovers to get the margin down to six with 3:06 to play in the half. A J. Choi dunk with 2:11 to play in the half cut the lead to three, 43-40, but Vahid Zalirzahan’s jumper with 45 ticks on the clock pushed the margin back to six. Iran held that six-point margin into the locker room at the intermission. 48-42.
Things got interesting in the third quarter when Iran amassed a 13-point lead off a 13-3 run mid-way through the frame to bring the score to 68-55 with 2:31 on the clock. Jonghyun Lee started the rally with two free throws, then J. Choi dropped in a three-pointer to cut the lead to eight. Behnam Yakhchali Dehkordi sank a jumper and split a pair of free throws to put the margin back to 11, 71-60 at 1:56. Gibeom Cheon was fouled taking the ball to the hole and hit both free throws, then J. Choi split two free throws and a deuce to cut the margin to six, 71-65. S. Choi nailed the three to round out the scoring in the third quarter, 71-68.
Iran extended the margin back to seven points with 5:42 to play, but Korea chipped away at the lead until Cheon dropped in a three-pointer and J. Choi hit a jumper to tie the score at 85 with 2:41 left. He split a pair of free throws to give Korea the first lead they had since the first quarter. Hossein Rahmati gave Iran the lead back with a jumper, but Kang countered with a three-pointer to give Korea a two-point advantage. Sajjad Mashayekhi tied the score back up twice in the last minute and a half first with a jumper and then sinking two free throws. Hoon Heo gave Korea a three-point lead nailing a jumper behind the arc with 41 seconds to play. Rahmati hit a jumper to bring Iran to within one again, but Heo hit another jumper to give them a three-point margin again. Iran called a timeout to set up a last shot, but Kang stole an errant Mashayekhi pass and ran out the clock to send Korea to the finals matchup with China.
J. Choi led all scorers with 38 points, Lee contributed 14, Cheon added 13 and Kang scored 11 for Korea. Dalirzahan paced Iran with 20, Yakhchalidehkordi added 19, Foroutan Nik contributed 17, Yousofvand scored 12 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.