On a day that the Lebanese Basketball contingent was earlier celebrating their good fortunes after being awarded the 2013 FIBA Asia Championships for Men, they seem to have forgotten that they were in Tokyo to play some basketball. The top-ranked team in Group A squared off with Qatar, the fourth-ranked team in Group B, and when the dust settled, Lebanon found themselves on the short end of a 79-72 score and Qatar was planning their semi-final match-up with Japan.
In other Quarter-Final action Japan defeated China 60-50, the Philippines downed Chinese Taipei 75-68, and Iran handled Uzbekistan 79-37.
Japan – China 60-50
Japan used a 10-point run in the middle of the second quarter to put some distance between them and China. At the end of the half the hosts held a 31-25 advantage. China used a nine-point run of their own to take a one-point advantage mid-way through the third quarter, but Japan countered by shutting China down over the last three minutes of the frame to go into the last quarter up by seven. China was able to cut the margin to three, but Japan took control of the contest and pulled out a 10-point win to head into the semi-finals.
Kosuke Takeuchi led the way for Japan with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Ryota Sakurai added 13, and Kosuke Kanamaru dropped in 10. Zhelin Wang paced China in the loss with 15 points and 14 rebounds, while Ailun Guo and Tailong Zhao contributed 10 points each.
Philippines – Chinese Taipei 75-68
The Philippines outscored Chinese Taipei by nine in the second quarter to take a 38-32 margin into the locker room at the intermission. Neither team could get on track at the start of the third quarter as it took the Philippines squad nearly four minutes to find the bottom of the net. Fortunately for them, Chinese Taipei had similar problems, but once they got going, they took the lead, but ended up down by one going into the final stanza. The Philippines put the game away with a 17-4 run to start the fourth quarter, to move into the semis.
Marcus Eugene Douthit led the Philippines’ effort with 19 points and 18 rebounds, Gary David added 14 points, and Ranidel De Ocampo contributed 10 points. Douglas Creighton paced Chinese Taipei with 21 points, Chih-Chieh Lin added 12, and Shih-Chieh Chen dropped in 11.
Iran – Uzbekistan 79-37
Iran took their fifth straight game in the competition, with this one being the first their coach felt they played well. “We have been giving the youngsters in the team a lot of court time. And for the first time they fired they way we wanted and the way they should,” coach Memi Becirovic stated. With the victory the Iranians will match up against the Philippines.
Asghar Kardoustpoustinsaraei led the winners with 12 points and eight rebounds, Aren Davoudichegani added 11 points. Vyacheslav Denisov paced Uzbekistan with nine points.
Qatar – Lebanon 79-72
With the news coming down from FIBA Asia that Lebanon was going to be hosting the 2013 FIBA Asia Championships for Men, the atmosphere around the Lebanon contingent was no doubt euphoric. Adding the fact that they were squaring off against 1-3 Qatar in the Quarter-Finals, the day was going to be one to remember. Unfortunately, Qatar obviously believes that you don’t play the games on paper, you actually get on the court and run the full 40 minutes.
Lebanon jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead, then Qatar took off on a 19-6 run that put them up by six at the end of the first quarter. Lebanon took control in the second quarter and went on a 14-2 run of their own to turn the contest around and take the two teams into the intermission tied at 35. Qatar owned the third frame, going up by as much as 10 points, but settling on a four-point advantage going into the final stanza. They extended their advantage to as much as 12-points in the last ten minutes, but settled on a seven-point margin to put them in the Semis with Japan.
Clinton (Trey) Johnson led Qatar, after missing three of their qualifying games, with 28 points, Mansour Elhadary added 14, and Mohd Yousuf Mohmmed contributed 13 to the win. Garnett Thompson led Lebanon with 16 points and 16 rebounds, and Jean Abd El Nour dropped in 24 points and 12 rebounds.
(Photos courtesy FIBA Asia)
11:30 Uzbekistan – Chinese Taipei
14:00 Lebanon – China
16:30 Iran – Philippines
19:00 Qatar – Japan