FIBA Asia: Final day of R2 to determine QFs

As the penultimate day of Round 2 in the FIBA Asia Championships wrapped up on Tuesday, the final spots in the quarterfinals were set to be determined on the final day. At the end of the day in Group E Chinese Taipei, the Phillippines, and Qatar had secured spots in the QFs, but Jordan and Japan were set up for a showdown to determine the final slot. Hong Kong remains winless and out of playoff contention. They tipped off early Wednesday, with Jordan using two big quarters to pull off a 65:56 victory to complete the group’s representatives.

FIBA AsiaIn Group F Iran remained undefeated, South Korea grabbed their spot, and Kazakhstan, China, and Bahrain remain in the hunt. Kazakhstan has already played their final match of Round 2 this morning and came up short against group leader Iran, who finish the Round undefeated. The loss doesn’t affect Kazakhstan’s playoff hopes though as they will finish in the third or fourth spot depending on the results of the rest of the day. Bahrain squares off against China with the winner moving on and the loser heading to the consolation round. India currently remains winless, but will look to pick up their first win in the second round when they hit the hardwood against South Korea in the final contest of the day.

Group E
Jordan – Hong Kong, 80:54
Hong Kong scored the first points of the contest, but Jordan took the lead shortly after and never gave it up on their way to an 80:56 win that was critical in setting up a final day showdown with Japan for the final playoff spot. Jordan not only didn’t let up the lead again, they dominated the contest by winning every quarter as well as nearly every major statistic category. They out shot Hong Kong dropping 30 of 69 (43.5%) compared to 21 of 64 (32.8%) from the field, and out rebounded them 51-34.

Chinese Taipei – Japan, 79:76
Japan gave unbeaten Chinese Taipei a run for their money Tuesday, taking their contest all the way to the wire before falling 79:76. The Japanese squad had pulled to within one, 74:73, with just over a minute to play, but couldn’t connect from the field for the rest of the game.

Chinese Taipei let Japan get out the an early 11:2 lead in the first quarter before pulling to an 18-all tie with just over two minutes to play in the frame. At the horn Japan held a 25:22 advantage. In the early part of the second CT ran off eight unanswered to take the lead, 32:28. The club’s battled for the rest of the quarter with Japan retaking the lead, then Chinese Taipei going up one with just under a minute left in the half. CT got a pair of singles from the line and a deuce in the paint with eight seconds to play to take a three-point lead into the halftime lead, 44:41.

Japan built a lead a much as six points in the third frame before giving the advantage up and letting Chinese Taipei finish the frame up two, 61:59.

CT outscored Japan 6:2 early in the fourth to get up by six, an advantage Japan wouldn’t overcome in the final 10. It wasn’t until Ryota Sakurai dropped a jumper with a minute-four to play that Japan would pull to within a point, 74:73. Chih-Chieh Lin would follow up the jumper with a three-point play to extend the Chinese Taipei lead back to four, 77:73. Naoto Tsuji missed the only field goal Japan would get in the final minute, but would drop three free throws at the end of the contest to cut the final margin to three, 79:76.

Philippines – Qatar, 80:70
The Philippines handed Qatar their first loss of Round 2 with an 80:70 victory that was looking like it was going to be a blowout after a 27:9 second quarter in the Philippines’ favor.

The two clubs battled to a 20-all tie after the initial 10 despite the Philippines getting up by as much as eight, 17:9, with four minutes to play in the frame. Qatar rallied with an 11:3 run to close out the quarter.

The second quarter started slowly with the Philippines getting the advantage, 24:23, three minutes into the stanza. After a pair of singles on both ends of the court brought the tally to 26:25 with just under seven minutes to play in the half, Qatar’s offense shut down completely and the Philippines ran off 14 unanswered points on the way to a 21:4 run to close out the half, 47:29.

The third was played evenly with the Philippines adding a point to the advantage, while getting out front by as much as 23 during the third 10. At the end of the period Qatar found themselves down 19, 63:44.

Qatar opened the fourth with a 9:2 run, cutting the lead to 12, 65:53. They got as close as seven, 74:67, then wouldn’t connect again until Jarvis Hayes dropped a triple at the buzzer to pull them within 10, 80:70.

Group E
Iran – Bahrain, 75:56
In a game of massive scoring swings, Iran put up 19 on Bahrain in the third to keep their unblemished record intact with 75:56 victory. The loss drops Bahrain into fifth place, but a win over China on Wednesday would give Bahrain the final seat in the playoffs.

Bahrain scored their first basket a minute into the game, their second three minutes in and then didn’t score again until there was 42 seconds left in the quarter. Iran was steady through out adding points in the paint, behind the arc and a place or two in between. By the end of the quarter Iran held a solid lead, 23:6.

Both clubs tallied two early in the second, but wouldn’t hit the cords again for over three minutes. Shortly after Bahrain went on a 10:2 run to within 10, 28:18. A 9:0 run for Bahrain at the end of the frame closed out scored with Iran up three, 30:27.

Iran got a triple from Hamed Afagh 11 seconds into the third quarter and was followed-up by Samad Nikkhah Bahrami’s three-ball. A 13:3 run over the first three minutes pushed the Iranian margin to 13, 43:30. A 15:0 run through the heart of the quarter extended that lead to 25, 58:33. Over the last two and a half minutes both traded a triple, then a deuce, then a triple with Iran heading into the last quarter up 63:41.

Bahrain was able to sliced three off their deficit in the fourth by outscoring Iran 15:12, but the damage had been done and Iran upped their undefeated Round 2 to 4-0. Bahrain dropped to 1-3 with their final contest coming against China.

China – India, 79:45
China kept their playoff hopes alive with a pounding of the squad from India, 79:45. China set the tone early in the contest by getting up 22:14 at the end of the first frame and heading into the locker rooms up 45:20.

The third frame was more of the same with China adding six to the advantage with a 15:9 score. They wrapped up the contest with a closer final frame, with China outscoring India 19:16.

China looks to grab the final playoff seat with a game against Bahrain on Wednesday.

South Korea – Kazakhstan, 71:47
Korea grabbed the Num. 2 spot in the playoffs with a solid 71:47 win over Bahrain. The first quarter was evenly played with Korea taking a 16:14 lead after the first 10. The South Koreans tacked on nine in the second with a 13:0 run that turned into a 22:13 quarter score and a 38:27 tally at the break. South Korea kept on the pressure in the third and added a 10-spot, 19:9, to get up 57:36 at the end of the third 10. As the final horn sounded, South Korea had added three more to extend their lead to 24, with a 71:47 victory.

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