FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup Tips Off in Tokyo

FIBA Asia Stankovic CupThe 4th FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup tipped off today at 1130 local time in Tokyo (GMT +9), with the first game being between Lebanon and Macau. Coming is as the defending champions, Lebanon wanted to get off to a quick start and got a very inexperienced squad from Macau lined up against them in their first contest of the tournament. Having traveled six time zones to get to Tokyo, Lebanon’s coach commented that his guys still haven’t fully adjusted to the difference, but they are feeling better.

“We are finding our rhythm,” said Lebanon coach Ghassan Sarkis.

“We are yet getting adjusted to the conditions. It’s a huge difference in time zone for our players. We are yet getting to used to it,” he added.

“A win is a win. And we need to get these games out of the way as quickly as we can. I am happy to start with a win,” he added.

Lebanon trailed after a minute of play and never trailed again.

Elie Stephan lead the way for Lebanon with 24 points, El Cheikh Fadi El Khatib added 22, Elias Rustom contributed 15 in the win. Hip Meng Lo paced teh way for Macu with 14 points, Fu In Lao added 12, and Shao Bing Cai dropped in 11.

Next up for the defending champs will be Philippines and Uzbekistan for Macau.

The second game pitted Iran against India in a much closer contest that saw Iran come out on top 83-71.

India took advantage of very poor shooting by the Iranian squad and were able to traded baskets for the better part of the first half. Iran held one-point advantage with 43 seconds and then they ran off five straight points to close out the quarter with a 23-17 margin. India built up a six-point gap twice during the second quarter, only to have Iran start finding the bottom of the net and outscoring the Indians 13-4 in the closing minutes of the half to take a 40-37 lead into the halftime break.

Iran put some space between them in the first half of the third quarter going on a 17-6 run, but India managed to pull back to within six points at the end of the third quarter. The main difference in the game was the hustle of Iran after loose balls and India watching balls drop and not going after them. Iran was able to get numerous second and third shots.

India didn’t score in the first two and a half minutes of the final stanza, while Iran built up a 12 point margin. With 3:07 the advantage had grown to 16 points, but then India mounted an effort to come back, going on a 6-0 run, but they couldn’t get the gap to less than nine, ultimately falling 83-71.
Iran didn’t help their cause with continued shots outside the arc, shooting 2 for 22 (9%) from three-point land. Likewise, India’s connection rate inside the paint was low, but they pushed the ball inside more and got more high-percentage shots. The stat of the game was Iran’s 24 points off turnovers to 14 for India…

Iran had a balanced scoring attack with four players in double figures: Mohammad Samad Nikkhah Bahrami contributed 23, Hamed Afagh Eslamieh dropped in 16, Asghar Kardoustpoustinsaraei had 12, and Aren Davoudichegani had 10. India was led by Vishesh Bhriguvanshi’s 21 points, Amrit Pal Singh added 15, Joginder Singh had 12, and Rikin Shantilal Pethani tallied 12.

As the final two games are completed, we’ll add their results

  GROUP A
TeamWLPtsGA
Lebanon (LIB)1022.35
China (CHN)1021.04
Philippines (PHI)0110.96
Macau (MAC)0110.43
Uzbekistan (UZB)
Results – Sept. 14
Macau – Lebanon – 51-120
Philippines – China – 68-71
Games – Sept. 15
1130 Uzbekistan – Macua
1900 Lebanon – Philippines  GROUP B
TeamWLPtsGA
Iran, I.R (IRI)1021.17
Japan (JPN)1021.06
Qatar (QAT)0110.95
India (IND)0110.86
Chinese Taipei (TPE)0110.86
Results – Sept. 14
India – I.R. Iran – 71-83
Japan – Qatar – 73-69
Games – Sept. 15
1400 Qatar – India
1630 Chinese Taipei – Japan

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