Tournament MVP:Hu Wei-Dong, China (198cm, G/F)
CHINA BEAT SOUTH KOREA,
GRABBED LAST TICKET TO SYDNEY
China won their 11th Asian
men's basketball title and the only birth in Asia in the Sydney Olympics
when they defeated defending champion
South Korea 63-45 on September 5th.
The Koreans led 15-13 in the early going but soon trailed 21-29 at the
half. Cho Sung-Won's three-pointer with eight minutes remaining in the
second half cut China's lead to 38-42, but that's the closest they can
get. China's Hu Wei-Dong, who was selected the MVP in the tournament,
buried three three-pointers in the last four minutes to seal the win.
Hu scored team-high 16 points while Gong Xiao-Bin contributed 15. NBA
Dallas Mavericks draft pick Wang Zhi-Zhi collected 10 points, 8
rebounds and 3 blocks in 27 minutes. Korea was led by Kang
Dong-Hee's 10 points. Center Seo Jang-Hoon had 9 points and 6 rebounds.
Known for a dangerous shooting team, South Korea was limited by China's
brilliant defense on the perimeter, shooting for a miserable 5-19 from
three-point range. Korea also lost to China 92-112 in last year's Asian
Games in Bangkok.
China coach Jiang Xing-Quan praised his team's defense and work on the
boards. China grabbed the only spot Asia receives from Sydney Olympics
and will look for improving their 8th place finish both in
'94 World Championships and '96 Atlanta Olympics.
In the consolation game, Saudi Arabia regained their momentum in the
second half and trounced favorite Taiwan 93-67 to win the third place,
the highest finish in their Asian Championship history starting from
Ali Al Maghrabi tallied 36 points and led Saudi Arabia from 38-39
halftime deficit to complete the come-from-behind win. Saudi Arabia
outscored Taiwan 55-28 in the second 20 minutes.
Taiwan led 12-4 in the beginning and trailed only by one, 51-52, with
13 1/2 minutes remaining. However they were upset by several calls that
didn't went their way and collapsed in the last 10 minutes.
The 21th Asian Men's Basketball Championship will be held in Bangkok,
Thailand in 2001.
FINAL:China 63-45 South Korea(29-21)
CONSOLATION:Saudi Arabia 93-67 Taiwan(38-39)
SEMI I: China 105-51 Taiwan(50-28)
SEMI II:South Korea 85-59 Saudi Arabia(42-30)
5th & 6th:Japan 77-61 Kuwait(45-25)
7th & 8th:Lebanon 61-60 Syria(27-34)
9th & 10th:Uzbekistan 70-56 UAE(42-22)
11th & 12th:Philippines 83-75 Bahrain(46-31)
13th & 14th:Hong Kong 68-53 Thailand(39-22)
Day6 / September 2
SURPRISE!! TAIWAN UPSET
JAPAN, BACK TO THE FINAL FOUR
Taiwan NT got back their
top shooting form in time to shock host Japan ,77-68, in their must-win
game and grabbed the final spot in the Asian Basketball Championship's
Taiwan will face powerful China, which won 10 of the previous 19 Asian
Basketball Championships, in semifinal. Defending champion South Korea
will face Saudi Arabia, which finished fourth in 1997, in the other
Lo Shin-Liang and Cheng Chih-Lung, Taiwan's most prolific scorers, put
the nightmarish performance in the South Korea game behind them and
tallied 25p and 24p each and led Taiwan to its first final four birth
Taiwan NT, which shot 47% from the field in the game, used its sweet
perimeter shooting to kickstart the game and led 31-21 with 5:01
remaining in the first half. But Japan's PG Kenichi Sako made a three-
pointer to start a 12-0 spurt and led 37-36 at the half.
With Michael Takahashi(19rb) and Dan Weiss(14rb) dominating the board,
Japan was able to maintain its lead most of the second half. They still
led 62-57 with 5 1/2 minutes to go, when Taiwan made its last push.
Cheng Chih-Lung's six straight points ignited Taiwan's 10-0 run, capped
by Lo Shin-Liang's three-pointer. But after Taiwan jumped back to
take the lead 69-62 with two minutes remaining, they made only 4 out of
10 free throws. Meanwhile, Takehiko Orimo made two quick three-point
shot to make it 68-73 with under a minute to go. However, Japan could
not score any point. Taiwan finally walked away and seal the surprising
victory after Cheng and Lo swished four consecutive foul shots.
Taiwan trailed 33-50 in rebounding but commited only seven tourovers.
Guard Yen Shin-Shu contributed 13 points. Japan's leading scorers
Takehiko Orimo and Makoto Hasegawa shot a combined 9-31. As a
team, they shot a poorly 35% from the field.
Japan's headcoach Mototaka Kohama immediately resigned from the post
after the defeat, citing he could not take the team to a higher level.
Takehiko's 16 points led the team.
SECOND ROUND FINAL RESULTS
China 107-67 Lebanon(52-39)
Saudi Arabia 93-80 Kuwait(47-40)
Taiwan 77-68 Japan(36-37)
South Korea 70-62 Syria(30-38)
UAE 88-75 Malaysia(47-42)
Bahrain 93-70 Hong Kong(39-50)
Uzbekistan 83-71 Thailand(44-34)
Day 5/September 1
SOUTH KOREA EDGED JAPAN,
AIMING ON REMATCH AGAINST CHINA
Host Japan lost its most
crucial second round game to long time nemisis South Korea, 61-64. Japan
will have to defeat Taiwan today to advance to the semifinals. However,
potential matchup with China in the semi virtually declare Japan has no
chance to finish better than 3rd place.
Defending champion South Korea stormed back from nine points down in the
second half to win the game. Korea's brilliant team defense proved to be
the winning factor, limiting the inside attack of Japan's fearsome
frontcourt, 6-6 Michael Takahashi and 6-9 Dan Weiss,
throughout the whole game.
With Korea rallying to reclaim the lead, 60-58, in the last minute.
Japan's PG Kenichi Sako knocked down a three-pointer with 30
seconds remaining to go and made it 61-60, Japan. But Hur Jae and
Cho Sung-Won scored the last four points of the game to seal the
win. Korea also led 34-31 at halftime.
Michael Takahashi scored 6 points and pulled down only five rebounds in
33 minutes. Japan's backcourt was still awesome. Makoto Hasegawa
tallied 20 points and Takehiko Orimo contributed 14.
Korea is now 24-13 all-time vs Japan and secured its top place in Group
F with two straight wins, which means they will avoid playing China in
the cross-over semifinals. Japan and Taiwan, with 1-1 each, will face
each other today for the place against China in the semi.
Taiwan regained its top
form and defeated Syria 89-81 in the day's last game. Lo shin-Liang led
with 25 points. Huang Chun-Hsiun scored 18p and Hsu Chi-Chao
17. Cheng Chih-Lung collected 11 points. Taiwan trailed 33-35 in
rebounding but shot 59% from 2-PT range and 52% for 3-PT.
China crushed Saudi
Arabia 85-56 for their second straight second round wins and clinched
the top place in Group E. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will fight for the
last final four spot today.
Kuwait 86-81 Lebanon(40-45)
China 85-56 Saudi Arabia(44-22)
South Korea 64-61 Japan(34-31)
Taiwan 89-81 Syria(39-37)
Standing:South Korea 2-0,Japan 1-1,Taiwan 1-1,Syria 0-2
UAE 94-88 Hong Kong(41-41)
Bahrain 90-85 Malaysia(44-37)
Standing:UAE 2-0, Hong Kong 1-1,Bahrain 1-1,Malaysia 0-2
Philippines 82-58 Thailand(46-31)
Standing:Uzbekistan 1-0,Philippines 1-1,Thailand 0-1
Taiwan lost to Korea in the
DEATH GROUP, indeed.
Taiwan's hot shooting finally comes to an end and lost to defending
champion South Korea 54-61. The loss seemingly cost them the ticket in
the final four.
Led by Seo Joong-Hoon and Hoon Joo-Yup's inside attack, Korea exposed
Taiwan's most glaring weakness--interior offense and defense. Seo scored 21 and Hoon contributed
11. Korea led 34-20 at halftime and was never threatened by Taiwan.
South Korea sent its 193cm F/G Kim Young-Mun on Taiwan's Lo Shin-Liang
, who were 21-27 from the field and averaged 28.5 ppg in Taiwan's first
two wins, and it paid off. Lo scored only seven points in the game.
Taiwan was led again by Cheng Chih-Lung's 16 points. 200cm F/C Huang
Chun-Hsiun scored 11 on three 3-PT in the second half. Cheng and Huang
were the only two that reached double-figure.
Host Japan demonstrated its
outstanding defense to cruise by Syria, 78-58. They won their first four
games by an eye-whopping 38 ppg and looks like a lock to win the group
the other games, Saudi Arabia surprisingly pounded Lebanon 92-69.
Powerhouse China passed Kuwait 91-54 with no problem and averaged 33.7
in winning margins in three games.
Saudi Arabia 92-69 Lebanon(48-44)
China 91-54 Kuwait(41-20)
Japan 78-58 Syria(38-27)
South Korea 61-54 Taiwan(34-20)
UAE 79-72 Bahrain(28-34)
Hong Kong 89-59 Malaysia(44-32)
Uzbekistan 94-64 Philippines(52-30)
(Notes) International recruiting and scouting has expended to Asia.
Several pro scouts and big-name coaches are observing on the sideline,
including Seattle SuperSonics
scout Dwayne Casey. Former LSU coach Dale Brown and former University of
Hawaii coach Bruce O'Neal will arrive in Japan on September 1. Casey's
No.1 target is China's 7-6 center Yao Ming. He will also take a look at
Chen Hsin-An, the 6-3 high-flying forward/guard of Taiwan.
TAIWAN, KOREA AND
JAPAN CLASH IN "DEATH GROUP"
With the preliminary games
concluded, brackets are set for the ensuing second round. Korea's loss
to Lebanon not only dropped them to 2nd in Group A but also makes the
outlook of the second round even more interesting.
Korea, Japan Taiwan and Syria are in the Group F, also called "Death
Group", while heavy-favorite China, Lebanon, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are
in the much more predictable Group E. With Taiwan, Japan and defending
champ Korea in the same group, one of them will be left out of the
semifinals and go home dissappointed.
Meanwhile, teams failed to advance to the second round are bracketd to
Group G & H and will start playing round-robin games today also.
Day 3, August 30
South Korea 88-51 UAE(51-26)
Lebanon 60-50 Philippines
Japan 86-39 Kuwait(44-21)
Thailand 89-82 Hong Kong(45-47)
Syria 92-62 Malaysia(48-26)
Taiwan 68-59 Bahrain
Saudi Arabia 82-63 Uzbekistan
Day 2, August 29
LEBANON UPSET DEFENDING
CHAMP SOUTH KOREA
Lebanon shocked South Korea
75-65 with the biggest upset in the Asian Basketball Championship so far
and dropped South Korean to 1-1. South Korea has to knock out UAE today
to advance to the second round.
Rumors said it was South Koreans' tactics to lose the game on purpose
in order to dodge super-power China in the cross-over semifinals. It
looks like South Korea will join Japan, Taiwan and probably Syria in the
second round bracket.
If they manage to finish first in the group, they will face the other
group's No.2 seed in the semi. It will not be China, of course. Thus
South Korea can save the last battle with China to the championship
Meanwhile, Taiwan's duo Cheng Chih-Lung and Lo Shin-Liang were both
unstoppable in the first two game. Cheng averaged 24.5 and Lo averaged
an astounding 28.5ppg. Taiwan NT shot extremely well from the outside as
a team also. In both wins, they were 65% and 62%, respectively, from
2-PT range and 50% and 67% from 3-PT territory. They are on a high now
and can probably achieve their somewhat impossible mission: gain back
their top four status in Asian basketball.
Lebanon 75-65 South Korea(40-34)
UAE 95-81 Philippines(56-44)
Japan 88-58 Hong Kong(38-31)
Kuwait 113-80 Thailand(56-43)
China 112-61 Syria(63-17)
Uzbekistan 62-47 Bahrain(28-20)
Taiwan 92-78 Saudi Arabia(50-36)
(Note)Lo Shin-Liang 28p, Cheng Chih-Lung 21p, Chou Hung-Yu 16p,
Huang Chun-Shiung 12p....Team shooting 62% from 2PT range and 10-15 from
Day 1, 28/8/99
Some interesting results in the first day of the tournament. 35
difference in the game between S.Korea and Philippines is really huge.
Japan was even better defeating Thailand by ...47 points.
Group A(Halftime score)
South Korea 98-63 Philippines(58-38)
Lebanon 75-70 UAE(36-43)
Japan 85-38 Thailand(39-19)
Kuwait 88-62 Hong Kong(33-41)
China 54-41 Malaysia(34-22)
Saudi Arabia 79-63 Bahrain(32-28)
Taiwan 90-82 Uzbekistan(41-35) (Lo Shin-Liang 29p, Cheng Chih-Lung 28p,
Huang Chun-Shun 15rb)
Taiwan's shooting was outstanding, 65% in 2pt FG, 50% in 3pt FG and led
25-21 in rebounding versus the taller Uzbek team
15 participating teams will
be divided into 4 groups and each team shall play all the other teams
within each group. Top two finishers from each group will advance to the
Quarter-finals. Eight teams qualified for the Quarter-finals will be
divided into two groups of 4 teams each in the following manner:
Group I : A1,B2,C1,D2
Group II: A2,B1,C2,D1
Top two finisher from both groups will advance to the cross-over
I-1 vs II-2
I-2 vs II-1
Winners of the semi-finals will compete for 1st place and the losers for
Korea and Kazakhstan pulled out of the tournament
reason, leaving Group C with only two teams. ABC immediately added
Malaysia into the bracket.