Japan loses to Qatar, finishes
in 8th place - Aug. 5, 2007
Well, so much for J.R. Henderson's impact on the Japanese national team.
Even with the naturalized former NBA player, Japan ended up finishing in
8th place in the FIBA Asia Championship-their worst showing ever-after
losing on Sunday (8/5) to Qatar 86-82 in Tokushima.
Japan actually led at the end of the 1st half by a score of 38-34, but
with J.R. Sakuragi (Henderson's Japanese name) fouling out in the 4th
quarter, Japan was unable to hold onto the lead and ended up losing by 4
points. Sakuragi did have 11 points, but managed to get only 2 rebounds.
Takuya Kawamura (191-G-86), who was exceptional in the tournament
and was arguably Japan's best player during the week, led Japan with 20
points on 6-for-10 shooting from 3-point range. The Takeuchi twins did
their part to help Japan as Joji had 14 points while his brother Kosuke
had 6 points and 12 rebounds.
Japan must now deal with the disappointment of their 8th place finish
after coming into the tournament with such high hopes. Some things do
look promising, however, like the emergence of
Takuya Kawamura and the addition of J.R. Sakuragi to the squad.
Sakuragi played hard and played well and will be looked upon to lead the
Japanese national team for years to come.
Iran, Behind Ehadadi, Defeats
Lebanon for Asian Title - Aug. 5, 2007
Hamed Hadadi (Ehadadi) (218-C-85) scored 31 points on 14 of 18
shooting, and grabbed 10 rebounds, to lead Iran to a 74-69 triumph over
Lebanon. The victory gave Iran the Asian championship and an invitation
to the Olympics.
Lebanon will receive an invite to the Olympic qualifying tournament to
be held next year. China is already in the Olympics as the host nation
which is why China did not send its best players to contest for this
Mahammed Nikkha added 15 points and 6 rebounds for Iran. Rony Fahed
scored 23 points for Lebanon, hitting 8 of 11 shots. Fadi El Khatib
added 19 points but only hit 5 of 14 attempts. Ehadadi limited Lebanon
star Joseph Vogel to 13 points. Vogel hit only 3 of 13 shots, missing
all 6 of his three-pointers. Vogel grabbed 6 rebounds.
Former NBA-player Ha Seung Jin outplayed young Anton Ponomarev to lead
Korea to an 80-76 triumph over Kazakhstan. The win puts Korea into the
Olympic qualifying tournament to be held next year.
Ha had 25 points on 10 of 14 shooting before fouling out in 35 minutes.
He also grabbed 7 rebounds and made 2 steals. Ponomarev had 16 points on
6 of 16 shooting but only made 1 of 9 three-pointers. He grabbed 6
rebounds but fouled out in 33 minutes.
Kim Joo-Sung scored 18 points for Korea and Rustam Yargaliyew added 14
points for Kazakhstan.
Ehadadi scored 13.4 points and 9.6 rebounds in this tournament. With his
youth and inexperience, Ehadadi has a definite upside. He could be
attractive to top-level European teams. Ha Seung-Jin, with his NBA
training, averaged 17.3 points and 9.1 rebounds. So Ehadadi outrebounded
Ha. Ponomarev averaged 17.6 points and 7.1 rebounds, but is three years
younger than Ehadadi and Ha. Vogel averaged 17.4 points and 8.9 rebounds
but turns 34 this month and is on the downside of his career.
Jordan secured fifth place in the tournament with a 97-74 triumph over
Chinese Taipei behind 24 points, on 10 of 15 shooting, and 13 rebounds
from Zaid Abbaas.
Qatar defeated Japan 86-82 to gain seventh place in the tourney. Yaseen
Musa led Qatar with 18 points and 9 rebounds while Saad Abdulrahman Ali
had 13 points and 15 rebounds.
This tournament marked the first time that a West Asian team won the
Asian championship. Previous tournment winners were Eastern nations
China, Korea and the Philippines. West Asian teams finished first,
second, fifth and seventh in this tourney and consistently outplayed the
East Asian countries for the first time.
Of course the top Chinese players were not here. If China had sent the
team that finished second in the Stankovic Cup, it likely would have won
this tournament with a margin of victory similar to what it achieved in
2005, even without Yao Ming. West Asia is rapidly improving in
basketball but so is China. China has a much larger population than all
of West Asia combined, not to mention ethnic characteristics that give
it group advantages in quickness, jumping ability and body control that
offset group disadvantages in height and bulk.
6. Chinese Taipei
9. The Philippines
13. Hong Kong
16. United Arab Emirates
Sixth place finish for Taiwan
in Asian Championship - Aug. 5, 2007
Taiwan lost to Jordan 97-74 in its final game in the 2007 Asian
Championship and finished sixth place in the tournament. It's not a good
result, but it's Taiwan's best Asian Chamiponship finish since 2001.
In the championship game, Hamed Ehadadi had 31 points and 10 rebounds
and led Iran to a 74-69 victory over West Asia foe Lebanon. Iran won its
first ever Asian Championship title and a ticket to the 2008 Beijing
Jordan, which broke open the game after 15 minutes, was led by Zaid
Abbas' 24 points and 13 rebounds. Zaid Alkhas had 15 points. Enver
Soobzokov added 14 and Sam Daghlas had 12.
Chen Hsin-an had 13 points for Taiwan, which ranked 11th in 2003 and 9th
in 2005. Lin Yi-huei had 12 points. Chen Shih-nian and Lee Chi-yi each
scored 11 points while Wu Dai-hao had 10 points and 5 boards.
Taiwan was 3-5 in the tournament, head coach Chung Kwang-suk's first
major tournament with the team since taking over in May. It remained to
be seen whether the CTBA will keep Chung, an experienced Korea veteran,
after the tournament.
For the whole tournament, Taiwan has been short-handed due to injuries
and untimely suspensions. Tien Lei, Chen Chih-chun, Su Yi-chieh and Ho
Sho-jen all sat out because of various injuries. Starting center Tsun
Wen-din was added to the injured list after the Jones Cup.
Wu Dai-hao became the lone big man on the roster. Chung was forced to
move Chen Hsin-an to the power forward position and Lin Chih-jay as the
small forward. Feeling the pressure of the short tournament, Chung
played his starters for almost the entire game in most games and drew
criticism back home from some observers and press.
Still, Taiwan NT had its best finish since 2001, when it ranked 7th.
Relatively speaking, Chung successfully installed an inside-outside
system and make Taiwan more than a three-point shooting team. Wu and
Lin, both of whom have been ignored by former NT head coach Lee
Yung-kwang, blossomed because of the change. Taiwan's zone defense also
Which is why I think CTBA should keep Chung as the NT head coach. He got
the O.K. sixth place finish and improved the overall toughness and
performance of the team.
**Taiwan NT game-by-game (3W-5L):
Beat Syria, 90-66
Lost to Korea, 70-85
Beat Hong Kong, 98-81
Lost to Iran, 64-76
Lost to Lebanon, 64-95
Lost to Qatar, 74-87
Beat Japan, 85-80
Lost to Jordan, 74-97
5/6 place: Jordan 97-74 Taiwan
7/8 place: Qatar 86-82 Japan
3/4 place: Korea 80-76 Kazakhstan
Championship: Iran 74-69 Lebanon
**Final placing: 1. Iran
13. Hong Kong
(photo source: apple daily and fiba.com)
Wu tried to stop Sakuragi.
Daoud choked Lin Chih-jay.
Both Lin and Daoud were ejected and suspended for one game.
Taiwan to play for fifth after
beating Japan - Aug. 4, 2007
Chen Hsin An (196-G/F-80) had 26 points and 9 rebounds and Wu
Dai-hao had 22 points and 8 rebounds as Taiwan edged host Japan 85-80
Saturday and will meet Jordan Sunday for the fifth place in the 2007
Asian Championship. Win or lose, Taiwan is guaranteed to have its best
finish in the tournament in the past six years.
In fact, the game was for Taiwan to lose as the second leading scorer on
the team, Lin Chih-jay, was suspended for throwing a punch at Qatar's
Daoud Daoud in the previous game. Both were suspended for one game.
Starting center Tsun Wen-din was called for his 4th foul early in the
second period. He was replaced by Lee Chi-yi and never played since.
Taiwan, which trailed by two at halftime, changed the momentum of the
game in the third quarter and took the lead. A 27-of-33 performance on
the free-throw line helped Taiwan to put down Japan's furious rally in
the last three minutes.
Head coach Chung Kwang-suk once again decided to let his starters finish
off the game.
Chen Hsin An, Wu Dai-hao, Lee Hsueh-lin and Yang Che-yi all played
40 minutes. Yang had 14 points in the game and Lee had 12.
Japan suffered another setback following a disappointing loss to Jordan.
J.R. Sakuragi and Tomoo Amino each scored 15 points. Veteran SG Takehimo
Orimo added 14 while Joji Takeuchi had 11. Japan was outrebounded 33-24
and outscored 27-10 on the free-throw line.
Taiwan will meet Jordan, which beat Qatar 77-67 Saturday, tomorrow in
the 5/6 place game. Japan has to play Qatar for the 7th place.
In the semifinals, Lebanon beat Korea 76-74 and Iran jumped on
Kazakhstan early for a 75-62 win. Lebanon will meet Iran in the
championship game while Kazakhstan will meet Korea for bronze on the
final day of the tournament.
9/10 place game: Philippines 78-76 China
11/12 place game: Syria 108-79 Indonesia
13/14 place game: Hong Kong 72-66 Kuwait
15/16 place game: India 82-77 UAE
Taiwan 85-80 Japan
Jordan 77-67 Qatar
Lebanon 76-74 Korea
Iran 75-62 Kazakhstan
Did you hear this BFI? - Aug.
president of the Federation of International Basketball Association Bob
Elphinston has urged the basketball fraternity of India to wake quickly
and promote the game in India. He said the opportunity at the moment is
endless and the Basketball federation of India should make most of it.
In an interview with the official website of the 24th FIBA Asia
Championship on Saturday, Elphinston said the time is right for the BFI
to launch the professional league and it would help them no end to catch
up with the rest of the Asian countries.
â€œFIBA wants to see increased efforts from India. The country represents
a wonderful opportunity for basketball with a huge population and
emerging living style within the country. We know that the game is very
popular, but we are yet to see them delivering on the court,â€ he said.
India finished 15th in the continent's showpiece event which had 16
teams in the fray. Elphinston also suggested that the better level of
organisation across the country would help turn things around. â€œI took a
time out from my hectic schedule and watched the Indians playing here.
The World standard shows that India is way behind. They now have an
excellent coach in Alekander Bucan. The Serbian will be a great
influence, but the players need to be stronger and conditioning levels
should be higher and importantly we want to see the professional league
formed in India as early as possible which will improve the quality
provide a platform for the best players to compete against each other,â€
Japan loses to Taiwan, headed
for worst showing since '93 - Aug. 4, 2007
Japan lost a heartbreaker to Taiwan on Saturday (8/4) 85-80 in Tokushima
at the FIBA Asia Championship to send Japan to a 7th or 8th place
finish, depending on the outcome of their game on Sunday (8/5) against
Qatar. Japan's worst ever finish at the Asian Championships was a 7th
place showing at the tournament in 1993, so they are assured of at least
tying that dubious record.
Japan's best player at the tournament so far, shooting guard Takuya
Kawamura, was cold against Taiwan (Chinese Taipei), managing only 3
points on 1-for-7 shooting from 3-point range. Swingman
Tomoo Amino (195-F/G-80) has his best performance of the tournament
by scoring 15 points on 5-for-7 shooting from beyond the arc while the
always consistent Takehiko Orimo had 14 points on 4-for-6 from 3-point
range. J.R. Sakuragi had 15 points and 6 rebounds while Joji Takeuchi
had 11 points for Japan, but it wasn't enough as they couldn't stop
Taiwan's Tai-Hao Wu and Hsin-An Chen who had 22 points and 26 points
Japan will now face Qatar tomorrow (8/5) and will have to win the game
in order to finish in 7th place. If they fail to win, they will finish
in 8th place and be faced with their worst showing ever at the Asian
China Loses to Philippines,
Showing Its Deficiencies in Development - Aug. 4, 2007
China lost to the Philippines today 78-76 to finish 10th at the Asian
Championships in Tokushima, Japan.
Li Ke (208-C-80) and Wu Qian each blew two free throws in the final
minute to contribute to the loss. China was 0-4 in its games against
competitive Asian teams in this tournament, including two losses to the
But this is the second-best team that China can produce. Its best team,
excluding Yao Ming, finished second in the Stankovic Cup, is competitive
with top European teams, and could win a medal in next year's Olympics
with the benefit of the home court advantage.
This large disparity in ability between its best players and its
next-best players is more characteristic of a small country the size of
Lithuania, not a country with 1.3 billion inhabitants. It strongly
indicates that China is making very poor use of developing basketball
players from its large population.
It speaks to the lack of competitive intensity in the CBA. Basketball
used to be primarily a recreational game in China, and too often the CBA
lapses back into the lack of intensity found in rec leagues.
China's junior players who are being groomed for competitive basketball
must play the game with physical intensity and spend time in the weight
room building their muscles. This includes players from high schools,
whereas China gives too much emphasis to the sports academies.
Basketball players often do not show their true worth until high school,
especially perimeter players. Remember that Michael Jordan did not make
his high school team in his sophomore year. Under the Chinese system, he
likely would have been cut from top-level competitive basketball.
The lack of competitive intensity and weight training among junior
players causes the wrong players to be advanced. Those who might benefit
from weight training fail to make the cut in favor of others who,
because of either their inadequate physique or lack of desire, will not
improve sufficiently with advanced conditioning.
And China needs to know the ages of its junior players. Age matters. A
player's age tells you who is likely to develop and who has reached the
limits of his physical potential. Was Yu Chen, a 6-9 167 pound forward
who played in the Nike Global Challenge born in 1990 or 1994? If he was
born in 1994, he is an exceptional prodigy who is likely to fill out. If
he was born in 1990, he is likely to be too thin to succeed in
international basketball. If he was born in 1992, he is still a strong
prospect but not a super-prodigy.
In today's game
Zhang Kai (211-C-82) led China with 16 points on 8 of 10 shooting
and 9 rebounds. But Zhang, who at 25 is getting his first international
experience, fouled out in 25 minutes. Gu Liye had 4 points on 1 of 5
shooting, and 4 rebounds, in 5 minutes.
Point guard Han Shuo had 7 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 turnovers
in 25 minutes. Yang Ming had 8 points, 2 rebounds and no assists or
turnovers in 15 minutes.
Li Ke was the only Chinese player in double figures with 13 points
and also had 2 rebounds and 3 assists. Perimeter players Chen Chen, Yi
Li, Wang Yong and Bian Qiang shot a combined 9 of 27, showing their
inability to handle the defensive intensity of the Philippines.
Power players Gu Liye, Wang Bo, and Wu Qian shot a combined 5 for 18
showing their inexperience in facing defensive pressure. Only
Li Ke, who has experience with the national team, and
Zhang Kai, who might possibly make the Olympic team next year, were
able to hit their shots against the Philippines.
Dan Seigle led the Philippines with 20 points and 6 rebounds. Kelly
Williams had 14 points and 8 rebounds. Pauliasi Taulava scored 13 points
and grabbed 6 rebounds and Donaldo Hontiveras added 13 points.
Lebanon, Iran Reach Asian
Championships Final - Aug. 4, 2007
Lebanon and Iran reached the final of the Asian Championship with wins
over Korea and Kazakhstan.
Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79, agency:
Pro Management Agency) led Lebanon with 32 points in its 76-74
victory over Korea. Joseph Vogel had 18 points and 15 rebounds. Yun
Ho-Young led Korea with 23 points. Ha Seung Jin had 15 points and 10
Iran jumped off to a 26-7 first quarter lead en route to a 75-62 triumph
over Kazakhstan. It held young Anton Ponomarev to 4 points on 0 of 3
shooting and 3 rebounds in 22 minutes.
Mahdi Kamrany and Hamed Afagh each scored 14 points for Iran. 218 cm
Hamed Ehadadi had 8 points and 13 rebounds. Mahammed Nikkha had 12
points and 6 rebounds. Dmitriy Korovnikov led Kazakhstan with 17 points.
Japan gets by Jordan, but fails
to advance - Aug. 2, 2007 The
Japanese national team won a nail-biter against Jordan 71-68 on Thursday
(8/2) in Tokushima in the FIBA Asia Championship, but they failed to
advance to the final round as they finished 3rd in their group at 1 win
and 2 losses. Kazakhstan, which beat Korea 75-73 on Thursday, will
advance along with Korea. Kazakhstan will take on Iran in the next round
and Korea will face Lebanon.
In their victory over Jordan, Japan was led by former UCLA standout
J.R. Sakuragi (206-F-76, agency:
Paris Global Sports, college:
(Henderson), who led Japan with 17 points and 8 rebounds. Guards
Takehiko Orimo and Takuya Kawamura had 14 points and 11 points
respectively. Orimo, the 37-year old steady veteran, shot 4-for-5 from
beyond the arc while yound stud Kawamura, arguably Japan's MVP of the
tournament so far, shot 3-for-6 from 3-point range. Young forward Kosuke
Takeuchi scored 11 points to help lead Japan to victory.
The best Japan can finish in the tournament now is 5th place as they
will play in the consolation round that will determine who will finish
in 5th to 8th place.
Yi, Sun, China Show Upside for
NBA, Olympics - Aug. 2, 2007
China today showed why it could win a medal at the 2008 Olympics with an
82-67 thrashing of the NBA D-League team in the Stankovic Cup. Handling
pressure defense, China and the D-League each had 16 turnovers. China
outrebounded the D-League 39-34.
Yi Jianlian (212-C/F-87) showed his upside today, scoring 28 points
on 10 of 13 shooting and grabbing 15 rebounds. Sun Yue also showed why
he was drafted. He scored 12 points on 5 of 6 shooting in 27 minutes. He
had 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 block and 4 turnovers.
Wang Zhizhi had an excellent game with 19 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists,
1 block, 1 steal and 3 turnovers. Let us hope Bayi is wise enough to let
Wang play this year for Benetton Treviso in the top Italian league as
this will help his performance in the 2008 Olympics. He will likely see
substantial playing time for Benetton where he is more likely to be a
little-used role-player if he accepts an NBA offer.
Ding Jinhui is continuing to show that he may be the best of the class
of 1989 with 3 points and 2 rebounds in 17 minutes.
China finished second to Slovenia in the Stankovic Cup with a 3-2
record. Had this team competed in the Asian Championships, China would
have done far better in the tournament. But the Stankovic Cup provided
better competition to prepare for the Olympics.
China----- 20 24 22 16 82
D-League 17 19 15 16 67
Sun Yue 12p+2r+2s+1bl+4to, Liu Wei 12min+0p+2r, Wang Shipeng
9p(4/8)+5r+3a, Zhu Fangyu 6p(2/7)+2r,
Yi Jianlian 28p(10/13)+15r+1to, Mo Ke 0p+2r+1a+1bl, Wang Zhizhi
19p(8/20)+7r+4a+1s+1bl+3to, Wang Lei 24min+5p(2/6)+1r+3a+0to, Ding
Jinhui 17min+3p(0/1)+2r+2to+4fl 1 Slovenia---------4 1
2 China----------- 3 2
3 NBA D-League 3 2
4 Angola----------3 2
5 New Zealand- 2 3
6 Venezuela ----0 5
Third straight loss for Taiwan
in quarterfinals - Aug. 2, 2007
Taiwan NT ran out of gas and dropped another game Thursday to Qatar
87-74, its third straight loss in the quarterfinal round. Taiwan
finished 0-3 in Group E, losing all three games to its West Asia
opponents Lebanon, Iran and Qatar, and will meet Japan in the next game.
If Taiwan beat Japan in the next game, it will earn an opportunity to
play for the 5th place. If it loses, it will have to play for the
seventh. Either way, it's going to be Taiwan's best finish in the Asian
Championship since 2001.
Qatar is a familiar foe for Taiwan, which has met the Qatari in the
Jones Cup during the last two years and in last year's Asian Games.
Taiwan even routed Qatar a couple of times at home. Word was that Taiwan
has found the winning formula against Qatar.
Which was not the case at all Thursday. Qatar led from start to finish
and outscored the Taiwanese in every period en route to a convincing
victory. Yasseen Ismail Musa led Qatar with 24 points and 10 rebounds.
Ali Saad Abdulrahman had 20 points and Salem Oman added 15.
Taiwan was led by Chen Hsin-an's 18 points and 7 boards. Tsun Wen-din
had his best game in the tournament with 15 points and 9 rebounds. Lee
Chi-yi had 13 while Chen Shih-nian had 10. Wu Dai-hao, one of Taiwan's
best performers in the tournament, went scoreless and fouled out in 14
Lebanon, Iran, Kazakhstan and Korea became Asia's latest top four as
Lebanon will meet Korea and Kazakhstan takes on Iran in the crossover
Jordan, Japan, Taiwan and Qatar will play in the 5-8 classification
Quarterfinal round results:
Qatar 87-74 Taiwan
Kazakhstan 75-73 Korea
Lebanon 82-60 Iran
Japan 71-68 Jordan
Consolation round results: Philippines 89-58 Kuwait
China 100-55 UAE
Syria 105-54 India
Indonesia 81-78 Hong Kong
Group Standings: Group E
Hong Kong 1-2UAE 0-3
Chen Chen Leads China Over
UAE - Aug. 2, 2007
China defeated the United Arab Emirates in a mismatch 100-55 and will
meet the Philippines Saturday for ninth place in the Asian
Chen Chen (197-F-86), a pure shooter from Bayi, led China with 25
points hitting 7 of 8 3-pointers against the inept UAE defense. Lets see
how well he does against the far superior Philippine defense.
Gu Liye (208-C/F-86) had another good game with 19 points on 6 of 8
shooting and 5 rebounds. Yi Li had 13 points and 7 rebounds and Wang Bo
had 10 points and 5 rebounds. Wu Qian had 9 points and 5 rebounds in 11
minutes. Li Ke had 8 points and 7 rebounds in 17 minutes.
China------------------ 33 21 28 18 100
United Arab Emirates 13 15 17 10 55
Kazakhstan Reaches Semi-Finals
As Ponomarev Stars - Aug. 2, 2007
Kazakhstan defeated Korea today 75-73 to win the last spot in the
semi-finals of the Asian Championship. Kazakhstan will face Iran on
Saturday while Korea will play Lebanon. Young
Anton Ponomarev (209-C-88) scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds
for Kazakhstan. Ponomarev is an NBA prospect for the future and a
prospect for top European clubs right now.
1. LIB 3 0 267 192 6
2. IRI 2 1 231 233 5
3. QAT 1 2 242 259 4
4. TPE 0 3 202 258 3
1. KAZ 2 1 241 240 5
2. KOR 2 1 236 223 5
3. JPN 1 2 239 254 4
4. JOR 1 2 215 214 4
1. PHI 3 0 300 227 6
2. SYR 2 1 314 230 5
3. KUW 1 2 199 266 4
4. IND 0 3 191 281 3
1. CHN 3 0 295 171 6
2. INA 2 1 211 261 5
3. HKG 1 2 234 238 4
4. UAE 0 3 200 270 3
Japan loses to Korea, now down
0-2 in Round 2 - Aug. 1, 2007
Korea continued their domination of Japan by winning a close game 93-83
on Wednesday (8/1) night in Tokushima in the FIBA Asia Championship.
Korea clearly has Japan's number as the win marks Korea's 9th
consecutive victory over Japan in international play. Korea was paced by
29 points from Dong-Geun Yang and 21 points from Seung-Hyun Kim.
Japan's leading scorer was once again emerging star Takuya Kawamura who,
J.R. Sakuragi (206-F-76, agency:
Paris Global Sports, college:
led Japan with 17 points. Kawamura, a shooting guard, scored 17 points
on 4-for-6 shooting from 3-point range while Sakuragi, a.k.a. J.R.
Henderson, had 17 rebounds to go along with his 17 points. The former
Toyota and now Rera Kamuy Hokkaido duo of Takehiko Orimo and Ryota
Sakurai contributed with 12 points apiece.
Japan has not been eliminated from the tournament yet. However, it would
be an understatement to say that their backs are against the wall. Japan
is so far back against the wall that they can now feel every crevasse.
Japan now has to not only beat Jordan, but they need Kazakhstan to lose
to Korea to set up a tie-breaker. If Japan beats Jordan and Korea does
beat Kazakhstan, it would make it a 3-way tie for 2nd place with 3 teams
at 1 win and 2 losses. The tie-breaker (points for, points against
average) would then come into play.
Lebanon eliminates Taiwan's
semi hope - Aug. 1, 2007
Chung Kwang-suk's hope of leading Taiwan NT back to the Asian
Championship semifinals was crushed after a 95-64 blowout loss to
Lebanon Wednesday, the second straight loss for Taiwan NT in the
The Lebanese dominated the game throughout. It enjoyed a comfortable
39-26 halftime lead and kept pushing the lead in the second half. Fadi
El Khatib scored a game-high 28 points on 10 of 17 shooting and made all
seven of his free-throws. Joseph Vogel and Brian Feghali each had 14
points while Jean Abdel-Nour had 13.
Taiwan, which played its worst game at the worst time, was led by Chen
Hsin-an's 21 points. Lin Chih-jay followed with 15 points. Wu Dai-hao
By dropping two games in a row, Taiwan was out of the semifinals. But
it's hard to blame head coach Chung, a Korean. Chung did not have much
time to train the team, and he lost at least four injured players that
all could have made the national team roster -- Chen Chih-chun, Ho
Sho-jen, Su Yi-chieh and Tien Lei.
Keep in mind, that did not include Tsun Wen-din, who didn't play until
the quarterfinal round but was a non-factor in the tournament.
Quarterfinal round results:
Jordan 82-73 Kazakhstan
Lebanon 95-64 Taiwan
Iran 95-87 Qatar
Korea 93-83 Japan
Consolation round results:
Philippines 104-69 India
China 102-47 Indonesia
Syria 109-69 Kuwait
Hong Kong 87-64 UAE
China Defeats Indonesia
102-47 - Aug. 1, 2007
Yi Li (204-F/G-87) scored 23 points and grabbed 7 rebounds as China
defeated Indonesia 102-47 in the Asian Championship in Tokushima Japan.
Yi Li was described as a power forward in the on-site game report
and can play that position against weak teams such as Indonesia. He
plays that position for Jiangsu in the CBA.
But horizontally-challenged Yi cannot play power forward against
world-class competition or even against the better teams in Asia. Yi
could probably be an excellent shooting guard if he were trained to play
that position and could gain experience playing shooting guard in the
CBA. This is why it is so important for China to send its young players
to the weight room. Groomed as a power forward, Yi may never realize his
potential in international competition where he might excel as a 6-9
Gu Liye had another excellent game with 16 points and 8 rebounds. But he
too must add bulk and muscle if he is to dominate inside against better
Han Shuo had an excellent game at point guard with 11 points, 7
rebounds, 1 assist and no turnovers in 20 minutes. Han could still prove
to be the best point guard in the class of 1989 once he equals Liu
Xiaoyu and Chen Jianghua in experience.
Chen Chen had 13 points and 2 rebounds and Wang Yong had 10 points and 1
rebound. Zhang Kai had 6 points and 5 rebounds in 13 minutes.
China leads Group H with a 2-0 record and faces the weak United Arab
Emirates team tomorrow. It will very likely play the Philippines, which
is 2-0 in Group G, for ninth place. It remains to be seen whether
players like Yi, Gu, Chen and Wang can, with the experience they have
gained, compete against the competent Philippines team. China lost to
the Philippines in the preliminary round.
Iran, Lebanon, Korea Earn Spots
in Asian Championship Semi-Finals - Aug. 1, 2007
Iran, Lebanon and Korea guaranteed themselves a place in the semi-finals
with victories today in the Asian Championship. Jordan, Kazakhstan and
Japan are all in contention for the fourth spot depending on results
tomorrow. China blasted Indonesia 102-47 and will likely be facing the
Philippines in a battle for ninth place bragging rights after each
defeat weak opponents tomorrow.
1. LIB 2 0 185 132 4
2. IRI 2 0 171 151 4
3. QAT 0 2 155 185 2
4. TPE 0 2 128 171 2
1. KOR 2 0 163 148 4
2. JOR 1 1 147 143 3
3. KAZ 1 1 166 167 3
4. JPN 0 2 168 186 2
1. PHI 2 0 211 169 4
2. SYR 1 1 209 176 3
3. KUW 1 1 141 177 3
4. IND 0 2 137 176 2
1. CHN 2 0 195 116 4
2. HKG 1 1 156 157 3
3. INA 1 1 130 183 3
4. UAE 0 2 145 170 2
Japan comes up short in loss to
Kazakhstan - Jul. 31, 2007
Japan put up a valiant effort but couldn't stop Kazakhstan's 3-headed
monster of Anton Ponomarev, Yevgeniy Issakov, and Rustam Yargaliyew and
lost by a score of 93-85 on Tuesday (7/31) in Tokushima in the FIBA Asia
Championship. It was Japan's first defeat in their first 4 games of the
tournament. Scoring machine
Takuya Kawamura (191-G-86) was once again the leading scorer for
Japan with 21 points on 7-for-12 shooting from beyond the arc while
dependable veteran Takehiko Orimo has his usual solid game with 16
points on 4-for-6 shooting from 3-point range. Kosuke Takeuchi
contributed with 11 points, but the big man only managed to grab 2
rebounds. J.R. Sakuragi chipped in with 10 points and 6 boards off the
Japan never led during the game, but kept the game close throughout.
Japan's defense let them down as they were unable to stop Ponomarev,
Issakov, and Yargaliyew, who had 24 points, 20 points, and 23 points
Japan now faces an uphill battle in their quest to move on to the next
round, which means that they will most likely have to win their next 2
games. They face rival Korea today (8/1) and will battle Jordan on
China Romps Over Hong Kong But
Still Must Change Its Ways - Jul. 31, 2007
Gu Liye (208-C/F-86) had 22 points and 6 rebounds to lead China to a
93-69 rout of Hong Kong in the Asian Championships in Tokushima, Japan.
Chen Lei had 16 points and 4 rebounds and Yi Li had 12 points and 3
rebounds. Yang Ming and Han Shuo shared the point guard position,
playing 20 minutes apiece. Han had 9 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2
steals and 0 turnovers. Yang had 8 points, 2 assists, 2 steals and 1
China showed it can still dominate lesser Asian teams with its
not-so-elite players but these players cannot defeat the improving
top-tier teams. If China adequately utilized its population advantage,
its second-tier players should be able to beat the better Asian teams.
So China must still improve the conditioning of its players, especially
on the junior level. It must cull its players after high school, not
during elementary school, as you often cannot tell who is most talented
in basketball at an early age. China too much tends to pick
early-developers who grow fast and then stop. China must play the junior
game with conditioning and intensity so that those who would be best at
international-style basketball rise to the top. Right now there are too
many players who excel only in the more-laid-back Chinese style.
China------- 21 28 20 24 93
Hong Kong 14 14 20 21 69
Iran, Korea, Lebanon,
Kazakhstan Win Quarterfinals Games, China Routs Hong Kong - Jul. 31,
Iran, Korea, Lebanon and Kazakhstan won quarterfinals games in the Asian
Championship in Tokushima, Japan. China, Kuwait, the Philippines and
Indonesia won matches in the consolation round for places 9-16. Links to
box scores of all games appear below.
1. LIB 1 0 90 68 2
2. IRI 1 0 76 64 2
3. TPE 0 1 64 76 1
4. QAT 0 1 68 90 1
1. KAZ 1 0 93 85 2
2. KOR 1 0 70 65 2
3. JOR 0 1 65 70 1
4. JPN 0 1 85 93 1
1. PHI 1 0 107 100 2
2. KUW 1 0 72 68 2
3. IND 0 1 68 72 1
4. SYR 0 1 100 107 1
1. CHN 1 0 93 69 2
2. INA 1 0 83 81 2
3. UAE 0 1 81 83 1
4. HKG 0 1 69 93 1
Iranian giant too tough to
handle for Taiwan - Jul. 31, 2007
Taiwan NT could not overcome Iran's height advantage and dropped its
first game in the quarterfinal round to Iran, 76-64, Tuesday.
Iran's 7-2 center Hamed Hadadi had 17 points and 16
rebounds and Mohammed Nikkha had 22 points on 10-of-16
shooting as Iran broke open the game with a 16-2 run in the third
Taiwan, which was outrebounded 42-21, could do little with its zone
defense to stop Hadadi and contain Iran's outside shooting at the same
time. It is scheduled to meet Lebanon on Wednesday and Qatar on
Head coach Chung Kwang-suk almost played his starting ineup for the
entire first half and Taiwan was able to keep just one step behind Iran,
trailing 37-34 at the half. However, the third-quarter lapse changed the
whole game. Taiwan trailed by as many as 21 points.
Wu Dai-hao once again paced the team with 16 points
(5-11 FG, 6-8 FT), 6 rebounds and two blocks. Chen Hsin-an
also added 16 points and 5 boards. Yang Che-yi had 12 and Lin Chih-jay
204cm center Tsun Wen-din, who has been listed as
day-to-day since the tournament started and did not play in the
preliminary round, made his debut in the third quarter but looked rusty,
going scoreless in 9 minutes.
Point guard Javad Davari also had 13 points for Iran, which advanced to
the quarterfinal with a perfect 3-0 record in the Group A.
Quarterfinal results: Iran 76-64 Taiwan
Lebanon 90-68 Qatar
Korea 70-65 Jordan
Kazakhstan 93-85 Japan
Consolation round results: Philippines 107-100 Syria
China 93-69 Hong Kong
Kuwait 72-68 India
Indonesia 83-81 UAE
Japan finishes off Kuwait
easily to win all 3 games in Round 1 - Jul. 31, 2007
Japan had an easy time defeating Kuwait in their 3rd and final game of
Round 1 of the FIBA Asia Championship on Monday (7/30) in Tokushima.
Japan had already clinched a berth in Round 2 by winning the first 2
games of the tournament, but they didn't let up and crushed Kuwai
101-48. Japan once again got a stellar performance from yound stud
Takuya Kawamura (191-G-86) who had 18 points on 5-for-13 shooting
from 3-point range. Kawamura, one of the few players to ever go straight
from high school to the JBL, averaged 15.0 points per game in the first
round of the tournament.
Steady veteran guard Takehiko Orimo contributed to Japan's victory with
13 points on 3-for-5 shooting from beyond the arc. Forward Joji
Takeuchi, the other half of the Takeuchi twin towers, had his best game
in a Japan uniform by scoring 22 points and grabbing 10 boards. Former
NBA player J.R. Sakuragi, a.k.a. J.R. Henderson, came off the bench
again to contribute 9 points and 4 rebounds.
Japan will start off Round 2 with a game on Tuesday (7/31) against
Kazakhstan. They will then face rival Korea on Wednesday and then will
take on Jordan on Thursday to complete the round.
China Can't Handle Iran Inside
in 77-68 Loss - Jul. 30, 2007
Completely losing concentration in the third quarter, being outscored
26-13, China's B team lost to Iran 77-68 in the Asian Championship. This
was China's third straight lost and it finished an ignominious last in
Group A. It will face Hong Kong tomorrow in the relegation round.
Iran outrebounded China 38-21 as this team could not handle the
physicality of international basketball. This shows how far the CBA must
go to improve its style of play and the conditioning of its second-tier
players. China had only 19 turnovers to 22 for Iran but its inability to
handle Iran's inside physicality showed in its rebounding disadvantage
and its 40.7 percent two-point shooting percentage compared to a 63.6
percent two-point shooting percentage for Iran.
Bian Qiang (192-G-79) led China with 15 points on 4 of 8 shooting.
Chen Chen (197-F-86) had 13 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
and 4 turnovers.
Yang Ming (194-G-87), at point guard, has 11 points on 3 of 9
shooting, 1 assist and 2 turnovers in 24 minutes.
Han Shuo (198-G-89) (198-G-89) had 5 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists
and 2 turnovers in 16 minutes. 211 cm
Zhang Kai (211-C-82) had 8 points on 1 of 3 shooting in 32 minutes.
He had 3 rebounds, all on the offensive end. He had no defensive
rebounds in 32 minutes.
Iran, Japan, Qatar, Korea Win
Groups -- Jordan, Lebanon, Kazakhstan, Taipei Also Advance - Jul. 30,
Iran, Japan, Qatar and Korea were undefeated in winning group titles and
Jordan, Lebanon, Kazakhstan and Taipei also advanced to the
quarterfinals. Links to box scores appear below. Defending champion
China, playing its inept B squad, lost its third straight game, falling
to Iran 77-68.
India 72 Indonesia 66
Lebanon 106 United Arab Emirates 64
Korea 89 Syria 79
Taipei 98 Hong Kong 81
Qatar 76 Kazakhstan 69
Iran 77 China 68
Jordan 84 Philippines 76
Japan 101 Kuwait 48
1. QAT 3 0 268 163 6
2. KAZ 2 1 273 203 5
3. IND 1 2 195 269 4
4. INA 0 3 164 265 3
1. KOR 3 0 281 216 6
2. TPE 2 1 258 232 5
3. HKG 1 2 252 305 4
4. SYR 0 3 245 283 3
Day 3 report.... - Jul. 30,
2007 - Group A:
Jordan - Philippines
Jordan adapted the wait-and-watch policy to almost perfection as they
outthought, outwitted and eventually outscored a charged up, but
error-prone, Philippines 84-76 in the make-or-break Group 'A' encounter
"I think we defended rather well in the third and final quarter," said
Jordan coach Mario Palma.
"Also I think we were helped by some of their wayward shooting. I was a
little shocked to see those shots, but I'm not complaining," the
Philippines began rather confidently, with the speedy Mark Anthony
Caguioa and the tall Pauliasi Taulava controlling the proceedings. The
scoreboard was ticking at regular intervals, the defense seemed to hold
itself and much to the joy of their fans Philippines seemed to be on a
All that changed like the cliched bolt from the blue, as Jordan, slowly
but surely took charge. Rasheim Wright, who had been pushed into the
oblivion by the Filipino rampage, started to call the shots. Sam Daghles
and Zaid Alkhas moved, and succeeded, with customary cohesion and Jordan
were truly back, and in style.
Where Jordan kept improving, Philippines' graph went on a nose-dive. A
couple of fortuituous long rangers - some of them by Jim Alapag from
almost near the center-line raised Philippines' hopes, but by then
Jordan had wrapped the game under their control.
"I think we lost it when we went ahead 18-13 at the end of the first
quarter. Better off to trail and bounce back than go ahead and get
complacent," said Philippines coach Vincent 'Chot' Reyes.
Jordan 84 (Rasheim Wright 24, Sam Daghles 22, Zaid Alkhas 16) bt
Philippines 76 (Pauliasi Talava 14, Jim Alapag 10). Quarterwise: 13-18,
Iran - China
Hamed Ehadadi's powerplay in the second half made all the difference as
Iran propelled their way to top of Group 'A' with a 77-68 win over China
Having warmed the bench for the first two quarters, Ehadadi took to the
court only at the start of the third.
And immediately got into the act, powering his way with a drive-in
following it up with a silken sink from just inside the three-pointer
line. He continued his influence, totaling 18 points, but more
importantly collected eight rebounds despite his curtailed stay.
Those rebounds - four each defensive and offensive - along with keeping
the pressure under the rival post, restricted the second shot
opportunities for the Chinese.
As a result, Iran played a lot more fluently than they had earlier to
"He (Ehadadi) made a huge difference," said Iran coach Toroman Rajko.
"We went in to the match with a three-point agenda," the Serbian said.
"First, we wanted to win. Second, we wanted to give a rest to our key
players, considering we had played two tight games and we have many
more. Thirdly, we wanted to give our bench strength a serious try," he
Last edition's runners-up Lebanon exorcized the ghosts of Sunday's shock
defeat, with a rather perfunctory 106-64 win against the United Arab
Emirates to wrap up their Group 'B' engagements on Monday.
"We had to get back into our rhythm. When you lose a tight game, it's
not always easy to get your focus back in less than a day," said Lebanon
coach Dragan Raca.
"That way I'm glad we didn't make too many mistakes," the Greek-Cypriot
Asked if he had set any specific margin of victory, Raca replied: "This
is a Championship. And they are not some pushovers. I was worried if my
players would get carried away. Luckily, they didn't."
"So there was no question of setting any targets. The only target was to
play properly and win the match. I think we achieved that," the
"Matches will definitely get tougher, and we need to play them in quick
succession. There's going to be no time to breathe even," he said.
Raca's counterpart, and a very close friend, Zoran Zupcevic, said: "Like
I said earlier, our real challenge begins tomorrow." UAE are aiming to
finish higher their previous best 10th place ranking -- at Fukuoka 1999
and Shanghai 2001.
"Any experience can only help us in our development," the Bosnian added.
Ali Saad dazzled with his shooting and Qatar topped Group 'C' with a
76-69 win over Kazakhstan on Monday. The 22-year-old point guard top
scored the match with 25 points, converting all the four free-throws he
earned along with sinking all the seven three-point attempts he made, as
Qatar capitalized and powered ahead.
"Of course that kind of a performance doesn't happen every day," beamed
Qatar coach Edward Andrist. "We knew we were up against the toughest
opponents so far, in all sense, but when someone comes up with that kind
of a shooting record, it makes it easy," the American added.
"Kazakhstan posed a lot of problems, which we had expected. Given their
size, speed and skills we were not surprised at all. But we had worked
out our plan, and it worked. We were quick on their screens and the
shooters. We also defended our post rather well. That was the key," he
Kazakhstan kept themselves in the race, but once their mainstay Anton
Ponomarev was fouled out and the other key Yevgeniy Issakov ran into
foul trouble, their task got that much tougher.
"It was a part of our strategy," Andrist said. "To keep our players on
the court and theirs off it, was a part of our plan."
Kazakh coach Vitaliy Strebkov too observed that the foul factor played a
crucial role. "Our team did struggle once Ponomarev went out and Issakov
"Nevertheless, we have qualified. Now we are looking ahead."
In another match in the same group, with no implication on the
qualification race, India posted their maiden win, rallying to beat
Qatar 76 (Ali Saad 25, Yasseen Musa 15) bt Kazakhstan 69 (Yevgeniy
Issakov 15, Anton Ponomarev 14). Quarterwise: 17-17, 40-30, 56-49.
India 72 (Riyazuddin 17, Jagdeep Singh 16, Trideep Rai 15) bt Indonesia
66 (Youbel Sondakh 14, Welly Situmorang 13). Quarterwise: 21-18, 36-41,
- Group D:
South Korea - Syria
Korea carved out a clinical victory against Syria at the Municipal Gym
to keep their slate clean.
Spearhead Ha Seung-Jin was used only sparsely, but in the time he was on
the court, the Milwaukee Bucks center wreaked enough havoc, scoring 16
points and collecting a staggering 12 rebounds, to dent the rivals'
Kim Joo-Sung looked stylish, while top scoring the game, to provide the
necessary support to Ha.
Korea 89 (Kim Joo-Sung 17, Ha Seung-Jin 16, Daniel Robert Sandrin 12) bt
Syria 79 (Mohamad Alsaman 20, Micheal Madanly 16). Quarterwise: 27-17,
Chinese Tipei - Hong Kong
East Asian powerhouse Chinese Taipei posted a business-like 98-81 win
against Hong Kong to book their place in the Quarterfinal round, even as
Korea remained as one of the unbeaten teams, with an 89-win triumph over
Syria, on Monday.
Taipei didn't waste much time in getting into the top gear. Wu Tai-Ho -
who top scored with 24 points along with five assists and four rebounds
- and Lin Chih-Chieh who matched him in almost every move put Taipei on
the road to their destination, the latter adding some precise perimeter
shooting to the cohesive inside successes.
"We were far better in getting our balance today," said Taipei coach
Chung Kwak-Suk said.
"I was not impressed with our inside shooting yesterday. But I think we
got a real good mix of both. That should give us confidence going into
the next rounds," said the coach of Korean origin.
Taipei 98 (Wu Tai-Ho 24, Lin Chih-Chieh 23, Chen Hsin-An 17) bt Hong
Kong 81 (Li Kim Wong 18, Lo Yi Ting 12). Quarterwise: 29-15, 56-35,
Courtesy of FIBA Asia
Lebanon, Taiwan and Jordan
advance - Jul. 30, 2007
Lebanon, Taiwan and Jordan on Monday advanced to the second round of the
Asian men's basketball championship, keeping their Olympic dreams alive
for 2008. Lebanon overwhelmed the United Arab Emirates 106-64, with Fadi
Elkhatib pouring on 37 points, as the team finished second in Group B.
In Group D, Taiwan beat Hong Kong 98-81, while Jordan defeated the
Philippines in Group A with both taking the second place.
The three squads join South Korea, Japan, Kazakhstan, Qatar and Iran,
who secured their places in the second round on Sunday.
The biggest surprise came from four-time defending champions China, who
have not missed a medal since 1975 winning 14 times. They lost to Iran
77-68 to finish with three straight defeats at the bottom in Group A.
In Group C, India gained their first win 72-66 over Indonesia, but it
came too late with Qatar and Kazakhstan, who play each other later
Monday, already assured of the top two places.
Sixteen countries were divided into four groups for the preliminary
round and the top two from each group advanced to the second stage.
The tournament winners qualify for the Beijing Olympics next year. The
two best finishers, other than Olympic hosts China and the winners, will
be eligible for the final Olympic qualifying round next July.
Iran 77 China 68
Jordan 84 Philippines 76
Lebanon 106 UAE 64
India 72 Indonesia 66
Qatar 76 Kazakhstan 69
Taiwan 98 Hong Kong 81
South Korea 89 Syria 79
Standings (played, win, lose, points)
1. Iran 3 3 0 6
2. Jordan 3 2 1 5
3. Philippines 3 1 2 4
4. China 3 0 3 3
1. Libya 3 2 1 5
2. Japan 2 2 0 4
3. UAE 3 1 2 4
4. Kuwait 2 0 2 2
1. Qatar 3 3 0 6
2. Kazakhstan 3 2 1 5
3. India 3 1 2 4
4. Indonesia 3 0 3 3
1. South Korea 3 3 0 6
2. Taiwan 3 2 1 5
3. Hong Kong 3 1 2 4
4. Syria 3 0 3 3
Al-Khatib Leads Lebanon to 2nd
Round - Jul. 30, 2007
TOKUSHIMA (FIBA Asia Championship) -
Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79, agency:
Pro Management Agency) led last years runner ups, Lebanon, into the
2nd round in style. Lebanon defeated UAE 106-64. Fadi led Lebanon with
37 points and 14 rebounds, probably the best all around game in the
tournament this far.
Joe Vogel (211-C-73, agency:
Pro Management Agency, college:
Colorado St.), Fadi's running mate, had an 'off' game (if you want
to call it that) with 14 points and 6 boards. UAE were led by none other
than their leader,
Jasim Abdulredha (188-G-81), with 15 points.
Talal Salem (185-G-88) finished with 13 points for UAE.
After a great fight, UAE finishes 3rd in Group B and heads home.
Lebanons victory allows UAE to head home, finishing the tournament 1-2.
Kuwait will also be heading back, finishing the tournament 0-3. That
would mean that the very strong Lebanese team and the determined
Japanese team will be headed to the 2nd round.
With the way Fadi Al Khatib is playing, every team should be very
concerned that he does not blow up for another game like this again or
else the championship is coming to Lebanon.
Taiwan back to Asian
Championship quarterfinal - Jul. 30, 2007 It's
not an achievement at all, but Taiwan Men's NT is finally back in the
elite eight in the Asian Men's Basketball Championship after a long hard
six years. The last time Taiwan was in the quarterfinals was in 2001,
when it ranked 7th in the tournament.
Led by center Wu Dai-hao's 24 points, Taiwan beat Hong Kong 98-81 in its
final prelim and wrapped up the preliminary round with a 2-1 record and
advanced to the quarter as the No. 2 seed in Group D along with group
leader Korea, which was 3-0 after defeating Syria 89-79.
Taiwan dominated the game and never gave Hong Kong a chance. Wu made 10
of 13 shots en route to another solid performance of 24 points, 4
rebounds and 5 assists. SBL regular season and Finals MVP Lin Chih-jay
had 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting.
Chen Hsin-an added 17 points and 7 boards while Yang Che-yi had 11
points and 5 rebounds. Taiwan almost made 70 percent of its two-pointers
and had 11 threes in the game.
Hong was led by Li Kim Wong's 18 points. Lo Yi Ting had 12 while Fong
Shing Yee added 10.
Taiwan was 7th in the 2001 Asian Championship but fell to an all-time
worst 11th place in 2003. In 2005 it ranked 9th.
Making the quarterfinal will be the first step for newly-hired Korean
head coach Chung Kwang-suk, who had said he hoped to lead Taiwan to the
semifinals when he took over the team and replaced former head coach Lee
Wu Dai-hao averaged for 18 points, 6 rebounds and 2.3 assists after
three games and has been successfully filled the void left by the
absence of two injured big men Tsun Wen-din and Tien Lei.
Lin Chih-jay also averaged for 18 points to go with 6.3 rebounds. Chen
Hsin-an is averaging 17 points and 6.3 rebounds. Yang Che-yi averaged
for 15.7 points. These four players had accounted for almost 80 percent
of Taiwan's scoring.
The one question remained before the second round: Will injured Tsun
Wen-din play? Tsun's presence will take a lot of pressure off of Wu
Dai-hao and Chen Hsin-an, who was forced to switched to the power
China Relegated to Consolation
Round With 79-74 Loss to Philippines - Jul. 29, 2007
China was relegated to the consolation round of the Asian Championship
with a 79-74 loss to the Philippines. China led 48-38 after the first
half but was outscored 18-8 in the third quarter and 23-17 in the
fourth. Iran leads Group A with a 2-0 record, Japan leads group B at
2-0, Qatar and Kazakhstan are both 2-0 in Group C and Korea is 2-0 in
So China's lack of depth, the effect of the absence of sufficient
intensity and sufficient conditioning in CBA play, is apparent. China is
a nation of 1.3 billion and should have depth as well as a talented
elite. That is simple statistics. So China is not utilizing its
population efficiently in developing basketball players. It will do much
better as it learns to use the vastness of its population and makes
final decisions on who is best at basketball after high school rather
than while kids are in elementary school. There is likely far too much
emphasis on the sports academies where athletes are selected early.
Wang Bo led China today with 14 points on 5 of 8 shooting. Yang Ming had
3 points and 3 rebounds and fouled out in 9 minutes. He could not handle
the intensity of
Jimmy Alapag (178-G-77, college:
Cal.St.-San Bernar.) the point guard of the Philippines, owing to
lack of intensity in the CBA. Alapag had 25 points, 5 rebounds and 3
assists in 27 minutes to lead the Philippines.
Yi Li had 14 points and 5 rebounds for China. Li Ke had 13 points and 5
rebounds. Bian Qiang had 10 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists. Zhang Kai
had 9 points, 2 rebounds and 4 personal fouls in 15 minutes. Han Shuo
played 25 minutes at point guard and had 3 points on 1 of 4 shooting. He
had 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 turnover.
1. QAT 2 0 192 94 4
2. KAZ 2 0 204 127 4
3. IND 0 2 123 203 2
4. INA 0 2 98 193 2
1. KOR 2 0 192 137 4
2. TPE 1 1 160 151 3
3. HKG 1 1 171 207 3
4. SYR 0 2 166 194 2
Jordan shocks China in
FIBA-Asia - Jul. 28, 2007
Jordan has started the FIBA-Asia Championship (Tokushima, Jordan 28 JUL
- 5 AUG) with a big win over China 78-65 before few hours in the
oppening game of Group A.
Nashama's players were in the better side in 1st quarter despite being
behind at the end of it 17-18 by a shot from Ming Yang,
Rasheim Wright (193-G-81, agency:
123 Podium, college:
District of Columbia) scored in this
quarter 10 points.
Islam Abbas's explosive performance esspecially in defense helped Jordan
to take the lead from the beginning of 2nd quarter which were played
most of it with jordanian bench players Wissam Sous, Fadel Najjar and
Zeid Abbas, All of them were adding a big help for Sam Daghlas and Zaid
Al Khas to end the quarter leading 35-30, Chinese players tried their
best in this quarter to stay in the game's atmosphere esspecially from
Qian Wu and Ke Li.
Third quarter was the key of the jordanian win after they succeeded to
increase the margin to 11 points 60-49 thanks to Wright and Al Khas who
scored most of his point in it, Adding to the continious huge
perfromance from Islam Abbas in rebounding and Daghlas in smart assists,
Chinese players had suffered from foul trouble so much which added more
pressure on the keys Yang and Lei.
Li Yi began the 4rth quarter with 4 consecutive points and that gave the
chinese the willing to win again, But quickly Jordan's coach Mario Palma
found the strategy and the way for keeping the range, Wright was the
star of the last quarter after scoring most of the team's point to lead
the game which ended 78-65 in scoring with 31 points.
Jordan 78 - China 65 (Q's: 17-18, 35-30,
60-49 & 78-65)
- Top scorers:
Rasheim Wright (JOR) 31
Zaid Al Khas (JOR) 22
Ming Yang (CHN) 15
Islam Abbas (JOR) 8
- Top rebounders:
Islam Abbas (JOR) 17
Zaid Al Khas (JOR) 8
Kai Zhang (JOR) 7
Ming Yang (CHN) 4
- Top Assist: Sam Daghlas (JOR) 4
Ming Yang (CHN) 3
Fadel Najjar (JOR) 2
Rasheim Wright (JOR) 2
- Other games results of day 1:
Qatar 106 - India 49
Kazakhstan 107 - Indoneseia 53
South Korea 107 - Hong Kong 67
Syria 66 - Chinese Tipei 90
UAE - Japan
Iran - Philippines
Lebanon - Kuwait
2007 Asian cage war nears
end - Jul. 27, 2007
Finally, the end of the 2007 Asian cage war is drawing near.
The Asian conqueror will be known in just few days.
Cage armies from China, Jordan, Iran, Philippines, Qatar, Kazakhstan,
India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Japan, Kuwait, UAE, Syria, Taiwan, South
Korea and Hong Kong are already placed into battle position and just
waiting their turn in the battle city of Tokushima.
The Asian conqueror will be set to battle the world's best in the 2008
Olympic Basketball War.
Good luck to all competing nations and let the final battle begin!!!
China dispatches second-string
squad for Asian Basketball Championship - Jul. 26, 2007
Defending champion China will send a second-string national team to
compete in the Asian Basketball Championships (ABC) in Japan next week.
The first team will compete in the Stankovic Continental Champions Cup
in Guangdong, almost the same period as the ABC, which starts on July
Without a national player, the Chinese team does not expect to reign in
"The strongest opponents come from West Asia, like Lebanon and Qatar,"
head coach Adijiang said on Wednesday. "The Philippines has become a
challenge too since it introduced some former American professional
The Chinese squad has no advantage inside the key as pivots like Yao
Ming, Yi Jianlian and Wang Zhizhi are in the first team.
"Actually we have no center in this squad and our guards are smaller
than the West Asians. It'll be a tough journey," Adijiang said.
All-Star point guard Zhang Qingpeng was cut from the squad a couple of
days ago because of the lack of inside players.
"This could be one of the toughest Asian championships for China,"
Head coach: Adijiang
Assistant coach: Wu Qinglong, Zhang Xiaochun
Players: Wang Bo, Li Ke, Chen Lei, Bian Qiang, Yang Ming, Yi Li, Chen
Chen, Han Shuo, Wang Yong, Gu Liye, Zhang Kai, Wu Qian.
Credits to China Daily
Japan NT roster for the Asian
Championship - Jul. 23, 2007
JAPAN NATIONAL SQUAD (for FIBA Asia Championship in Tokushima, with each
player's jersey number listed first):
Aono to make big impact for
Japan NT in Olympic qualifier - Jul. 23, 2007 He
sank his body in a tiny chair â€” tiny for him â€” bending his back a bit,
and gently talked with the reporters, looking at the eyes of each
Fumihiko Aono (210-C-78) is that kind of guy. Despite his massive
body, he is humble, calm, and polite to everyone he chats with.
In fact, the 28-year-old Aono is arguably the only player who fits the
adjective "massive" in Japan's hoop scene.
Aono, standing at 210 cm with a 120-kg weight, is one of the Japanese
few players who can provide presence in the paint, and will be part of
the key elements as the Japanese National Team enters the FIBA Asia
Championship, during which it aims to gain a spot in the 2008 Beijing
"He is the biggest guy in Japan, and has got a wide body size as well,"
Japan coach Kimikazu Suzuki said of Aono on July 16, when he finalized
his 12-man squad for the July 28 to Aug. 5 tournament in Tokushima. "In
basketball, size does matter."
When he talked about the Olympics, Aono, center of the JBL's Panasonic
Trians (formerly known as Kangaroos), raised his voice a bit, if not as
much as other national team players.
"The Olympics is special," Aono said. "When we have it, everybody gets
Four years ago, Aono played for the national team that tried to make the
Athens Olympics in the 2003 Olympic qualifier in Harbin, China. But he
injured his lower back and was saddled with a lukewarm performance.
"I only had vexation," Aono recalled of the tournament, speaking about
that disappointment. "So I want to turn that into a good one this time."
The last four years weren't easy for Aono, who was never called up for
the national team after the Athens Olympic qualifier.
He said he watched last year's FIBA World Championship in Japan on
television, and was motivated to get back on the team again.
"As I saw (the national team players) were playing in front of that many
people, I became hopeful to play in an atmosphere like that," said Aono,
who has a super soft shooting touch for a big man.
There is another reason for Aono to be more determined for the Olympic
qualifier. Aono, a native of Saijo, Ehime Prefecture, said he wants to
show his skills in front of his family and former coaches, who plan to
"I want to show how much I've grown up to them," Aono said, adding he
wants to take his wife, Yuko, to Beijing, because he's been leaving her
home alone for the last half a year.
So, Aono is calmly excited, putting a Hinomaru jersey on.
Team Japan took a trip from June 27 to July 10 to Lithuania and Germany,
where it played mainly with the Under-23 Lithuania National Team, and
Aono felt he wasn't able to really come through.
"It wasn't very good for me," Aono said candidly. "I wasn't really able
to relate to scoring plays and rebounds. But at least what things I can
do and what things I can't do became clearer."
But Suzuki isn't too worried. He thinks Aono will play a big role for
Japan, helping it grab victories in Tokushima, along with newly added
J.R. Sakuragi, the ex-UCLA forward who recently gained Japanese
citizenship and dropped his former surname (Henderson).
"(Aono) struggled in Europe but came through in the Asian Games (in Doha
last December)," Suzuki said. "No one in this country has that kind of
body size, and I'm sure he can clearly play (at the international
India national team roster for
the Asian championship - Jul. 23, 2007 The
final twelve have been selected to carry the flag of the Indian team
that will participate in the 24th FIBA Asia Championship Cup to be held
at Tokushima in Japan from July 28 to August 5.
India placed in Group 'C' with Qatar, Kazakhstan and Indonesia. Top two
teams in this group will advance to the quarterfinals.
The Indian team, which is now under the tutelage of Serbian coach
Aleksander Bucan, is currently undergoing training at the Sports
Authority of India (SAI), South Centre.
Karnataka Basketball Association (KBA) President K Govindraj, who is
accompanying the team as Chief De Mission and Manager, said that the
team will be leaving tonight.
China "B" NT whips Jordan NT,
81-67 - Jul. 23, 2007
FIBA-Asia-bound Chinese national team trounced the 2007 W. Jones Cup
winner, Jordan NT via 81-67 score in a series of goodwill games before
the Asian Championship in Tokushima, Japan.
It was a close tune-up encounter of the top squads in the so-called
â€œGroup of Deathâ€ coming FIBA-Asia wherein the games was very close up to
the last two minutes. China capitalized their advantage in the last two
minutes when the two Jordan starters fouling out of the game along with
Rasheim Wright (193-G-81, agency:
123 Podium, college:
District of Columbia) absorbing an injury.
Wang Yong and Yi Li led the Great Wall surge with 17 and 12 points a
China "B" will next face the Qatari national team which yesterday scored
a 59-59 deadlock with the Jordanian NT.
Jordan vs Qatar, 59-59 - Jul.
Qatar national team and Jordan national team tune up match ended in a
draw via a 59-59 score held in Shanghai, China.
The said deadlock occurred after the refusal of Jordan's head coach
Mario Palma to play in the overtime.
Jordan NT also defeated in a tune-up game the Chinese Basketball
Association's Shanghai Sharks, a close 92-86 score.
Jordan NT will next face China in the series of goodwill matches coming
Asian Championship in Tokushima Japan.
South Korea seeks Olympic berth
after 12 years - Jul. 22, 2007
South Korea's national basketball team is seeking an appearance in the
Olympics after 12 years.
The 12-player South Korean team, led by manager Choi Boo-young, will
participate in the 24th Asia Championship for Men in Tokushima, Japan
and compete for the only ticket assigned to the Asian region to the 2008
The championship will be held from July 28 to August 5.
South Korea, which hasn't made an appearance in the world games since
the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, are drawn into Group D with Hong Kong,
Syria and Taiwan.
As host China is promoted automatically into the finals, South Korea is
expected to face-off with other favorites like Jordan, Philippines,
Syria, Kazakhstan, Taiwan, Japan, Qatar, Lebanon and Iran to become the
other Asian qualifier.
``The players are well prepared for the championship. Since the
professional league kicked off, Korean basketball has faded in Asia. To
stop its slide, every player has become determined,'' said manager Choi
at the Inaugural meeting Friday.
Ahead of the Asia Championship, South Korean team tested its players at
the William Jones Cup in Taiwan earlier this month.
At the competition, the South Korean team, troubled by key players, Hyun
Joo-yup of the LG Sakers, Bang Sung-yoon of the SK Knights, posted a
record of 5-4 to place 5th.
The South Korean team under a generational shift is trying to revive its
reputation as Asia's No. 2 behind China.
South Korea ranked fourth in the championships in 2005 and fifth at the
Doha Asian Games last year.
To return to its old form, the South Korean team is required to solidify
their inside play.
South Korea has depended on three-pointers and a heavy offense through
the Jones Cup.
When playing against the tall center East countries, they opened up the
paint zone too easily and were sold on outside shooting despite having
big men with good height.
It is a relief that veteran
Kim Joo-Sung (205-C-79) is activated from an injury, which prevented
him from showing off his skills at the Toronto Raptors' free agent camp.
If Kim and Ha Seung-jin can build a double-post and Kim Min-soo and Lee
Dong-joon live up to their expectations, South Korea will have a
The other trouble South Korea is all-rounder Lee Kyu-sup's breakaway.
The Samsung Thunders swingman showed solid performances at the Jones Cup
but his thigh injury is preventing him from playing in the preliminary
As Lee's replacement, manager Choi added inexperienced collegiate player
To fill the absence, forward Kim Dong-woo and Yang Hee-jong are expected
to be alternated.
``I know people worry about the team after the Jones Cup but Kim
Joo-sung did not play in most of the games and a few people also
suffered injuries. By facing Asian teams at the tournament, we gained
confidence. As every player is motivated to make it to the Olympics, we
will be able to claim the berth,'' captain and point guard Shin Ki-sung
Kuwait NT lost twice to
Philippine NT - Jul. 21, 2007 Late
addition James Yap returned from sick bay to fire 18 points to led the
Philippine national team to an 84-68 thumping of Kuwait national team in
the first goodwill game last Friday at the Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall
Gym, Manila, Philippines
RP's top gunner Danny Seigle also came back to active duty to shoot 13
In the second game, Philippine national team handed the Kuwait national
team its worst loss so far via a 100-65 en route at the at the Caruncho
Sports Center in Pasig.Gabe Norwood led the Philippine NT, who took a
55-21 lead at the half, with 13 points.
â€œThey are small and quick but we're getting ready for tall opponents in
Group Aâ€ Philippine coach Chot Reyes said.
Kuwait NT also lost to a secondary Philippine amateur team before the
encounter with the Philippine NT.
Kuwait NT is bracketed in Group B along with host Japan, Lebanon and the
United Arab Emirates.
India NT wins anew; targets top
5 in the Asian Championship - Jul. 19, 2007 At
the Kanteerava Indoor Stadium, the lanky lads of the Indian basketball
team were going through their paces as part of a month-long conditioning
camp held in Bangalore, to prepare the team for the Asian Championships
to be held in Japan later this month. India faces tough competition from
Qatar, Indonesia and Kazakhstan in its group.
The team, which leaves for Japan on July 25, has five players from
Uttaranchal, one each from TN, Rajasthan and Services, and two each from
Punjab and Karnataka. The team will be accompanied by its coach
Alaksander Bucan, assistant coaches Mohinder Singh Rathore and Rajinder
Singh, and team manager K Govindaraj.
The team members said, the camp, under the supervision of their Serbian
coach Alaksander, has taught them some tough defense and better team
spirit. The coach, on his part, said â€œThis team has clever guys, but
they don't know the game like they do in Europe and other countries.
This is my first stint with the team. We hope to maximize our exposure
at the Asian Championships to know where we stand. That will set our
parameters for next year. We are in the fray with high level of
motivation and want to win every game we play; we will fight every
The players, all of who have donned the national team colors on more
than one occasion, said they were indeed very proud to play for the
Karnataka boys Roshan (who played for JSC and will represent Vijaya Bank
Rajanna Sanjay (206-C-84) (who represents HAL) will also banner the
â€œIndia has a good talent pool, but the team doesn't have sponsorships or
infrastructure. We need more indoor stadiums and professionalism if we
have to move ahead,â€ said Roshan.
â€œOther teams have a strategy for every game, every move. We are just
learning that now. Our aim for the Asian Championship is to reach the
top 5,â€ Sanjay said.
Both of them mentioned the grueling training sessions they've had all
this month and how it's helped build strength and team spirit. These
boys dream of making it big, as big as the NBA or â€œgods of the game of
basketballâ€ as those associated with the American association are
called. No prizes for guessing that Michael Jordan's the â€œbest ever
playerâ€ and a role model for them and almost every other basketball
player on earth!
And do they wish they had more spectator attention? â€œOf course, every
player wants to be applauded, by general audience. Sadly only cricketers
get that kind of attention,â€ said Roshan, even as he gushed about
getting female fan following.
Incidentally, Roshan is among the tallest in the team and stands at 6'10
ft, while Sanjay is a tad shorter at 6'5 ft. Sanjay is the master of
slam dunks for his team too and is a pleasure to watch during practice.
We asked the two youngsters for some inspiring words of advice to
aspiring basketball players.
Said Roshan: â€œIf you have the interest and the passion, be prepared to
put in hard work. Youngsters only think of studies these days. A bit of
sports is also required to create a healthy balance in one's life.â€
Sanjay added: â€œTo make it to the top in any sport, one needs to love the
game and approach it with passion and self-motivation.â€
Meanwhile, Indian NT ended its four match friendly series with Karnataka
Juniors with a thumping 82-40 margin at the Sree Kanteerava stadium
indoor courts here today.
Coach Aleksander Bucan tried his reserves and his varied combinations
and even rested the speedy Sambhaji Kadam for long spells but still
managed to inflict a crushing defeat on the State juniors, who are bound
for a six match Test series against Malaysia, next month.
The Indian NT increased their tempo and played at full throttle. Sanjay
and Roshan played well for the Karnataka juniors in the first session.
Ravi Kumar (199-F-87) and Anup excelled in the second.
India NT wins tune-up; hopes to
do well in the Asian Championship - Jul. 18, 2007
BANGALORE: India national team, now training under Serbian coach
Aleksander Bucan, dished out a heart-warming display, even if it was
against Karnataka Juniors, in a friendly match, at the Sree Kanteerava
Indoor Stadium here this evening. The Indian NT won via 60-42.
But then the Karnataka Juniors, with the lanky
Sanjay Raj (204-C-84) and Roshan assisting, kept pace with the
fitter and sturdier national players, especially in the first quarter
before feeling the heat.
Changing over at 31-24, the Indian national team with Tridip Rai and
Dilwar Singh with playmaker
Sambhaji Kadam (176-G-80) in fine nick upped the tempo to leave the
State Juniors huffing and puffing. Srinivas Naik and Naresh did the bulk
of the scoring for the State Juniors.
Tokushima FIBA-Asia bound India national team hopes to do well this
Asian championship edition after hiring a European coach to auscpice the
Jay Prakash Singh formerly handled the Indian
India, which placed 12th in the last edition of Asian championship, is
bracketed along with Qatar, Kazakhstan and Indonesia this edition.
United Arab Emirates NT leave
for France training camp - Jul. 17, 2007
The UAE basketball team
have left for a two-week training camp in France in preparation for the
Asian qualifiers of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The UAE team will play warm-up matches against four French clubs during
the tour to gain experience before the Asian qualifiers, which will be
held in Japan from July 29 to August 5.
The team will be under the guidance of experienced Serbian coach Zoran
Zubcevic, who led the UAE to a gold medal in the Gulf Cup in January.
Salim Al Muttawa, board member of the UAE basketball association, heads
the delegation, which includes 12 players - Younis Khamis, Jasim Abdul
Redha, Mohammad Mubarak, Ahmad Mussa, Talal Salim, Ayoub Ahmad, Mattar
Abdullah, Hasan Ali, Rashid Naser, Saeed Khalfan, Jasim Mohammad and Ali
Three key players - Mal Allah Rashid, Qasim Mohammad and Ebrahim
Khalfan, couldn't travel due to personal commitments.
A squad of 16 players, which had been reduced to the present number,
trained during the past two weeks at the Al Wasl Club.
During the 10-day stint in Lyon, they are expected to play a couple of
warm-up matches against local clubs and some of the African teams
preparing for the African Games to be held in Algiers.
The players and officials
are expected back on July 23 and travel two days later to Japan to
compete in the championship. UAE are in the same group with hosts Japan,
Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.
Taiwan NT 12-man roster for
Asian Championship announced - Jul. 16, 2007 The
final 12-man Taiwan NT roster for 2007 Asian Championship in Tokushima,
Japan was announced Monday by the Chinese Taipei Basketball Association
(CTBA). Two-time SBL regular season MVP Tien Lei will sit out the
tournament due to injury.
The final roster:
Guard: Lee Hsueh-lin, Chen Shih-nian, Hsu Hao-cheng, Lin Yi-huei, Yang
Che-yi, Lu Cheng-ju
Forward: Lin Chih-jay, Chen Hsin-an, Yua Ying-li, Lee Chi-yi
Tsun Wen-Din (203-C-84), Wu Dai-hao
Hsu Hao-cheng, Lin Yi-huei and Lu Cheng-ju will be making their
Tien Lei will not play in Tokushima.
Tien Lei, who already sat out the Jones Cup, was not on the roster due
to injuries in his right thumb and stress fracture in his left leg.
Tien's absence was definitely a bad news for Taiwan NT, which was
limited to two big men of Tsun Wen-din and Wu Dai-hao.
Judging from the games in Jones Cup, Taiwan NT was always one inside
player short both offensively and defensively. The absence of Tien Lei
made it difficult for Taiwan head coach Cheng Kwang-suk to find an ideal
Without Tien, who is capable of tallying at least 15 points and 10
rebounds in every game he's in, Tsun and Wu will have to shoulder the
responsibilities of protecting the glass, score inside, and keep
themselves on the floor without foul trouble.
Three players who played in Doha Asian Games last year did not make the
roster this time, including Chou Shih-yuan, Yang Chin-min and Wu
Taiwan is bracketed in the same group with Syria, Hong Kong and South
Korea in the Asian Championship, which will start play in Tokushima,
Japan from July 28 to August 5.
Credits to Chris Wang, Asia-basket Taiwan Correspondent
RP Coach: Philippines ready to
take all comers in FIBA-Asia Championship - Jul. 15, 2007 With
many lessons learned in two tournaments the last 14 days, the
SMC-Philippine five has metamorphosed into a highly competitive squad
that could well give any team a run for its money in the coming
FIBA-Asia Olympic qualifier in Tokushima, Japan.
RP team coach
Vincent Reyes made that assessment as the Nationals
completed a tough two-week grind capped by their triumphant finish in
the Smart Four-Nation Manila Invitational Championship last night at the
â€œFrom March to today, the difference was like night and day. The team
has grown into a different creature,â€ said Reyes, moments after the RP
squad conquered Lebanon, 87-81, for the crown in the pocket tourney also
participated in by China and Syria.
Syria showed up China, 90-85, for third place in the tourney organized
by the BAP-Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and sponsored by Nike,
Gatorade, Victory Liner, Casino Alcohol and Omega Pain Killer.
Jimmy Alapag scored 16 of his 23 points in the second quarter while Mark
Caguioa made 13 of his 19 points in the final period as the Nationals
repeated their 88-83 win over the Lebanese Thursday for the championship
that further underscored the team's readiness for the Tokushima joust
from July 28-Aug. 5.
The RP squad will play Kuwait in two tune-up games Friday and Saturday
before leaving for Japan on July 25.
â€œWe now have the game to compete in Japan. But can we win it? That I
because that's a confluence of good game and good fortune. At least, we
have taken care of 50 percent of the equation. Now we only hope for good
stroke of fortune,â€ said Reyes.
â€œBetween now and July 28, our concentration will be the three teams
(China, Iran and Jordan) we will play in our group. The coaching staff
will dissect each and everyone in those teams,â€ Reyes added.
The Nationals have sized up the Chinese, the Iranians and the
Jordanians, and Reyes felt the Nationals have a good chance against
Against the Lebanese who were qualifiers in the last two World
Championships, the Nationals did well, showing the big improvement
they've learned from their training stints in the US, Thailand, Iran,
Belgrade and Taiwan.
Standing tall in the Manila Invitationals, Alapag won the Most Valuable
Player award and led the Mythical Five Selection that also included
teammate Kelly Williams, Lebanese Joe Vogel and Fadi El Khatib and
Syrian Michael Mandaly.
Jimmy Alapag held his own in a fierce shootout with Vogel in the first
half as the Nationals seized a 36-35 lead at the turn.
The Talk n Text prized playmaker fired three triples with the last
coming before the buzzer sounded, giving the Nationals the one-point
edge going into the final half.
China to reinforce "B" squad
for the FIBA-Asia Championship - Jul. 16, 2007
Because of China's poor showing in the just-concluded Manila
Invitationals, the team will likely be reinforced by at least three more
recruits from the 22-man national pool for the FIBA-Asia Championships
in Tokushima on July 28-Aug. 5.
PBA commissioner Noli Eala said yesterday a ranking official of the
Chinese delegation intimated there will be changes in the lineup for the
China enlisted four players from its national pool to combine with
veterans from the Chinese league and standouts from the under-20
selection for the Manila Invitationals. Coach Adijian Chang Bin was
visibly upset by the â€œBâ€ team's last place finish.
It was the â€œBâ€ team's first overseas appearance and exposed China as
beatable in Tokushima. China posted a 2-2 record and lost a 90-85
decision to Syria in the battle for third place at the Big Dome last
Sunday. The consolation was China won two of three elimination round
games, beating Syria, 98-94, and host Philippines, 77-74.
China is bracketed with Jordan, Iran and the Philippines in Group A in
the first round of eliminations in Tokushima.
Philippine coach Chot Reyes called it â€œthe group of deathâ€ because every
team has a chance to advance to the quarterfinals.
In the Manila Invitationals, China showed its vulnerability by ranking
last in field goal percentage (.412), rebounding (36.7), field goal
percentage allowed (.525) and fastbreak points allowed (16.8). The stats
pointed to deficiencies on both ends of the floor.
â€œIt wasn't mentioned who exactly will be the replacements but
definitely, not their NBA guys,â€ said Eala, referring to Yao Ming, Wang
Zhizhi, Sun Yue and Yi Jianlian. â€œI think the Chinese team will get a
center, a power forward and a guard. But even then, they're still
Eala said he was told the â€œBâ€ team had hardly played together before
flying to Manila. The consensus was the team appeared to be badly
coached. Adijian, an assistant in Chinese national team coach Jonas
Kaulauskasâ€š staff, was assigned to call the shots for the â€œBâ€ squad in
China is sending its â€œBâ€ team to Tokushima because Kaulauskas is
fielding the top squad in the Stankovic Cup on July 28-Aug. 2 in
Guangzhou and Macau. Besides, there is no incentive for China to win in
Tokushima because it is automatically seeded into the 12-team basketball
tournament in Beijing next year as the host country.
But Eala said China will play for pride in the Olympic qualifiers. â€œWith
the lineup they played in the Invitationals, maybe even Jordan has a
chance to beat China,â€ continued Eala. â€œI'm sure China will find it
unacceptable to be eliminated in the first round.â€
Among the national pool players who may be tapped to reinforce China in
Tokushima are 7-foot center Tang Zhengdong, 6-5 guard Gong Songlin,
Zhu Fangyu (200-F-83) and 7-1 center Zhang Song Tao. The four
players are not in the â€œAâ€ roster.
The â€œBâ€ team that played in the Invitationals featured four national
pool players - 6-2 Zhang Qingpeng, 6-4 Yang Ming, 6-7 Wang Yong and 6-6
Han Shuo but none averaged in double digits. The leading scorers were
6-11 Yi Li (15.3), 6-11 Zhang Kai (12.0) and 6-10 Li Ke (10.5). Li, 27,
played on the Chinese squad that took the gold medal at the Asian Games
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