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Asian Championships 2009 - Men Basketball


Play-Off bracket1

Asian Championships Final Standing
 1. Iran
 2. China
 3. Jordan
 4. Lebanon
 5. Taiwan
 6. Qatar
 7. S.Korea
 8. Philippine.
 9. Kazakhstan.
 10. Japan
 11. Kuwait
 12. United Ara.
 13. India
 14. Uzbekistan.
 15. Indonesia
 16. Sri Lanka
Points Per Game
 Rasheim WRIGHT
  USA
  (194-G-81)
  Avg: 20.7
 1. Wright, JOR20.7 
 2. Kozlov, UZB19.4 
 3. Yi, CHN18.3 
 4. Nikkhah, IRI18.0 
 5. Ali, QAT17.8 
 6. Vroman, LEB17.1 
 7. Wang, CHN16.7 
 8. Ehadadi, IRI15.8 
 9. Bhriguvanshi, IND15.8 
 10. Freije, L.15.7 
Rebounds Per Game
 Hamed EHADADI
  IRI
  (218-C-85)
  Avg: 13.1
 1. Ehadadi, IRI13.1 
 2. Yi, CHN10.4 
 3. Abbaas, JOR8.8 
 4. Vroman, LEB8.4 
 5. Takeuchi, JPN8.3 
 6. Wang, CHN7.9 
 7. Singh, IND7.8 
 8. Taulava, PHI7.3 
 9. Ashkanani, KUW7.1 
 10. Revi, I.6.6 
Assists Per Game
 MohammadSamad NIKKHAH
  (199-G/F-83)
  Avg: 4.8
 1. Nikkhah, IRI4.8 
 2. Daghles, JOR4.1 
 3. Kadam, IND3.2 
 4. Lee, KOR3.0 
 5. Saeed, KUW2.8 
 6. Liu, CHN2.8 
 7. Yang, KOR2.7 
 8. Yi, CHN2.7 
 9. El Khatib, LEB2.7 
 10. Bhriguvanshi, I.2.6 
Steals Per Game
 Talwinderjit SINGH
  (182-G/F-86)
  Avg: 2.4
 1. Singh, IND2.4 
 2. Ali, QAT2.2 
 3. Wright, JOR2.1 
 4. Yang, KOR2.0 
 5. Bhriguvanshi, IND1.8 
 6. Purwanto, IDN1.8 
 7. Abbaas, JOR1.8 
 8. Hu, CHN1.7 
 9. Kozlov, UZB1.6 
 10. Norwood, P.1.5 
Blocks Per Game
 Hamed EHADADI
  IRI
  (218-C-85)
  Avg: 4
 1. Ehadadi, IRI4.0 
 2. Yi, CHN2.4 
 3. Kim, KOR1.1 
 4. Ha, KOR1.0 
 5. Elsayad, QAT1.0 
 6. Thoyib, IDN1.0 
 7. Takeuchi, JPN0.9 
 8. Oh, KOR0.9 
 9. Saeed, QAT0.9 
 10. Singh, I.0.8 
Asian Championships Qualifiying round Standings
Group E
 1. Iran 6-0 
 2. S.Korea 5-1 
 3. Philippine. 4-2 
 4. Taiwan 3-3 
 5. Japan 2-4 
 6. Kuwait 1-5 
Group F
 1. China 6-0 
 2. Jordan 5-1 
 3. Lebanon 4-2 
 4. Qatar 3-3 
 5. Kazakhstan. 2-4 
 6. United Ara. 1-5 
Group 13-16 places
 1. India 2-0 
 2. Uzbekistan. 1-1 
 3. Indonesia 1-1 
 4. Sri Lanka 0-2
Asian Championships Preliminary Round Standings
Group A
 1. S.Korea 3-0 
 2. Philippine. 2-1 
 3. Japan 1-2 
 4. Sri Lanka 0-3 
Group B
 1. Iran 3-0 
 2. Taiwan 2-1 
 3. Kuwait 1-2 
 4. Uzbekistan. 0-3 
Group C
 1. China 3-0 
 2. Qatar 2-1 
 3. Kazakhstan. 1-2 
 4. India 0-3 
Group D
 1. Jordan 3-0 
 2. Lebanon 2-1 
 3. United Ara. 1-2 
 4. Indonesia 0-3

Iran Asian Champion 2009 (Photo: china2009.fiba.com)


Iranian National Team 2009

2009 ROSTER
Starting Five in BOLD letters
Mahdi Kamrani
Kamrani
Hamed Afagh
Afagh
Oshin Sahakian
Sahakian
MohammadSamad Nikkhah
Nikkhah
Hamed Ehadadi
Ehadadi
4 Pooya Tadjik (202-F/C-80) of BEEM
5 Amir Amini (192-G-84) of Azad University
6 Javad Davari (186-G-83) of Petrochimi Imam Harbour
7 Mahdi Kamrani (180-G-82) of Mahram
8 Aren DavoudiChegani (182-G-86) of Zob Ahan Esfahan
9 MohammadReza Akbari Bisheh (196-F/G-86) of Zob Ahan Esfahan
10 Hamed Afagh (192-G-83) of Mahram
11 Hamed Sohrabnejad (206-C/F-83) of Mahram
12 Oshin Sahakian (202-F-86) of Zob Ahan Esfahan
13 Ali Doraghi (210-C-84) of Shiraz a.s Pipe
14 MohammadSamad Nikkhah (199-G/F-83) of Mahram
15 Hamed Ehadadi (218-C-85) of Memphis Grizzlies (USA)

Head Coach: Veselin Matic

Asia-Basket.com All-Asian Championships 2009 Awards - Aug 18, 2009

All-Asian Championships 1st Team 2009
Hamed Ehadadi
Ehadadi
Rasheim Wright
Wright
Jianlian Yi
Yi
MohammadSamad Nikkhah
Nikkhah
Fadi El Khatib
El Khatib

Best Player:
Hamed Ehadadi (218-C-85) of Iran
Best Guard: Rasheim Wright (194-G-81) of Jordan
Best Forward: Jianlian Yi (212-C/F-87) of China * played mostly at power forward position, but sometimes joined Wang Zhizhi (214-C-79) at duo-center spot
Best Center: Hamed Ehadadi (218-C-85) of Iran
Best Coach: Veselin Matic of Iran

1st Team
G: Rasheim Wright (194-G-81) of Jordan
G/F: MohammadSamad Nikkhah (199-G/F-83) of Iran * played on both shooting guard and small forward (mostly) positions
SF: Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79) of Lebanon
C/F: Jianlian Yi (212-C/F-87) of China
C: Hamed Ehadadi (218-C-85) of Iran

2nd Team
SG: Osama Daghles (199-G-79) of Jordan
PG: Mahdi Kamrani (180-G-82) of Iran
F: Zaid Abbaas (203-F-83) of Jordan
PF: Matt Freije (206-F-81) of Lebanon
C/F: Jackson Vroman (208-C/F-81) of Lebanon

3rd Team
G: Afagh Hamed of Iran
SG: Alexandr Tyutyunik (198-G-90) of Kazakhstan
SF: Saad Abdulrahman Ali (193-F-85) of Qatar
PF: Tien Lei (202-F-83) of Taiwan
C: Wang Zhizhi (214-C-79) of China

Honorable Mention
Aleksandr Kozlov (202-F-82) of Uzbekistan
Anton Ponomarev (209-C-88) of Kazakhstan
Tseng Wen-Ting (202-C/F-84) of Taiwan
Yang Hee-Jong (194-F-84) of S.Korea
Mustafa ElSayad (206-F/C-82) of Qatar
Kim Joo-Sung (205-C-79) of S.Korea
Cyrus Baguio (188-G-80) of Philippines
Kosuke Takeuchi (205-C/F-85) of Japan
Mohammad Ashkanani (193-F-84) of Kuwait
Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (192-G-91) of India
  

IRAN RETAIN TITLE IN STYLE - Aug. 16, 2009 
TIANJIN (FIBA Asia Championship) - When Iran won the title in the 2007 FIBA Asia Championship at Tokushima, one question remained unanswered: Could Iran have won if China had played with their full team?
The answer to that question came two years later in the form of Irans thumping 70-52 win in the gold-medal game of the 25th FIBA Asia Championship.
Hamed Ehadadi (218-C-85, agency: Agency No 10), who had scored 31 points in Irans final triumph two years ago, was once again the leading scorer for his side with 19 points.
Theres a huge difference between then and now, said EHadadi.
Playing against Chinas first team in China is pressure enough. But we were determined to carry out what our coach told us, he added.
EHadadi also collected 17 rebounds 10 of them in defence.
Samad Nikkah played only 22:27 of the game, but had a telling effect with his eight points and a game-high six assists before that.
This gold medal is more satisfying for a lot of reasons, Samad said.
Winning is one thing, but retaining the gold is a lot more difficult, he added.
Never had any team dominated a gold medal game against China in the FIBA Asia Championship the way Veselin Matics team did on Sunday night in front a capacity crowd which began to dissipate as the fourth quarter began.
The whole idea of a final game to seize the initiative early, said Matic.
Im happy things fell in place early for us. And we didnt lose focus after that, he added.
As a matter of fact, this was the first time China lost a gold medal game in FIBA Asia Championship history.
Iran raced into an early lead and consolidated their position as the game progressed; their mainstays fired in all cylinders; their bench did more than what was expected; the offensive plays moved with panache; and most importantly the defence played wonderfully tight on the Chinese superstars Wang Zhizhi and Yi Jianlian.
Basketball is a game of brains, quipped an expert during the first half interval, when Iran led 42-25.
For sure it was the brains of Matic that weaved a magical spell of defence to keep both Wang and Yi on a leash.
Yi was the only player with double-digit scores at that point, but had failed with seven of his 12 field attempts. And Wang was allowed only six looks at the goal.
Iran on the other hand, played with composure and determination and built their leads in spurts.
A classic example for Iranian determination came in the opening moments of the fourth quarter when the 180-cm Iranian point guard Mahdi Kamrani challenged the 212-cm Yi for a rebound and succeeded in tapping the ball out.
We were playing the game of our lives, Kamrani said.
Wang topped the scoring for China with 24 points, but played with wonted form only in the third quarter when he scored 11 of them.
The third was the only period when Iran allowed China to keep the scoring level.
Yi added only one more point to his first halfs 10, in a woeful 29% field record (5/17 attempts).
Where China lacked was in support from the bench, when their mainstays struggled.
The highest scorer for China after Wang and Yi was Liu Wei with six points.
On the other hand, Oshin Sahakian scored 10, Javad Davari nine and Hamed Afagh eight.
Truly, the Iranian teamwork had outsmarted the power of the hosts.
S Mageshwaran
FIBA Asia


China Loses to Iran 70-52 - Aug. 16, 2009 
China played abominably today as it lost the Asian Championship to Iran 70-52. China fell behind 21-10 in the first quarter and was completely incapable of climbing out of this hole. It trailed 41-25 at the half and 55-39 after three quarters. This was a terrible loss for a team playing at home. China finished second in the tournament.

Only Wang Zhizhi had an acceptable game. Wang had 24 points on 10 of 16 shooting and grabbed 8 rebounds. Yi Jianlian shot 5 for 17 and made 1 of 4 free throws to score 11 points. He did grab 11 rebounds and blocked 1 shot.

Sun Yue was scoreless in 23 minutes, missing both shots he attempted. He had 1 rebound and 1 steal. This was against Iran, not the Boston Celtics. On the other hand, Hamed Ehadadi (218-C-85, agency: Agency No 10), Iran's NBA player, had 19 points on 9 of 17 shooting along with 17 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block. Iran outrebounded China 44-28.

Zhu Fangyu had 2 points for China and Wang Shipeng was scoreless. They missed all 6 shots they attempted. Liu Wei had 6 points but shot 3 for 9. Hu Xuefeng had 2 points, hitting 1 of 3 shots. Du Feng had 5 points in 10 minutes, backing up at power forward. He played instead of Li Xiaoxu because China needed offense today from its big men as its perimeter players were completely inept. China got exactly 12 points from its perimeter players. It hit a woeful 2 of 18 three-point attempts. Why is China failing so badly in this area when a title is on the line?

For Iran Oshin Sahakian had 10 points and 5 rebounds. Javad Davari had 9 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Mohammadsamad Nikkah had 8 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists. Hamad Affagh had 8 points and 2 rebounds. Mahdi Kamrani had 7 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals.

Yao Ming would not have helped much today as China's failure was on the perimeter. It must improve its style of play. Certainly China, with 1.4 billion citizens to choose from, can find some who can be perimeter scorers. China is doing something wrong with the way it is training its players to be doing so poorly from the perimeter.

Jordan defeated Lebanon 80=66 to take third in the touney and also gain a trip to the FIBA World Championship in Turkey. Chinese Taipei defeated Qatar 87-79 to finish fifth. Korea defeated the Philippines 82-80 to finish seventh.


IDAIS, WRIGHT TAKE JORDAN TO TURKEY - Aug. 16, 2009 
TIANJIN (FIBA Asia Championship) - Ayman Idais and RRasheim Wright (194-G-81, college: District of Col.) scythed through the rival defence during each others slump in form to help Jordan to an 80-66 win over fellow West Asian nation Lebanon in the bronze medal play-off on Sunday.
The win helped the Mario Palma trained Jordan to book their entry into the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey.
Lebanon finished without a medal for the first time in three championships, having bagged with the silver in both 2005 and 2007 FIBA Asia Championships.
Jordan had never beaten Lebanon coming into this Championship having lost all their three previous encounters but in Tianjin, Jordan opened their campaign with an 84-67 win over Lebanon and finished it beating the same rivals.
Wright shrugged off a second quarter strife to find rhythm and led the scoring for the game with 28 points, in a 55% field record (9/14), including a 2/6 in three-pointers.
Wright also had five rebounds four in defence and five assists.
Idais stepped up when Wright struggled and returned a 20-point haul.
Idais converted only one of his three two-pointer attempts, but shot down an incredible 6/8 in the long rangers.
Fortunes in the early part of the game resembled the Tianjin Eye with the teams gaining absolute control of the proceedings, when their offensive plays worked only to start going down, allowing the rivals to come up similar scoring sprees.
Wright contributed five as Jordan scored the first 10 points of the game, but Lebanon hit back with a 19-0 run to close the first quarter 19-10 ahead.
Fadi El Khatib who opened the scoring for Lebanon converting his twin free-throws went on to add four more and Jackson Vroman combined to a nicety in the paint for Lebanon to take this lead, which only piqued Jordan to fight back yet again.
Idais sank two silken three-pointers and Sam Daghles added another as Jordan blitzed the latter part of the second quarter with a 13-1 run to head into the locker rooms with a 36-28 lead.
Idais who drew a blank in the 3:46 he played in the first quarter, had 15 points in the second quarter, all of them coming in three-pointers out of a six attempts.
Wright added only two points, but effected four assists in the second quarter.
But the former Tulsa 66ers guard, exploded with customary fluency in the third quarter accounting for 13 points, in a 5/7 field record including finding the mark in his only three-pointer attempt during this time.
That surge kept Jordan in good stead till the final buzzer.
Vroman ploughed a rather lonely, and therefore, losing furrow for Lebanon with 18 points.
Fadi El Khatib shot a woeful 3/10 in field attempts for his 13 points and Rony Fahed had as many points.
S Mageshwaran
FIBA Asia


Iran beats China 70-52, defends Gold in Asia!  - Aug. 16, 2009 
FINAL
Iran - China 70-52
Iran did it again! After Gold in Japan two years ago, Iran managed to grab it for the second consecutive time outplaying the host of AsiaBasket 2009 in the Big Final 70-52. Of course, Silver is reserved for China and very important thing is that both teams qualified for the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey. Hamed Ehadadi (218-C-85, agency: Agency No 10) was a key player for Iran today collecting 19 points and 17 rebounds. Oshin Sahakian (202-F-86, agency: Agency No 10) had 10 points and 5 boards, while Javad Davari (186-G-83) added 9 pts. Wang Zhizhi (214-C-79) responded with 24 points and 8 rebounds in defeat. Jianlian Yi (212-C/F-87) followed with double-double, 11 pts and 11 rebs.

Places 3-4
Jordan - Lebanon 80-66
Jordan was too strong for Lebanon in the battle for Bronze on AsiaBasket 2009 in China. This victory was very important for Jordan, who except of winning the bronze medal also booked a spot for 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey. Lebanon stays with the medal and also failed to qualify for Turkey. Rasheim Wright (194-G-81, college: District of Col.) shined for the winners collecting 28 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Ayman Idais (208-C-78, agency: Court Side) also demonstrated nice performance - 20 points (6 triples), while Osama Daghles (199-G-79, college: Midwestern St.) added 11 points and 5 boards. In Team Lebanon, Jackson Vroman (208-C/F-81, college: Iowa St.) had 18 points and 8 boards. Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79, agency: Pro Management Agency) and Rony Fahed (182-G-81, agency: Pro Management Agency) netted 13 pts each.

Places 5-6
Qatar - Taiwan 79-87
Fifth place on AsiaBasket 2009 belongs to Taiwan. In the last day of this contest Taiwan was too strong for Qatar 87-79. Both teams stays without the medal and they also didn't succeed to qualify for 2010 FIBA World championship in Turkey. Yang Chin-Min (188-G-84) top-scored in victory with 19 points. Tien Lei (202-F-83) had 17, while Lee Hsueh-Lin (175-G-84) and Tsung-Hsien Chang (190-F-88) added 15 pts each. Mustafa ElSayad (206-F/C-82, college: Fresno St.) shined in defeat with 19 points. Erfan Ali Saeed (200-F-83) stopped in 4 less.

Places 7-8
Philippines - South Korea 80-82
South Korea escaped with 82-80 win against Philippines ending the AsiaBasket 2009 on position No.7. Naturally, one lower place belongs to Philippines. Oh Se-Keun (201-C-87) was on fire today draining 31 points for the winners. He also pulled down 10 rebounds beside that. Kim Joo-Sung (205-C-79) was second scorer with 15 and Kang Byung-Hyun (192-G-85) helped with 10 pts. In the loosing squad, Cyrus Baguio (188-G-80) netted 17 pts. Joachim Thoss (203-C-81) had 15 and Kerby Raymundo (199-C-81) delivered one point less.


DAY 8 ROUND-UP: IT'S CHAMPS IRAN V/S HOSTS CHINA FOR TITLE - Aug. 15, 2009 
TIANJIN (FIBA Asia Championship) - Hosts China will attempt to dethrone champions Iran and regain their hold on the FIBA Asia Championship gold medal when the two meet in the title round of the 25th edition of the Championship on Sunday.

China and Iran carry similar 8-0 runs in the Championship and it is only logical the two unbeaten should play the gold medal game.

On Saturday, China scraped through pipping last editions silver medalists Lebanon at the post 72-68 after Iran had sorted out their problems rather skillfully to beat Jordan 77-75.

Both China and Iran thus qualified for the 2010 FIBA World Championship to be played in Turkey.

Lebanon will take on Jordan on Sunday to decide the third team to Turkey from FIBA Asia along with the bronze medal.

China 72 bt Lebanon 68

Hu Xuefeng converted all the three free-throws, drawing a foul on Rony Fahed to give China a marginal 70-68 lead with 0:42 seconds left on the clock.

Brian Feghalis three-pointer attempt bounced off the rim and when Fadi El Khatib fouled Yi Jianlian to save time, the latter converted twice from the foul-line to take China to safety.

China went into the lead for the first time in the game only at the stroke of the second quarter buzzer when Liu Wei scored in the paint.

Yi Jianlian had just earlier leveled the scores with his trademark dunk.

Incidentally, that was only the third time China had leveled the scores in the entire first half.

And when the second half began, Wang Shipeng who had drawn a blank during his 13:31 presence on the court in the first half reeled in the first nine points and China were comfortably ahead 44-33.

Lebanon did fight back closing in the gap and went ahead marginally midway through the fourth quarter and kept pegging on their rivals heels.

And that foul in the dying moments proved their undoing.

Jackson Vroman led the game in scoring with 21 points, in a 56% field record (9/16), and collected 10 rebounds.

The only other Lebanese to convert at least half his scoring attempts was Ali Mahmoud who got all of two shots at the goal.

Wang Zhizhi was Chinas leading scorer with 20 points, 12 of them in the second half. Chinas first NBA export also collected a team-high nine rebounds.

Both the coaches understandably sounded exhausted after the game.

It was a tough game, Chinas Guo Shiqiang echoed Lebanons Dragan Raca.

After all its one step before the final. It ought to be tight, they said.

Iran 77 bt Jordan 75

Defending champions Iran handled the pressure situations with better composure and eked out their narrow win against a doughty fellow West Asian nation Jordan.

Jordan fought back gallantly to go into a 75-74 lead only the third team they took a lead and by one point on all occasions on an Enver Soobzokov three-pointer.

But Pooya Tadjik converted one of the two free-throws and Samad Nikkah drove in the lane to put Iran back in lead. And with Rasheim Wrights fade away bouncing off the rim, time and luck ran out on Jordan.

I think we lost the initiative in the first half, said Jordan coach Mario Palma.

After that it was always uphill. Against a team like Iran it doesnt succeed that easily, he added.

Samad led the scoring for the game with 23 points, but it was Hamed Afagh who had been Irans saviour before that.

The Saba Mehr guard stepped up on the only two earlier occasions when Jordan rallied for a minor lead once each in the first and third quarters to revive Irans scoring rhythm and resultantly their advantage on the scoreboard.

Afagh had an incredible 5/7 record in three pointers for his 18 points.

Hamed EHadadi scored only five points, but stood tall and solid in defence collecting 12 rebounds most importantly 11 of them in defence.

Rasheim Wright was Jordans highest scorer with 17 points, but scored 11 of them in the first half.

Zaid Abbbas double-double 11 points and a game-high 17 points went in a losing cause.

Our aim here is to win the gold medal, said Iran coach Veselin Matic.

Qualifying (to the FIBA World Championship) is important, but its more important to retain the title, Matic added.

So we will come out even harder tomorrow, the Serbian said.

Taipei take on Qatar for fifth place

Chinese Taipei and Qatar scored contrasting wins in the 5-8 classification to set up a play off for the fifth place.

Chinese Taipei thwarted a later rally to beat last editions semifinalists Korea 70-65.

But Qatar had it rather easy against Philippines winning their game 83-65.

Saad Ali led the scoring for the game with 23 points starring in Qatars win.

Kerby Raymundo was the highest scorer for Philippines with 12 points.

Korean centre Ha Seung-jins game-high 21 points went in a losing cause.

Tien Lei was the leader of Taipei cause with 18 points.

Kazakhstan claim 9th place

Anton Ponomarevs game-high 22 points helped last editions semfinalists Kazakhstan rally in the final five minutes and beat Japan 77-73 in the ninth place play-off.

Japan, who fell out of the quarterfinals for the first time, thus finished their lowest in the in FIBA Asia Championship history.

Ponomarev had only four points in the first half, but added 10 more in the third quarter.

Kei Igarashi led the scoring for the Japanese with 20 points.

Kuwait finish 11th

Kuwait defeated fellow GCC nation United Arab Emirates 65-61 to take the 11th place.

Kuwait had finished 14th place, while UAE had a 16-place finish at the 2007 FIBA Asia Championship in Tokushima.

Mohammad Ashkananis game-high 20 points led the scoring for Kuwait.

Younis Ibrahim was the highest scorer for UAE with 15 points.
S Mageshwaran
FIBA Asia


CHINA PIP LEBANON AT THE POST  - Aug. 15, 2009 
TIANJIN (FIBA Asia Championship) - Hosts China and last editions silver medalists Lebanon uncorked some scintillating moments before the former emerged the better in the second semifinal by a wafer-thin 72-68 margin on Saturday.

China, who thus made the final after finishing 10th in the 2007 FIBA Asia Championship in Tokushima, joined Iran on the road to the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey.

China, 14-time gold medalists in the Championship, will attempt to dethrone defending champions Iran in the final on Sunday.

Lebanon, failed to make the final for the first time in three FIBA Asia Championships having lost to China and Iran in the 2005 and 2007 respectively.

They, however, have another chance to qualify for the 2010 FIBA World Championship when they play against Jordan in the bronze medal play-off on Sunday.

Both the coaches understandably sounded exhausted after the game.

It was a tough game, Chinas Guo Shiqiang echoed Lebanons Dragan Raca.

After all its one step before the final. It ought to be tight, they said.

Hu Xuefeng converted all the three free-throws, drawing a foul on Rony Fahed to give China a marginal 70-68 lead with 0:42 seconds left on the clock.

Brian Feghalis three-pointer attempt bounced off the rim and when Fadi El Khatib fouled Yi Jianlian to save time, the latter converted twice from the foul-line to take China to safety.

Lebanon did begin aggressively racing ahead 9-2 in the first five minutes of the game.

And when Wang Zhizhi leveled the scores at 14, for the first time for China, Jackson Vroman converted both his free-throws and Fadi El Khatib shot from the paint to give Lebanon a 18-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Lebanon kept their noses ahead in the second quarter and Vroman managed to put them back in lead when Yi leveled the scores at 31-31.

China went into the lead for the first time in the game only at the stroke of the second quarter buzzer when Liu Wei scored in the paint.

Yi Jianlian had just earlier leveled the scores with his trademark dunk.

Incidentally, that was only the third time China had leveled the scores in the entire first half.

And when the second half began, Wang Shipeng who had drawn a blank during his 13:31 presence on the court in the first half reeled in the first nine points and China were comfortably ahead 44-33.

Lebanon did fight back closing in the gap and went ahead marginally midway through the fourth quarter and kept pegging on their rivals heels.

And that foul in the dying moments proved their undoing.

Jackson Vroman led the game in scoring with 21 points, in a 56% field record (9/16), and collected 10 rebounds.

No other Lebanese crossed double-figures.

The only other Lebanese to convert at least half his scoring attempts was Ali Mahmoud who got all of two shots at the goal.

Wang Zhizhi was Chinas leading scorer with 20 points, 12 of them in the second half. Chinas first NBA export also collected a team-high nine rebounds.

Yi Jianlian converted six of his 10 attempts in two pointers and returned 18 points.


S Mageshwaran
FIBA Asia


AFAGH TAKES CHAMPS IRAN TO FINAL - Aug. 15, 2009 
TIANJIN (FIBA Asia Championship) - Defending champions Iran handled the pressure situations with better composure and eked out a 77-75 win against a doughty fellow West Asian nation Jordan to book their second successive entry into the title round.

The win which extended Irans run in the championship to 8-0 put the West Asian powerhouse as the first FIBA Asia team to book their ticket to the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Turkey.

Iran now await the winners of the second semifinal between hosts China and last editions silver medalists Lebanon.

Jordan will play the losers of that game in the bronze medal play-off which also will decide the third qualifier for the 2010 FIBA World Championship.

Our aim here is to win the gold medal, said Iran coach Veselin Matic.

Qualifying (to the FIBA World Championship) is important, but its more important to retain the title, Matic added.

So we will come out even harder tomorrow, the Serbian said.

Jordan fought back gallantly to go into a 75-74 lead only the third team they took a lead and by one point on all occasions on an Enver Soobzokov three-pointer.

But Pooya Tadjik converted one of the two free-throws and Samad Nikkah drove in the lane to put Iran back in lead. And with Rasheim Wrights fade away bouncing off the rim, Jordan were left with no time.

I think we lost the initiative in the first half, said Jordan coach Mario Palma.

After that it was always uphill. Against a team like Iran it doesnt succeed that easily, he added.

Samad led the scoring for the game with 23 points, but those two he scored with about seven seconds will be worth their weight in gold.

For sure, he said. It doesnt matter how many points you score otherwise. Im happy I scored that basket.

Hamed Afagh (192-G-83) had been the saviour for Iran before that.

The Saba Mehr guard was inducted only in the second quarter, which Iran started at a shaky 17-12.

Hamed Afagh had an effect immediately firing in six points in a 1-2-3 sequence and with Javad Davari beginning to find the mark with five points during this time Iran raced away with an 11-2 run which gave Matic the leeway to give the injured Mahdi Kamrani the much needed breather.

And when Jordan staged a scintillating third quarter rally outscoring Iran 27-16, Hamed Afagh stepped up yet again.

The 26-year-old scored the first five points of the fourth quarter and Davari again
consolidated the position further and Iran were back in control.

Not that Jordan were blown away but Iran were always ahead on the scoreboard, except for the two occasions once each midway through the first and third quarters when Jordan rallied.

And whenever Jordan fought back, Hamed Afagh was at hand to regain the control for Iran.

Hamed Afagh had an incredible 5/7 record in three pointers for his 18 points.

Hamed EHadadi scored only five points, but stood tall and solid in defence collecting 12 rebounds most importantly 11 of them in defence.

Rasheim Wright was Jordans highest scorer with 17 points, but scored 11 of them in the first half.

Sam Daghles, who scored nine points in Jordans third quarter gallantry, had fifteen points.

Zaid Abbbas double-double 11 points and a game-high 17 points went in a losing cause.
S Mageshwaran
FIBA Asia


Summary of the Semifinals in Tianjin  - Aug. 15, 2009 
SEMIFINALS
Iran - Jordan 77-75
The defending champion outsmarted Jordan 77-75 thanks to last basket by MohammadSamad Nikkhah (199-G/F-83, agency: ACMT) with 13 seconds left. Jordan had two attempts after that, but missed both. It means that Iran stays unbeaten in Tianjin and it will have a chance to defend Asian title tomorrow against China. Jordan will take on Lebanon for third place. Iran also already booked a spot for the World Championship 2010 in Turkey, while Jordan will do the same if they celebrate tomorrow. MohammadSamad Nikkhah led the scorers in the winning squad today with 23 points. He also had 5 rebounds and 5 assists beside that. Hamed Afagh (192-G-83) scored 18, while all other players in Iran were below 10. Jordan got 17 points from Rasheim Wright (194-G-81, college: District of Col.). Osama Daghles (199-G-79, college: Midwestern St.) added 15 pts and 6 rebounds.

China - Lebanon 72-68
China registered 8th consecutive win in Tianjin advancing to Big Final. The host of AsiaBasket 2009 this time was better than Lebanon thanks to mini 4-0 run in the last minute. With this victory China booked a spot for the World Championship 2010 in Turkey and tomorrow will have a chance to win the Gold against the defending champion - Iran. Lebanon will meet Jordan for the Bronze and the winner of that game will also participate on the WC next year. Wang Zhizhi (214-C-79) stepped up for the hosts with 20 points and 9 rebounds. Jianlian Yi (212-C/F-87) had 18 and Wang Shipeng (197-F/G-83) added 11 pts. Jackson Vroman (208-C/F-81, college: Iowa St.) was on fire in loss with 27 points (also had 10 rebounds).

Places 5-8
South Korea - Taiwan 65-70
Taiwan was better than South Korea today staying in race for the fifth place in Tianjin. In order to do that Taiwan will have to beat Qatar tomorrow. On the other side, South Korea will take on Philippines. The winner of that match will end the contest as No.7. Tien Lei (202-F-83) was a key player for Taiwan today collecting 18 points and 6 rebounds. Tseng Wen-Ting (202-C/F-84) had 15 pts, while Chang Chih Feng (183-G-81) added 4 less. In the loosing squad, Ha Seung-Jin (222-C-85) delivered 21 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Oh Se-Keun (201-C-87) stopped on 10 pts and 9 rebounds.

Philippines - Qatar 65-83
Qatar smashed Philippines today mostly owing to impressive performance by Saad Abdulrahman Ali (193-F-85). With this victory Qatar moves on in the battle for fifth place on in Tianjin. Its last obstacle will be Taiwan tomorrow. Philippines will meet South Korea in the battle for 7th place. Saad Abdulrahman Ali led Qatar with 23 points and 6 rebounds. Mustafa ElSayad (206-F/C-82, college: Fresno St.) had 13 pts and 12 rebounds, while Saleem Abdullah Mohammed (202-C-82) added 11 pts and 12 boards.

Places 9-10
Kazakhstan - Japan 77-73
Kazakhstan finished the AsiaBasket 2009 with two victories. After 76-57 against Kuwait, the Kazakhs were better than Japan today finishing the contest on position No.9. Naturally, Japan is the 10th ranked team in Tianjin. Anton Ponomarev (209-C-88, agency: Court Side) shined for Kazakjhstan with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Dmitriy Gavrilov (201-F-86) had 17 pts and 11 boards, while Rustam Yargaliyew (195-F-86) delivered 12 pts, plus grabbed 8 boards. Japan got 20 points from Kei Igarashi (180-G-80). Kosuke Takeuchi (205-C/F-85) stopped on 2 pts less and 10 rebounds.

Places 11-12
United Arab Emirates - Kuwait 61-65
Kuwait outsmarted UAE in decisive game for 11th place on AsiaBasket 2009. Yesterday, Kuwait faced with loss against Kazakhstan, but today managed to end this event with victory. Of course, UAE is No.12 in Tianjin. Mohammad Ashkanani (193-F-84) shined for the winners with 20 points and 6 rebounds. Abdulaziz AlHamidi (184-G-87) followed with 14, while Shayee Saeed (180-G-86) added 13 pts, 6 boards and 5 assists. In UAE, Younis Ibrahim (185-G-82) led the scorers with 15 pts. Talal AlNuaimi (180-G-88) stopped on 3 less.


FAHED HELPS LEBANON COMPLETE LAST FOUR - Aug. 14, 2009 
TIANJIN (FIBA Asia Championship) - Can one of the WABA trio in the semifinals go all the way to break the Chinese dominance in the FIBA Asia Championship?

Thats the question that is doing the rounds after Iran, Lebanon and Jordan joined hosts China in completing the semifinal line-up in the 25th FIBA Asia Championship on Friday.

China defeated Chinese Taipei 101-83 raising their game beyond their rivals reach in the second quarter and set up what will the first of their two back-to-back duels with a West Asian team over the weekend.

First up for China is last editions silver medalists Lebanon, who became the only current team to enter the semifinals for the fifth FIBA Asia Championship in a row.

The 2007 FIBA Asia silver medalists ousted last editions bronze medalists Korea in a nail-biting 68-65 result.

This will be the first time in FIBA Asia Championship history that Korea will not feature in the last four.

Incidentally, Chinas lowest margin of victory their fifth win in their 7-0 run in the Championship came against Lebanon, with the hosts scraping through 71-68 by the skin of their teeth.

And the WABA test for China doesnt end there.

For, Chinas opponent in the final on Sunday is definitely a WABA team with Jordan and Iran set up the other semifinal clash.

Defending champions Iran, who broke Chinas four-in-a-row title streak at Tokushima FIBA Asia Championship two years ago, emerged 75-65 winners over Qatar after a scrappy first half.

And Jordan carried too many guns to quash Philippines hopes with an 81-70 win to book their maiden entry into the semifinal.

Jordan 81 bt Philippines 70

Ayman Idais was the hero in Jordans win.

The 205-cm centre scored 13 of his games 20 points in the second quarter to pull Jordan away from a fighting Philippines.

The 31-year-old fired three three-pointers with Sam Daghles free-throw conversion interspersing the last two and Jordan surged ahead with a 10-0 run the longest run of the game midway through the second quarter.

We have proved we belong to the top-four in Asia, said Jordan coach Mario Palma.

Rasheim Wright scored 15 of his game-high 21 points in the second half.

Zaid Abbas pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds for Jordan and Daghles had a game-high nine assists.

Gabriel Norwoods 11 points was the highest in Filipinos all-round scoring.

Iran 75 bt Qatar 65

A 15-6 advantage in the last five minutes of the third quarter, which was consolidated with a 13-2 run in the early part of the fourth was the cause of Irans entry into the semifinals.

Iran, thus won despite suffering a major blow at the end of the third quarter when their playmaker Mahdi Kamrani exited hurting his back.

Iran kept the scoring close in the first half, but Qatar looked the better organized side.

Hamed Afagh scored 12 of his game-high 26 points in the third quarter to steady Irans ship.

Hamed EHadadi had 16 points nine of them in the second half and returned a double-double collecting 15 rebounds.

Samad Nikkah who played braving an injured knee had 13 points, eight of them in the fourth quarter.

Saad Ali was the highest scorer for Qatar with 23 points, but 13 of them came in the first half.

China 101 bt Ch. Taipei 83

Wild card entrants Chinese Taipei did rather well in the early phases of their game even managed to take a five-point lead in the closing minutes of the first half. But that only piqued the Chinese.

For, the hosts unleashed a scorching 15-2 run from that point to close the second quarter comfortably ahead and continued relentlessly till they finished with a thumping win.

Tien Lie sprang a surprise on the Chinese, scoring 13 points of his team-high 17 for the game to put Taipei ahead.

But China who had looked complacent defensively till then, even during the time when they led, pulled up their socks to almost shut Taipei completely out after that.

Yi Jianlian and Wang Zhizhi led the scoring for China with 25 points each, with the former returning a double-double.

New Jersey Nets Yi scored 25 points and collected 14 rebounds.

Wang, the first Chinese player to enter the NBA ranks, had eight boards.

Tien drew a blank in the second half and Chang Tsung-Hsien, who scored 12 of his 14 points for the game ploughed a lone furrow for Taipei.

Lebanon 68 bt Korea 65

Guard Rony Fahed scored nine of his game-high 21 points at the crucial juncture to pull Lebanon away to victory.

Both teams were edgy and error-prone in their offence. Scoring in spurts was sporadic and leads were shaky.

In one of the many comebacks in the game, Faheds blazing three-pointer tied the score at 49 at the end of the third quarter. Fahed went on to score the six of the next eight points in the game with Mat Freije success on the paint interspersing and Lebanon went well ahead.

Korea launched a counter-offensive yet again, with Kang Byunghun firing in two back-to-back three-pointers and assisting Kim Joo Sung for another to close in 59-62.

And Yang Donggeun sank another to take it further close to 64-65, but Korea had taken five attempts to get that success leaving them with too little a time.

Mat Freije who went 60% in field attempts (6/10), including a 2/4 in three pointers contributed xx points for Lebanon. He also pulled down seven rebounds.

Kim Joo Sung was the leading scorer for Korea with 14 points.

Ha Seung-jin pulled down a game-high nine rebounds, but scored only two points.

Kazakhs-Japan clash for 9th place

Last editions semifinalists Kazakhstan and Japan, who fell out of the last eight for the first time in FIBA Asia Championship history won their 9-12 classification games to set up a clash for the ninth place.

Japan overcame a mid-game slump to defeat United Arab Emirates 86-59 after Kazakhstan had outclassed Kuwait 76-57.

Kosuke Takeuchi was the leading scorer for Japan with a game-high 20 points.

Saleh Khalifas 15 points was the highest scorer for UAE.

Alexander Tyutyunik led the scoring for Kazakhstan with 20 points, sharing the scoring honours for the game with Kuwaits Mohammad Ashkanani.

SATURDAYS SCHEDULE
09:00: 11-12 Plc: UAE vs Kuwait
11:00: 9-10 Plc: Kazakhstan vs Japan
14:00: 5-8 Plc: Philippines vs Qatar
16:00: SF: Iran vs Jordan
19:00: 5-8 Plc: Korea vs Ch. Taipei
21:00: SF: China vs Lebanon
Note: All timings Tianjin local (GMT+8)
S Mageshwaran


FAHED HELPS LEBANON COMPLETE LAST FOUR - Aug. 14, 2009 
TIANJIN (FIBA Asia Championship) - Rony Fahed (182-G-81, agency: Pro Management Agency) scored nine of his game-high 21 points at the crucial juncture as Lebanon pulled away to a 68-65 win over Korea in the last of the quarterfinals on Friday.

The win which pitted Lebanon against hosts China in the last four, also ensured that the West Asian giants entered the semifinals for the fifth Championship.

While for Lebanon it was setting a new record, for Korea it was breaking one. The 2007 FIBA Asia Championship bronze medalists failed to qualify for the semifinals for the first time in FIBA Asia Championship history.

It wasnt easy at all. We always knew it was going to be a one ball game, said Dragan Raca.

Im glad it ended in our favour, he heaved a sigh of relief.

With such high stakes in place, it was only natural both teams were edgy and error-prone in their offence. Scoring in spurts was sporadic and leads were shaky as both teams fought on even keel in exchanges as well as scoring.

Thus, neither the run 10-0 Lebanon posted with five points on each side of the first quarter break nor a similar spree Korea recorded midway through the third quarter gave any decisive edge on the scoreboard to any team.

And when Rony Faheds three-point attempt blazed the basket to tie the score at 49 at the end of the third quarter the game reached a new crescendo.

The Sagesse guard scored the six of the next eight points in the game with Mat Freije success on the paint interspersing and Lebanon had posted another 10-0 run.

Only this time the 2007 FIBA Asia Championship silver medalists 2007 FIBA Asia Championship silver medalists guarded it with ferocity.

Fahed returned a 3/6 in three-pointers out of a 6/11 field record.

Im happy I could help the team to this important win, Fahed said.

Korea launched a counter-offensive yet again, with Kang Byunghun firing in two back-to-back three-pointers and assisting Kim Joo Sung for another to close in 59-62.

And Yang Donggeun sank another to take it further close to 64-65, but Korea had taken five attempts to get that success leaving them with too little a time.

Freije who went 60% in field attempts (6/10), including a 2/4 in three pointers contributed 14 points for Lebanon. He also pulled down seven rebounds.

Kim Joo Sung was the leading scorer for Korea with 14 points.

Ha Seung-jin pulled down a game-high nine rebounds, but scored only two points.
S Mageshwaran
FIBA Asia


JORDAN - OUR FIRST TARGET IS TURKEY,CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER THAT: IDIAS - Aug. 14, 2009 
TIANJIN (FIBA Asia Championship) - Ayman Idais (208-C-78, agency: Court Side) played, to put in his own words, his best game of the Championship steering Jordan past Philippines into their maiden semifinal in the FIBA Asia Championships on Friday.

The 205-cm centre scored 13 of his games 20 points during the second quarter sparking a 10-0 run that took Jordan away from a dogged Philippines.

S Mageshwaran of FIBA Asia caught up with the 31-year-old after the game.

First semifinal entry for Jordan. Your initial thoughts?

It (the semifinal berth) basically shows nothing is impossible with hard work.

Its the result of the hard work everybody in the team including coach (Mario Palma) has put over the last three years.

Obviously, it is exciting. And I think we have always deserved to be there. Only that we were struggling to translate our potential into performance.

Thank god, things are beginning to fall in place now.

Now that we are in the semifinals, we want to go all the way and take a shot at the Championship. Looking at the way we have played here, I dont think its out of our reach.

We came here with qualifying (for the 2010 FIBA World Championship at Turkey) as our target. But now we are determined to give a shot at the title.

Can we talk about your game today? You were red hot in that second quarter.

In the first quarter they (Philippines) played real tight defence. I wasnt getting open enough.

But in the second it began to fall in. And it was nothing unusual as far as Im concerned. Just that those shots fell.

But more importantly, I am glad it helped the team to win in the end.

Did the way Philippines fight back in the fourth quarter scare you?

Seriously.

My mind was only thinking about that bad quarter we had against Japan which put us out of the semifinals last time.

But like I said that was two years ago.

The team has improved drastically in these two years. Our chemistry is a lot better and clicking.

Do you feel there are areas where Jordan can improve here?

Yes definitely.

We are surely playing some of the best basketball of our life. But lets not forget this is a Championship. And we want to win it.

Its a long tournament. We are very tired, but thankfully we are not dropping in our performance. Thats an achievement.

Of course we want to improve in our defence and defensive rebounds. That will be the key to our further progress here.
S Mageshwaran


CHINESE TYPHOON SINKS TAIPEI - Aug. 14, 2009 
TIANJIN (FIBA Asia Championship) - Chinese Taipei did rather well in the early phases of their quarterfinal game against hosts China on Friday.

The wild card entrants even managed to take a five-point lead in the closing minutes of the first half. But that only piqued the Chinese.

For, the hosts unleashed a scorching 15-2 run from that point to close the second quarter comfortably ahead and continued relentlessly till they finished with a 101-83 win.

The win put former champions China in the semifinals, after finishing 10th at the Tokushima FIBA Asia Championship two years ago.

China seemed to hold the edge in scoring going into the second quarter.

But Tien Lie sprang a surprise on the Chinese, scoring 13 points of his team-high 17 for the game, as Taipei caught their rivals off guard.

But this was to be no David slaying Goliath story.

China who had looked complacent defensively till then, even during the time when they led, pulled up their socks to almost shut Taipei completely out after that.

Rebounds, especially those in defence, played a crucial role in Chinas resurgence.

The hosts who had 13 defensive rebounds in the first half, out of a total 20, almost doubled it in the third quarter collecting 22 defensive boards in a total of 32 collections.

China won the battle of boards 43-26 finally.

Jianlian Yi (212-C/F-87) and Wang Zhizhi led the scoring for China with 25 points each, with the former returning a double-double.

New Jersey Nets Yi scored 25 points and collected 14 rebounds.

Wang, the first Chinese player to enter the NBA ranks, had eight boards.

Wang Shipeng added 10 in the second half to his first halfs four, including a 2/3 effort in three-pointers as Hu Xuefeng had a game-high six assists all of them in the second half.

Tien drew a blank in the second half and Chang Tsung-Hsien, who scored 12 of his 14 points for the game ploughed a lone furrow for Taipei.
S Mageshwaran
FIBA Asia


CHAMPS IRAN SHRUG OFF EARLY HICCUPS,ENTER LAST 4 - Aug. 14, 2009 
TIANJIN (FIBA Asia Championship) - A 15-6 advantage earned in the last five minutes of the third quarter helped defending champions Iran overcome their early hiccups and a doughty Qatar to post a 75-65 win in the second quarterfinal on Friday.

Iran will take on fellow West Asian nation Jordan in the semifinal on Saturday.

In terms of preparation, I think we are the best team in this Championship. Only that we fail at crucial times, said Qatar coach Ali Ahmad Fakhroo.

We had problems of our own even before we started, said Iran coach Veselin Matic.

But in the end, we won. Thats what is important.

Iran suffered a major blow at the end of the third quarter with their playmaker Mahdi Kamrani exiting with a painful back injury.

That did not deter Veselin Matics team from outscoring Qatar 13-2 in the early part of the fourth quarter and Iran in the flash of an eye were 67-48 ahead.

Irans third quarter fightback had thus been consolidated and the champions didnt look back after that.

He has gone to the hospital. Well know something concrete only after two hours, Matic said about Kamranis injury.

Qatar did hold the more fancied Iran by the scruff of their necks for a better part of the first half.

I think defensively we did alright. It was in the offence that we began to decline as the game progressed, Fakhroo lamented.

Iran kept the scoring close but Qatar looked the better organized side.

All till Hamed Afagh scripted that third quarter blitz.

The 26-year-old Saba Mehr guard scored 12 of his game-high 26 points in the third quarter to steady Irans ship.

Afagh who was inducted only in the second quarter, returned a staggering 82% field record (9/11), including a 5/7 in three pointers.

Hamed EHadadi had 16 points nine of them in the second half and returned a double-double.

The Memphis Grizzlies centre collected a game-high 15 rebounds, and more importantly nine of them in defence.

Samad Nikkah who played braving an injured knee had 13 points, eight of them in the fourth quarter.

Initially I thought I wont play. Even when I started it was really painful. But I guess the adrenaline took over after a point, Samad said.

Saad Ali was the highest scorer for Qatar with 23 points, but 13 of them came in the first half.


S Mageshwaran
FIBA Asia


Summary of the Quarterfinals in Tianjin  - Aug. 14, 2009 
1/4 FINALS

South Korea - Lebanon 65-68
Lebanon did a great job today eliminating South Korea in AsiaBasket Quarterfinals. The Koreans advanced to this stage as No.2 of Qualifying Group E with 5-1 record, but Lebanon managed to beat them and it will meet undefeated China in the Semis. The Koreans will continue in Classification Round for 5th-8th place. Rony Fahed (182-G-81, agency: Pro Management Agency) this time led Lebanon with 21 points and 6 rebounds. Matt Freije (206-F-81, agency: Priority Sports, college: Vanderbilt) had 14 pts and 7 boards, while Jackson Vroman (208-C/F-81, college: Iowa St.) also had important role with 12 pts and 9 rebounds. Kim Joo-Sung (205-C-79) netted 14 points in the loosing squad. Oh Se-Keun (201-C-87) added 2 less.

Jordan - Philippines 81-70
Jordan outplayed Philippines 81-70 advancing to AsiaBasket 2009 Semifinals. That is the 6th win for Team Jordan in Tianjin and it will meet the defending champion Iran at the next stage. Philippines are eliminated and they will continue in Classification Games for 5-8 place. Rasheim Wright (194-G-81, college: District of Col.) once again shined for the winners collecting 21 points and 5 rebounds. Ayman Idais (208-C-78, agency: Court Side) also was pretty good scoring 20 points and also grabbing 5 boards, while Zaid Abbaas (203-F-83) this time stopped on 9 pts, plus 16 boards. In the loosing squad, Gabe Norwood (196-G/F-85, college: George Mason) scored 11 points. Willie Miller (180-G-77) and Jared Dillinger (191-G/F-84, college: Hawaii) followed with 10 pts each.

Qatar - Iran 65-75
The defending champion celebrated expected win against Qatar advancing to Semifinals in Tianjin. It means that Iran remains unbeaten on AsiaBasket 2009 in seven consecutive games (7-0). Qatar faced with elimination and it will go to Classification Round for 5-8 place. Hamed Afagh (192-G-83) once again shined for Iran draining 26 points (5 triples). Hamed Ehadadi (218-C-85, agency: Agency No 10) had 16 pts and 15 rebounds, while MohammadSamad Nikkhah (199-G/F-83, agency: ACMT) added 13 pts and 5 rebs. Saad Abdulrahman Ali (193-F-85) responded with 23 pts in defeat. Ali Ali (201-F-82) had 11. Iran will meet Jordan in the Semis.

Taiwan - China 83-101
The host of AsiaBasket 2009 did not have any troubles to beat Taiwan and to reach the Semifinals. With this victory China improved its record on 7-0 in Tianjin. On the other side, Taiwan is eliminated and it won't have a chance to fight for the medals. Now Taiwan is transferred to Classification Round for 5-8 place. Jianlian Yi (212-C/F-87) once again was the best player in his team collecting 25 points and 14 rebounds. Wang Zhizhi (214-C-79) also drained 25 pts, but with 8 boards. Tien Lei (202-F-83) answered with 17 points in defeat. Tsung-Hsien Chang (190-F-88) had 3 less.


Places 9-12

Kuwait - Kazakhstan 57-76
Kazakhstan made a first step to 9th place in Tianjin. After today's victory against Kuwait, the Kazakhs will have to beat Japan tomorrow in order to grab the above mentioned spot. Kuwait will take on UAE also tomorrow. The winner of that game will be No.11 on AsiaBasket 2009. Alexandr Tyutyunik (198-G-90) was a key player in victory scoring 20 points and grabbing 5 rebounds. Dmitriy Gavrilov (201-F-86) had 17 pts and 8 boards, while Anton Ponomarev (209-C-88, agency: Court Side) added 15 pts and 13 boards. In Team Kuwait, Mohammad Ashkanani (193-F-84) delivered 20 points and pulled down 6 boards. Hussein Alkhabbaz (194-F-87) was way behind him with 11 pts.

Japan - United Arab Emirates 86-59
Japan finished the first task for 9th place in Tianjin successfully. After today's 86-59 win against UAE, Japan will take on Kazakhstan tomorrow. The winner of the game will grab the above mentioned spot. On the other side, we have UAE who will meet Kuwait for position No.11. Kosuke Takeuchi (205-C/F-85) led the scorers in Japan with 20 points (also had 13 boards). Yusuke Okada (185-G-84) had 18 and Kei Igarashi (180-G-80) delivered 11 pts. UAE got 15 points from Saleh Khalifa (-89). Younis Ibrahim (185-G-82) delivered 13 pts and pulled down 8 boards.


DAY SIX ROUND-UP: IRAN,CHINA TAKE TOP PLACE AS TAIPEI,QATAR MAKES LAST 8 GRADE - Aug. 12, 2009 
TIANJIN (FIBA Asia Championship) - Jordan and Korea displayed such prowess pitted against much more fancied rivals that those seeking competitive basketball in the knockout rounds were left well pleased.

Jordan provided a few shocks to China, but seasoned campaigner Wang Zhizhi turned the saviour for the hosts steering them to an 89-83 win. A win that gave China the top place in Group F and Jordan their first defeat in the Championship.

Korea, bronze medalists of the 2007 edition, gave defending champions Iran a mighty scare before the latter woke up in time to post an 82-66 win.

The result put Iran on top of Group E, while handing Korea their first loss.

In other Group E action, Chinese Taipei took the fourth available quarterfinal spot with a comfortable 99-79 triumph over Japan and Philippines were rather nonchalant in beating Kuwait 85-71.

In Group F, Lebanon overpowered and ousted last editions semifinalists Kazakhstan 91-45 to help Qatar book the fourth place after Qatar had rolled past United Arab Emirates 91-45.

Group E

A blistering 14-0 run helped Iran race past Korea

Korea did run the floor hard in the opening quarter.

Yang Donggeun, Kim Joo Sung and Yang Heejong sank a three-pointer each as Korea led 19-18 at the end of the first quarter.

They carried the edge into the second quarter too, but Iran made their move in the last three minutes of the first half.

Hamed Afagh scored five including a three-pointer of his game-high 24 points to lead Iran to a 14-0 run after Iran never trailed.

Afagh fired nine points in all out of his game-high 24 points and Hamed EHadadi scored six of his 21 in the second quarter as Iran took a comfortable 44-31 lead going to the change rooms.

EHadadi also collected a game-high 16 points.

Korea were surely brow beaten by that spree and never recovered.

Yang Donggeun led Koreas scoring with 13 points, but five of them coming in the first quarter.

Kim Joo Sung had 12 and Yang Heejong had 11, but drew a blank in the fourth quarter.

Chinese Taipei justified their wild card entry by making the quarterfinals, thus keeping Japan out of the top eight for the first time.

Its quite an achievement entering the last eight in this highly competitive fray, said Taipei coach Chung Kwang-Suk.

Japan held the scoring edge in the first five minutes of the game but a 10-0 run turned the tables in Taipeis favour.

Tseng-Wen Ting returned a game-high 20 points, 14 of them in the second half. Lee Hsueh-Lin and Chang Chih-Feng had held the Taipei campaign on course before that.

Lee Hsueh scored 15 of his games 16 points in the first half. And Chang Chih contributed 12 for the game, 10 of them in the first quarter.

Tien Li was consistent throughout for his 16 points.

Joji Takeuchi and Kei Igarashi shared the scoring honours for Japan with 18 points each.

With everything including their standing in Group E eight-final round confirmed even before the start of the game Philippines played against Kuwait without any pressure.

Pauliasi Taulava played his longest game of the competition and justified it with a double-double 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Cyrus Baguio led Philippines scoring with 14 points.

We have achieved better than last times finish of ninth. That was the first goal here. Now we want to fight and go as far as we can, Philippines coach Joseller Guiao said of the quarterfinal clash against Jordan.

Rashed Alrabah and Mohammad Ashkanani both returned a game-high 20 each for Kuwait.

Group F

Seasoned campaigner Wang Zhizhi fired in all cylinders at the crucial junctures and spearhead Yi Jianlian played an all-round consistent game to steer hosts China past Jordan.

Wang Zhizhi, the first Chinese to play in the NBA, scored twice in the paint as China scored the first eight points of the game.

Jordan attempted a fight back in the second quarter, bringing the score close to 34-36, but Wang stepped up again. The 213-cm centre scored four points to spearhead a 9-0 run

And when Jordan closed in 74-77 in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter, Wang moved in yet again pulling down two defensive rebounds, scoring five points as China went ahead with the win.

Wang finished with 23 points, and pulled down eight rebounds.

Yi led the game in scoring 29 points as well as rebounds 18 boards.

Jordan, for sure, did not give up. Just every time they tried to stage a comeback, China had Wang protecting their cause.

Rasheim Wright was, as usual, the leading scorer for Jordan, but for the first time in the Championship in a losing cause with 28 points.

Zaid Abbas returned a 14-point game.

Lebanon gave Kazakhstan no allowance right from the word go.

The West Asian powerhouse scored the first 10 points of the game and cruised along.

Fadi El Khatib, Mat Freije and Jackson Vroman all made merry improving their PPG average.

El Khatib returned a game-high 24 points.

Freije contributed 19 and Vroman had 17.

Alexander Tyutyunik was the highest scorer for Kazakhstan with 12 points.

Saad Ali led the scoring for Qatar with 18 points and Yaseen Ismail contributed 13 points.

Talal Alnuaimi was the highest scorer for UAE with 15 points.

QUARTERFINAL SCHEDULE (Friday)

1400 Hrs: Jordan vs Philippines
1600 Hrs: Qatar vs Iran
1900 Hrs: Chinese Taipei vs China
2100 Hrs: Korea vs Lebanon
Note: All timings Tianjin local (GMT+8)

S Mageshwaran
FIBA Asia


LEB/KAZ: LEBANON'S WIN ENSURES QATAR'S PROGRESS - Aug. 12, 2009 
TIANJIN (FIBA Asia Championship) - Twice back-to-back silver medallists Lebanon scored powered their way to a 105-56 triumph over last editions semifinalists Kazakhstan in their final Group F eight-final round game on Wednesday.

The win which gave Lebanon a 3-2 win-loss situation put Lebanon in the No 3 spot in Group F and also confirmed that Qatar will qualify as the fourth team from this Group.

Kazakhstan, who needed a win in this game for a chance to force a three-way tie, will now play the 9-12 classification.

Lebanon gave Kazakhstan no allowance right from the word go.

The West Asian powerhouse one of the three Asian teams to play the 2006 FIBA World Championship scored the first 10 points of the game and cruised along.

Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79, agency: Pro Management Agency), Mat Freije and Jackson Vroman all made merry improving their PPG average.

El Khatib returned a game-high 24 points.

Freije contributed 19 and Vroman had 17.

Alexander Tyutyunik was the highest scorer for Kazakhstan with 12 points.
FIBA Asia


Summary of Day 6 in Tianjin (last day of Qualifying Round) - Aug. 12, 2009 
Group E
Philippines - Kuwait 85-71
Philippines outplayed Kuwait in the last day of Qualifying Round in Tianjin improving to 4-2 record. That is enough for third place in Group E and AsiaBasket 2009 Quarterfinals. On the other side, Kuwait is the last ranked team in this pool with 1-5 and it failed to advance. Kuwait will continue in Classification Games for 9th place, while Philippines will take on Jordan in QFinals. Cyrus Baguio (188-G-80) led the winners today with 14 points. Pauliasi Taulava (206-C-73, college: BYU-Hawaii) was second scorer of the team with 12 points (plus grabbed 10 rebounds). In Team Kuwait, Rashed AlRabah (189-F-87) and Mohammad Ashkanani (193-F-84) posted 20 pts each. Shayee Saeed (180-G-86) stopped on 10.

South Korea - Iran 66-82
Both teams entered to this game undefeated meaning that it was decider for position No.1 in Group E. The defending champion celebrating in style 82-66 and it will meet Qatar in the Quarterfinals. South Korea fell to second place with 5-1. Their rival will be Lebanon. Hamed Afagh (192-G-83) shined for Iran today with 24 points (4 triples). Hamed Ehadadi (218-C-85, agency: Agency No 10) also was on high level collecting 21 points and 16 rebounds, while MohammadSamad Nikkhah (199-G/F-83, agency: ACMT) scored 13 pts. The Koreans got 13 points from Yang DongGeun (182-G-81). JinSoo Kim (205-C-89) followed with one less.

Japan - Taiwan 79-99
Taiwan celebrated crucial 99-79 win against Japan advancing to AsiaBasket 2009 Quarterfinals. Taiwan ended Qualifying Round as No.4 in Group E with 3-3 record. Japan dropped to 2-4 and it will have to fight for 9th place now. Tseng Wen-Ting (202-C/F-84) stepped up for the winners with double-double, 20 points and 10 rebounds. Tien Lei (202-F-83) and Lee Hsueh-Lin (175-G-84) combined 32 points and 14 rebounds. Japan got the most from Joji Takeuchi (205-C-85), 18 points and 7 rebounds. Kei Igarashi (180-G-80) also scored 18, while Takehiko Orimo (190-G-70) added 3 pts less.

Group F
Qatar - United Arab Emirates 91-45
Qatar smashed UAE today improving to 3-3 record in Group F. That is the crucial win for Qatar, who managed to reach Quarterfinals as the fourth ranked team in this pool. There, Qatar will meet defending champion Iran. UAE ended this stage with 1-5 and it will continue in Classification Games for 9th place. Saad Abdulrahman Ali (193-F-85) stepped up for Qatar with 18 points in 13 minutes. Yasseen Musa (204-F-80) had 13 and Omer Abgader added 12 pts, plus 9 boards. UAE got the most from Ibrahim AlSari (-80), 16 pts. Talal AlNuaimi (180-G-88) scored one less.

Kazakhstan - Lebanon 56-105
Lebanon totally destroyed Kazakhstan today jumping to 4-2 record in Group F. That is enough for third place meaning that Lebanon will meet South Korea in AsiaBasket Quarterfinals. In Group E Korea had almost perfect 5-1. Kazakhstan failed to advance and it will go to Classification Round. There Kazakhs will fight for 9th place. Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79, agency: Pro Management Agency) shined in victory with 24 points and 6 rebounds. Matt Freije (206-F-81, agency: Priority Sports, college: Vanderbilt) had 19 and Jackson Vroman (208-C/F-81, college: Iowa St.) added 17 points. In the loosing squad, Alexandr Tyutyunik (198-G-90) delivered 12 pts. Dmitriy Gavrilov (201-F-86) contributed with 10 pts and 8 boards.

China - Jordan 89-83
As Iran - South Korea today, this was another game between two undefeated teams in Tianjin. The host of AsiaBasket 2009 managed to beat Jordan advancing to Quarterfinals as No.1 of Group F. Jordan also advanced, but from the second place. Jianlian Yi (212-C/F-87) was a key player for China registering monster double-double, 29 points and 18 rebounds. Wang Zhizhi (214-C-79) had 23 points and 8 boards, while Zhu Fangyu (201-F-83) added 16 pts. Jordan got 28 points from Rasheim Wright (194-G-81, college: District of Col.). Zaid Abbaas (203-F-83) this time stopped on 14. China will meet Taiwan and Jordan will play against Taiwan in QFinals.


Summary of Day 5 in Tianjin (Qualifying Round)  - Aug. 11, 2009 
Group E
Taiwan - South Korea 70-72
South Korea escaped with tiny 72-70 win against Taiwan staying perfect in Group E. Iran was better than Philippines today meaning that tomorrow Koreans and Iranians will fight for position No.1 in this pool. Taiwan dropped to 2-3 and tomorrow it will take on Japan, who has the same numbers. The winner of that game will reach the Quarterfinals. JinSoo Kim (205-C-89) was a key player in South Korea collecting 20 points and 9 rebounds. Yang Hee-Jong (194-F-84) followed with double-double, 15 pts and 15 boards, while Bang Sung-Yoon (197-F/G-82) added 10 pts and 7 rebs. Tsung-Hsien Chang (190-F-88) delivered 17 points in loss. Wu Tai-Hao (206-C-85, college: BYU-Hawaii) had five less.

Iran - Philippines 88-78
Iran grabbed fifth consecutive win in Tianjin remaining on top of Qualifying Group E with 5-0 record. This time Iran was better than Philippines, who fell to 3-2, but also already qialified for the Quarterfinals. There is perfect South Korea on top together with Iran, but these two teams will meet tomorrow in crucial game for position No.1. MohammadSamad Nikkhah (199-G/F-83, agency: ACMT) stepped up in victory with 25 points and 6 rebounds. Hamed Ehadadi (218-C-85, agency: Agency No 10) also shined collecting 21 points, 16 rebounds and 5 assists. Mahdi Kamrani (180-G-82, agency: Huss Sport Agency) had 14 and Oshin Sahakian (202-F-86, agency: Agency No 10) added 11 pts, plus 7 boards. Philippines got 14 points and 9 rebounds from Willie Miller (180-G-77).

Kuwait - Japan 51-78
Very important win for Japan, who stays in race for AsiaBasket 2009 Quarterfinals. Japan now has 2-3 record in Group E, while Taiwan is also with the same numbers. Kuwait fell to 1-4 loosing a chance to advance. Tomoo Amino (196-F/G-80) led the winners with 17 points and 6 rebounds. Takehiko Orimo (190-G-70) had 12 and Ken Takeda (188-G-78) added 11 pts. In the loosing squad Rashed AlRabah (189-F-87) delivered 10 pts. All other players had 9 or less.

Group F
Lebanon - China 68-71
Another victory for the host of AsiaBasket 2009, the fifth consecutive. It means that China has 5-0 record in Qualifying Group F, but there is Jordan who has a chance to grab the spot No.1. That depends of tomorrow's crucial game between China and Jordan. Lebanon dropped to 3-2, but they will also advance to Quarterfinals. Jianlian Yi (212-C/F-87) led Team China with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Zhu Fangyu (201-F-83) also scored 19, while Wang Zhizhi (214-C-79) added 11 pts and 7 rebounds. Jackson Vroman (208-C/F-81, college: Iowa St.) shined in defeat with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Matt Freije (206-F-81, agency: Priority Sports, college: Vanderbilt) stopped on 22 pts.

Jordan - Qatar 74-60
Jordan became another perfect team in Qualifying Group F. China already did it today meaning that these two teams will fight tomorrow for position No.1. Of course, both already qualified for the Quarterfinals in Tianijn. Qatar fell to 2-3 record in the same pool and it also has a chance to advance. Zaid Abbaas (203-F-83) once again stepped up for Jordan collecting 21 points and 6 rebounds. Rasheim Wright (194-G-81, college: District of Col.) scored 18 and Osama Daghles added 12 points. In Team Qatar, Saad Abdulrahman Ali (193-F-85) shined with 24 points and 7 rebounds. Mustafa ElSayad (206-F/C-82, college: Fresno St.) dropped 13 pts.

United Arab Emirates - Kazakhstan 56-84
Kazakhstan handed big 84-56 loss to UAE improving to 2-3 record in Preliminary Group F. It means that if Kazakhstan beats Lebanon tomorrow, it will have a chance to reach the Quarterfinals. UAE fell to 1-4 and there is no chance for them. Alexandr Tyutyunik (198-G-90) was totally the best player in victory collecting 26 points and 6 rebounds. Anton Ponomarev (209-C-88, agency: Court Side) had 16 pts and 13 rebounds, while Rustam Yargaliyew (195-F-86) delivered 15 pts. In Team UAE, Talal AlNuaimi (180-G-88) and Rashed Alzaabi (190-F-88) scored 16 points each. All other players had less than 7 points.

Places 13-14
Uzbekistan - India 73-89
Position No.13 on AsiaBasket 2009 in Tianjin belongs to India. After victory against Indonesia, Uzbekistan managed to beat Uzbekistan today with nice 89-73. Naturally, Uzbekistan is the 14th ranked team on this event. Vineeth Revi paced India to victory collecting 24 points and 11 rebounds. Talwinderjit Singh had 20 and Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (192-G-91) posted 16 pts. Aleksandr Kozlov (202-F-82) and Kirill Gusev (-90) responded with 17 pts each in loss. Vyacheslav Denisov (190-F-83) stopped on 10 pts.

Places 15-16
Sri Lanka - Indonesia 42-74
Indonesia avoided last place on AsiaBasket 2009 in Tianjin. It means that the only winless team on this event is Sri Lanka and they finished as No.16. Of course, 15th place belongs to Indonesia. Ary Chandra (-84) stepped up in victory with 19 points for 16 minutes on the court. Erick Sebayang (178-G-83) scored 15 and Andi Poedjakesuma (187-F-80) had 13 points. In the loosing squad, A.P. Pushpakumara Agalathunga (-82) netted 12 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. Chamath Danawansa (-83) stopped on 11 pts.


PROFLIGATE LEBANON LET CHINA OFF THE HOOK - Aug. 11, 2009 
TIANJIN (FIBA Asia Championship) - Last editions silver medalists Lebanon failed to convert the chances that came their way and went down 68-71 to an equally determined hosts China in a crucial Group F eight-final round game on Tuesday.

China, thus improved their record to 4-0 and will close their eight-final outings with a clash against another West Asian powerhouse Jordan on the morrow.

Lebanon are 2-2 and need a win against Kazakhstan on Wednesday to assure themselves of a quarterfinal place.

Lebanon outscored China 24-16 in the fourth quarter to come as close as two points, but Mat Freijes attempt on the paint with about eight seconds left in the game bounced off the rim giving China the ball.

Lebanons rally thus failed to make amends for their earlier profligacy.

We were really reckless in the fourth quarter and almost lost it, China coach Guo Shiqiang.

I think we missed far too many chances early in the game, Lebanon coach Dragan Raca said.

Lebanon were certainly far more tactical and displayed much better coordination in their plays.

Where they failed to seize the initiative was in scoring. China got lesser opportunities in all forms to score, but converted a better part of them.

We had our plan nicely worked out, just that it didnt reach its logical conclusion, Raca said.

China converted 28 of their 55 field chances as against Lebanons 26 out of 71. China returned a 57% record in two-pointers (24/42) while Lebanon struggled at 38% (21/56).

Lebanon sank four of their five three-pointers for the game, in a total 15 attempts, in the fourth quarter, but that improvement in scoring rate seemed to have come too little a little late.

That was the tale of the Lebanese bid to beat the hosts, in vain.

China, grew in confidence gleefully accepting a increasingly fumbling and faltering rivals and the resultant growth in the scoreboard improved Chinas head-to-head record against Lebanon to 7-0 in FIBA Asia Championships.

Mat Freije raised hopes a Lebanese fightback firing in 11 of his 22 points in the third quarter, but that was inadequate against the Chinese teamwork in scoring.

Guo Shiqiang used 10 of his players and eight of them scored.

I guess this was the toughest game we faced so far. But as we move ahead itll only get tougher. In a way its nice to win these tough battles, Shiqiang said.

Jackson Vroman (208-C/F-81, college: Iowa St.) had a game-high 25 points, but converting only 10 of his 25 field attempts.

Yi Jianlian, Jacksons Chinese counterpart, returned a 69% field record (9/13) for his 19 points.

Zhu Fangyu also scored 19, 11 of them in the fourth quarter to keep China ahead against the late Lebanese rally.
S Mageshwaran
FIBA Asia


SOLID FOURTH QUARTER GIVES LEBANON VICTORY - Aug. 10, 2009 
TIANJIN (FIBA Asia Championship) - Lebanon and Qatar fought a protracted battle right through their Group F eight-final round game on Monday before the former played a solid fourth quarter to eke out a 73-63 win.

Lebanon thus improved their win-loss record to 2-1, while Qatar slumped to 1-2.

That the teams were tied at 51 going into the final quarter reflected the evenness of the exchanges of encounter.

Lebanons overall ability especially in three-pointers helped them win the game.

Omar El Turk fired in back-to-back three-pointers to open Lebanons scoring in the fourth quarter.

Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79, agency: Pro Management Agency) and Jackson Vroman combined to a nicety with the latter capping a fast breakaway to split the successes in three-pointers from Mat Freije and Rony Fahed.

Lebanon, thus forged ahead 65-59 as Qatar were confined to scoring in twos in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, and grimly hung on

Ironically, Qatar had carried a better three-pointer record 50% (4/8) as against Lebanons 31% (5/16) in the first three quarters.

And in the fourth quarter Lebanon overshadowed their rivals finding the mark on four of the nine occasions during this time. Qatar converted none of their six three-pointer attempts in the fourth quarter.

With most of the other columns remaining close, that was the one factor that helped twice silver medalists Lebanon prevail over the 2005 FIBA Asia Championsip bronze medalists.

That was the only space to create we could think of, said Lebanon coach Dragan Raca of the successes with the three-pointers.

We they would double-team Jackson if he moved inside. And therefore we asked Omar to open up the game with those three-pointers. But more than the planning those shots met with success, thankfully, Raca added.

Mat Freije led the scoring for the game with 15 points, five of them in the fourth quarter.

Fadi El Khatib shot four points in the final ten minutes to finish with 13.

Saad Ali was the leading scorer for Qatar with 14 points, all of them coming in the first three quarters.
S Mageshwaran
FIBA Asia


Summary of Day 4 in Tianjin (Qualifying Round) - Aug. 10, 2009 
Group E
Japan - Iran 71-101
The defending champion continues with nice performance in Tianjin. After 3-0 in Preliminary Round, Iran entered to second stage also with victory. This time it was against Japan 101-71. Hamed Ehadadi (218-C-85, agency: Agency No 10) was the best player in Team Iran with 22 points and 15 rebounds. MohammadSamad Nikkhah (199-G/F-83, agency: ACMT) also scored 22, while Mahdi Kamrani (180-G-82, agency: Huss Sport Agency) added 16 pts. In Team Japan, Kosuke Takeuchi (205-C/F-85) answered with 19 points and 6 boards. Ken Takeda (188-G-78) contributed with 10 pts. Iran is on top of Group E together with South Korea (4-0), while Japan is on the other side of the standings with Kuwait (1-3).

Philippines - Taiwan 77-70
Philippines grabbed valuable 77-70 win against Taiwan making a huge step forward to AsiaBasket 2009 Quarterfinals. With this victory Philippines jumped to 3-1 in group E, while Taiwan fell to 2-2. Despite that, Taiwan also has nice chance for the next stage. James Yap (191-F/G-82) top-scored for the winning squad with 23 points. Willie Miller (180-G-77) followed with 17 points and 5 rebounds. Tseng Wen-Ting (202-C/F-84) delivered 21 points and grabbed 7 boards in defeat. All other players in Taiwan had less than 10 pts.

South Korea - Kuwait 78-58
Fourth consecutive win for South Korea in Kuwait. It means that Koreans already booked a spot for the Quarterfinals and they are currently on top of Group E, together with also perfect Iran. Kuwait fell to 1-3 record, but still with a chance to advance. Yang Hee-Jong (194-F-84) led the winners with 16 points. Kang Byung-Hyun (192-G-85) had 14 and Yang DongGeun (182-G-81) added 11 pts, plus 6 boards. Kuwait got 18 points and 5 rebounds from Shayee Saeed (180-G-86). Mohammad AlMutairi (202-F/C-80) delivered 14.

Group F
China - United Arab Emirates 82-59
Another great performance by the hosts of AsiaBasket 2009 championship. Now China jumped to 4-0 and it will fight with Jordan and Lebanon for the first place in Qualifying Group F. At this moment Jordan is also unbeaten. UAE dropped to 1-3 and it will have to work very hard until the end in order to reach the Quarterfinals. Jianlian Yi (212-C/F-87) stepped up for China registering double-double, 18 points and 11 rebounds. Yue Sun (206-G/F-85, agency: Passing Lane) and Du Feng (207-C/F-81) posted 13 points each, while all other players had less than 10. In UAE, Rashed Alzaabi (190-F-88) was on fire netting 20 points (also had 6 rebounds). Jasim Abdalla (205-C-88) had 12 and Ali AlHattawi (202-C-79) scored 11 pts.

Qatar - Lebanon 63-73
Lebanon celebrated 73-63 win against Qatar today staying in the race for position No.1 in Qualifying Group F. Two top ranked teams currently are undefeated China and Jordan. At the same time, Qatar fell to 2-2 in the same pool but still with nice chance to reach AsiaBasket 2009 Quarterfinals. Matt Freije (206-F-81, agency: Priority Sports, college: Vanderbilt) once again led Lebanon collecting 15 points. Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79, agency: Pro Management Agency) had 13 pts, 6 boards and 6 assists, while Rony Fahed (182-G-81, agency: Pro Management Agency) and Jean Abdel-Nour (198-G/F-83) delivered 10 points each. Saad Abdulrahman Ali (193-F-85) shined in defeat with 14 points. He was followed by Erfan Ali Saeed (200-F-83), 11 pts and 5 boards.

Kazakhstan - Jordan 80-98
Jordan cruised past Kazakhstan in Tianjin celebrating fourth consecutive win. The same 4-0 record also has China in Group F and these two teams already secured participation in AsiaBasket 2009 Quarterfinals. Kazakhstan dropped to 1-3, but still with a tiny chance to do the same. Rasheim Wright (194-G-81, college: District of Col.) this time was a key player in Jordan with 29 points and 4 rebounds. Zaid Abbaas (203-F-83) had 21 and Osama Daghles (199-G-79, college: Midwestern St.) posted 17 pts. Alexandr Tyutyunik (198-G-90) and Anton Ponomarev (209-C-88, agency: Court Side) combined 48 points and 13 rebounds in loss. All other players were way below their level.


SOME HEAD TO HEAD COMPARISON BETWEEN LEBANON AND QATAR FROM THE FIRST ROUND - Aug. 9, 2009 
Some Head to Head comparison btw lebanon and Qatar from the first round:
* Lebanon was able to make 99.3 Points per game against 77.7 for Qatar.
* Lebanon was able to make 43 Rebounds per game against 38.3 for Qatar.
* Lebanon was able to make 18.7 Assist per game against 11.3 for Qatar.
* Lebanon field goals from 2pts were 60.4 % against 48.8% for Qatar.
* Lebanon field goals from 3pts were 43.7 % against 34% for Qatar.
* Lebanon field goals from Free throw were 65.2 % against 66.7% for Qatar
* Matt is ranked third among the score leader averaging 18.7 points per game in 25.3 minutes.
* Fadi is ranked fifth among the score leader averaging 18.3points per game in 26.3 minutes.
* Vromanis ranked eleventh among the score leader averaging 15 points per game in 28 minutes.
* Brian Beshara-Feghali (204-F-77, agency: Pro Management Agency, college: LSU) is ranked sixteenth among the score leader averaging 14.3 points per game in 24.3 minutes


DAY THREE ROUND UP: KAZAKHS SURVIVE INDIA SCARE AS FANCIED TEAMS ADVANCE - Aug. 8, 2009 
TIANJIN (FIBA Asia Championship) - India brightened up Saturdays proceedings with a fourth quarter surge, but fell short at the post, losing 72-74 in a needle Group C game on Saturday.

Defending champions Iran, hosts China, last editions bronze medalists Korea and West Asian powerhouse Jordan all won their third game in a row on the concluding day of the preliminary round, as the eight-final round line-up was drawn.

In Group C, China took the top place with a clinical 92-61 victory against 2005 FIBA Asia Championship bronze medalists Qatar.

Jordan opened the day carving out a 79-67 win against Indonesia and last editions silver medallists Lebanon closed the day outplaying Indonesia 123-36. Both those games came in Group D.

In Group A, Japan notched their first win, and booked a place in the eight-final beating Sri Lanka 148-45 and Korea deflated an enthusiastic Philippines 69-56 to take the top place.

Group B saw Iran, improving with every outing, handing down a 94-46 drubbing to Kuwait after Chinese Taipei had rolled past Uzbekistan 102-78.

Group A

Yusuke Okada returned a game-high 30 points as Japan outscored Sri Lanka by more than 20 points in each quarter

Okada scored all his points in three-pointers, converting 10 of his 17 three-pointer attempts, failing in the lone two-pointer attempt.

Tomoo Amino had 25 points and pulled down a game-high 12 boards.

For Sri Lanka, Chamath Danawansa was the only player to score in the double-digits with 10 points.

Yang Heejongs 14 points showed the way for Korea, who led throughout the game, against Philippines.

Oh Sekeun and Kim Minsoo chipped in 11 points each.

Cyrus Baguio was Philippines highest scorer with a game-high 16 points.

Group B

Samad Nikkah and Hamed Afagh replaced each other during the game -- and both had a telling effect on the proceedings during their presence.

Samad, who sat out the entire second and fourth quarters had a 57% record in shooting (8/14) including a 5/10 in long rangers, for his 21 points.

And Afagh who took to the court in Samads place, converted five of his 10 three-pointer attempts in a 7/12 field record for his 20.

Hamed EHadadi collected eight rebounds to go with his eight points.

Kamrani effected two assists to add value to his 12 points.

With 10 points each, Rashed Alrabah and Mohammad Ashkanani shared the top score for for Kuwait.

Chang Tsung-Hsieh was the leader of Taipeis scoring against the outmatched Uzbekistan with 22 points, with another Chang Chang Chih-Feng contributed 13. Wu Tai-Ho had 15.

Uzbek Aleksandr Kozlov had a game-high 25 points in a losing cause.

Group C

India trailed 49-61 going into the fourth quarter, but a 23-13 surge in the final ten minutes saw them scare the daylights off their rivals.

Vishesh Bhriguvanshi scored eight of his game-high 26 points in the fourth quarter and Jayram Jat accounted for eight out of his 11 points of the game in the same time to launch the Indian counter-offensive.

Ironically enough, Jat faltered with free-throws on two occasions and Bhriguvanshi missed once

Anton Ponomarev was Kazakhstans leading scorer with 18 points, with Rustam Yargaliyew contributing 17.

China had no such trouble.

Wang Zhi Zhi came off the bench to support the efforts of Yi Jianlian, Zhu Fangyu and Liu Wei as the hosts rolled into the eight-final round without raising much sweat in their bid to regain the title.

Wang Zhi Zhi collected a game-high eight rebounds to go with his 15 points. Liu also scored 15, with an incredible 6/9 shooting record, including converting thrice in five attempts in three-pointers.
Yi scored 12, with a 55% shooting record (6/11) in the field.

Zhu contributed 12 points and Wang Shipeng scored seven of his 14 points in the fourth quarter.

Mustafa Elsayed and Omar Salem helped Qatar kept the scoreboard ticking, there was not much support to their effort, in terms of scoring.

Elsayed led the scoring for the game with 16 points, and pulled down seven rebounds. Salem had 13.

Group D

Zaid Abbas and Rasheim Wright were the lead campaigners in the Jordanian cause against UAE.

Zaid Abbas led the scoring with a double-double 16 points and 12 rebounds.

Wright, with a 58% (7/12) record in field attempts returned 15 points.

After allowing UAE to call the shots in the first quarter, when they trailed 14-18, Jordan reeled in seven points in quicksilver fashion to go ahead 22-18 and didnt look back.

Mohammad Hadrab scored al his 11 points for Jordan in the fourth quarter, to make it even more difficult for UAE.

UAE, as a consolation took the individual scoring honours for the game with Talal Alnuaimi scoring 18 points and Rashed Alzaabi 17.

Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79, agency: Pro Management Agency) led the game in scoring 29 points and rebounds nine, including five in offence in Lebanons big win.

Matt Freije chipped in with 24 points and pulled down eight rebounds, as Jackson Vroman rested the game.

Brian Feghali had 22 points.

Nyoman Indrawan was Indonesias highest scorer with nine points.

Eight-final groupings

Group E: Korea, Philippines, Japan, Iran, Chinese Taipei, Kuwait.
Group F: China, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Jordan, Lebanon, UAE.
S Mageshwaran
FIBA Asia


Last day of Preliminary Round in Tianjin  - Aug. 8, 2009 
Group A
Philippines - South Korea 56-69
South Korea ended preliminary Round in Tianjin perfect. After two wins against Japan and Sri Lanka, Koreans outplayed Philippines today for position No.1 in Group A. Philippines dropped to second place, but also advanced to the next stage. They will together with Japan, Iran, Taiwan and Kuwait create a new Group E. Yang Hee-Jong (194-F-84) stepped up for South Korea today with 14 points and 7 rebounds. Oh Sekeun (201-C-87) and Kim Min-Soo (204-C-82) posted 11 points each. Cyrus Baguio (188-G-80) shined in loss with 16 points. All other players in Team Philippines had less than 10.

Sri Lanka - Japan 45-148
Japan destroyed Sri Lanka in the last game of Preliminary Round ending it with 1-2 record in Group A. It means that Japan is going to new Group E, together with South Korea, Philippines, Iran, Taiwan and Kuwait. Sri Lanka continues in Classification Round. Yusuke Okada (185-G-84) was on fire in victory scoring 30 points (10 triples). Tomoo Amino (196-F/G-80) had 25 points and 12 rebounds, while Kosuke Takeuchi (205-C/F-85) added 21 pts and 11 boards. In the loosing squad Chamath Danawansa (-83) provided 10 pts. All other players in this defeat had les than 8 pts.

Group B
Kuwait - Iran 46-94
The defending champion did not have any troubles to beat Kuwait today and to remain undefeated in Tianjin. Iran advanced to the next round as No.1 of Group B (3-0), while Kuwait did the same but as No.3 (1-2). They are placed to new Group E together with Taiwan, South Korea, Philippines and Japan. MohammadSamad Nikkhah (199-G/F-83, agency: ACMT) led Iran today with 21 points and 5 rebounds for 17 minutes. Hamed Afagh (192-G-83) got 23 minutes collecting 20 points and 4 boards. Rashed AlRabah (189-F-87) and Mohammad Ashkanani (193-F-84) delivered 11 pts for Kuwait.

Uzbekistan - Taiwan 78-102
Taiwan was too strong fro Uzbekistan today in Tianjin ending the Preliminary Round as No.2 in Group B (2-1). Taiwan will together with Iran, Kuwait, South Korea, Philippines and Japan create a new group E. Uzbekistan failed to advance (0-3) and it will fight for 13th place on this event. Tsung-Hsien Chang (190-F-88) top-scored in victory with 22 points. Wu Tai-Hao (206-C-85, college: BYU-Hawaii) followed with 15 and Chang Chih Feng (183-G-81) netted 2 points less. Aleksandr Kozlov (202-F-82) delivered 25 pts in loss. Ildar Safarov (207-C-85) contributed with double-double, 25 pts and 5 rebs.

Group C
China - Qatar 92-61
China closed the Preliminary Round in Tianjin with victory. That is third consecutive win for the hosts and they are No.1 in Group C. Qatar is No.2 and both advanced to the next stage. There China will together with Qatar, Kazakhstan, Jordan, Lebanon and UAE will compete in Group F. Liu Wei (205-F-85) and Wang Zhizhi (214-C-79) top-scored in victory with 15 points each (Wang had 8 more rebounds). Wang Shipeng (197-F/G-83) delivered 14 pts. In Team Qatar, Mustafa ElSayad (206-F/C-82, college: Fresno St.) netted 16 points. Omer Abgader Salem had 3 less.

India - Kazakhstan 72-74
Kazakhstan grabbed crucial 74-72 win against India advancing to the next stage. As a reminder, both teams entered to this game winless. Now Kazakhstan will move up to Group F, while India goes to Classification Round for 13th-16th place. Anton Ponomarev (209-C-88, agency: Court Side) was a key player in Kazakhstan with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Rustam Yargaliyew (195-F-86) had 17 and Dmitriy Gavrilov (201-F-86) added one point less. In India, Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (192-G-91) was totally the best netting 26 pts. Jayram Jat (189-G/F-81) contributed with 11.

Group D
Indonesian - Lebanon 36-123
As it was expected, Lebanon registered easy win against Indonesia advancing to Qualifying Round as No.2 of Group D (2-1). Lebanon will now be transferred to Group F, together with Jordan, UAE, China, Qatar and Kazakhstan. On the other side, Indonesia goes to Classification Round for 13-16 place. Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79, agency: Pro Management Agency) again was the best player in Team Lebanon with 29 points and 9 rebounds. Matt Freije (206-F-81, agency: Priority Sports, college: Vanderbilt) had 24 pts and 8 boards, while Brian Beshara-Feghali (204-F-77, agency: Pro Management Agency, college: LSU) added 22 pts. Indonesia did not have any player with double-digits in scoring. The best one was Ponsianus Indrawan (-85) with 9 pts.

United Arab Emirates - Jordan 67-79
Third appearance and third consecutive win for Jordan. This time it was little bit tougher win than it was expected. Anyway both, Jordan (3-0) and UAE (1-2), advanced to the next stage. There in Group F also will be Lebanon, China, Qatar and India. Zaid Abbaas (203-F-83) once again was the best player in victory collecting 16 points and 12 rebounds. Rasheim Wright (194-G-81, college: District of Col.) had 15 pts and 7 boards, while Mohammad Hadrab (201-F-84) added 11 pts and 9 rebs. UAE got the most from Talal AlNuaimi (180-G-88), 18 pts. Rashed Alzaabi (190-F-88) posted 17 pts.


Summary of Day 2 in Tianjin  - Aug. 7, 2009 
Group A
South Korea - Sri Lanka 122-54
South Korea had an easy job today against Sri Lanka jumping to 2-0 record in Preliminary Group A. It means that Koreans already booked a spot for the next stage on FIBA Asia Championship 2009. Lee Kyu Sup (198-F-77) shined in victory draining 28 points. He made 8 of 15 attempts from behind the arc. Bang Sung-Yoon (197-F/G-82) was second scorer of the team with 24, while Kang Byung-Hyun (192-G-85) helped with 18 points. In the loosing squad, only H.H. Yasarathne De Silva (-86) was in a game mood. He scored 14 points for 21 minutes. His Sri Lanka remains winless after two games.

Japan - Philippines 69-78
Philippines grabbed the second straight win in Tianjin securing a spot for Qualifying Round. With this win they have a chance to end Preliminary Stage as No.1 in Group A. That will happen if they beat South Korea tomorrow. On the other side, Japan will meet Sri Lanka and the winner of that game will also go to the next stage. The loosing squad will be transferred to Classification Round. Joachim Thoss (203-C-81) shined for the winners with 15 points and 8 rebounds. Pauliasi Taulava (206-C-73, college: BYU-Hawaii) also was good with 11 pts and 8 boards, while Willie Miller (180-G-77) added 10. Japan got the most from Daiji Yamada (200-C-81), 16 pts and 11 rebounds. Kosuke Takeuchi (205-C/F-85) stopped on 14 pts and 13 rebs.
Group B
Iran - Uzbekistan 82-61
Second win for Iran for top of Preliminary Group B after 2 days. Kuwait and Taiwan are on second and third place with 1-1, while Uzbekistan remains winless. With this win the defending champion booked a ticket for the next stage. Mahdi Kamrani (180-G-82, agency: Huss Sport Agency) this time was a key player in Iran collecting 23 points and 5 rebounds. MohammadSamad Nikkhah (199-G/F-83, agency: ACMT) scored 18 and Javad Davari added 12 pts. Hamed Ehadadi (218-C-85, agency: Agency No 10) stopped on 8 pts in this game. Vyacheslav Denisov (190-F-83) and Evgeniy Shatrov (192-G-86) combined 25 points in loss.

Taiwan - Kuwait 73-51
Taiwan garbed the first win on FIBA Asia Championship 2009 for 1-1 record in Preliminary Group B. Kuwait was better than Uzbekistan yesterday but it now has the same numbers (1-1). Yang Chin-Min (188-G-84) was a key player in Taiwan scoring 24 points and pulling down 5 rebounds. He was unmistakable for FG2 making all of his 9 attempts. Chang Chih Feng (183-G-81) and Lee Hsueh-Lin (175-G-84) added 11 points each. Kuwait had only one player with double-digits in scoring. That was Mohammad Ashkanani (193-F-84) with 13 points (also grabbed 6 boards).

Group C
Kazakhstan - China 56-74
The host of FIBA Asia Championship 2009 registered second consecutive win. After 121-49 against India yesterday, Team China was too strong for Kazakhstan today 74-56 booking a spot for the next stage. On the other side, Kazakhstan fell to 0-2 in this Group (C). Wang Zhizhi (214-C-79) was the leading player in victory with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Jianlian Yi (212-C/F-87) followed him with 17 pts and 10 boards, while Wang Shipeng (197-F/G-83) added 15 points. In the loosing squad, Anton Ponomarev (209-C-88, agency: Court Side) delivered 15 points and grabbed 8 boards. Rustam Yargaliyew (195-F-86) scored 14.

Qatar - India 95-70
Qatar grabbed second consecutive win at the FIBA Asia Championship 2009. Yesterday, Qatar was better than Kazakhstan and today they outplayed India 90-75. Qatar will meet China tomorrow in the battle for position No.1 in Group C. On the other side, India will play against Kazakhstan and the winner of that game will advance to the next round. Daoud Daoud (193-G-82) had 20 and Saad Abdulrahman Ali (193-F-85) shined with 2 points less, plus 5 rebounds. Mustafa Elsayad (-82) added 15 pts. Talwinderjit Singh (182-G/F-86) top-scored in loss with 17 points. Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (192-G-91) had 16.
Group D
Lebanon - United Arab Emirates 108-38
After nice 68-63 win against Indonesia, UAE faced with disappointing loss again Lebanon today. The strong Lebanese NT was a way better registering the first win at the FIBA Asia Championship 2009. So both teams are on 1-1 now and both secured place for the next round. Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79, agency: Pro Management Agency) and Jackson Vroman (208-C/F-81, college: Iowa St.) shined in victory with 19 points and 7 rebounds each. Matt Freije (206-F-81, agency: Priority Sports, college: Vanderbilt) helped with 15 pts and also 7 boards. In Team UAE, only Talal AlNuaimi (180-G-88) was able to compete against Lebanon scoring 13 points. All other players had less than 9 and just 6 managed to score in loss.

Jordan - Indonesian 105-47
As it was expected, Jordan was way better than Indonesia securing a place for the next stage even one day before the end of Preliminary Round. Jordan now has 2-0 in Group D, while Indonesia fell to 0-2. Islam Abbaas (201-C-80) was totally the best player in victory. He spent 23 minutes on the floor registering monster double-double, 23 points and 11 rebounds. Mohammad Hadrab (201-F-84) had 16 pts and 10 rebounds, while Jamal Almaaytah (213-C-81, agency: Passing Lane, college: Greensboro) also had double-double, 12 pts and 11 boards. Indonesia did not have any player with double-digits in scoring. Their best one was Kelly Purwanto (-G-83) with 8 pts.


DAY ONE ROUND-UP: CHAMPS IRAN SURVIVE OPENING BLUES;JORDAN SWEEP LEBANON AS CHINA POST BIG WIN - Aug. 6, 2009 
TIANJIN (FIBA Asia Championship): Defending champions Iran scraped through to a 71-67 win, surviving a serious Chinese Taipei threat to their campaign in Group B as Jordan and Korea scored psychologically important wins over their fellow regional rivals to set the ball rolling for the 25th FIBA Asia Championship on Thursday.

Last edition's bronze medallists Korea led throughout and ran fellow East Asia nation Japan roughshod before winning 77-62, in group A. In another Group A game - the opening game of the Championship, Philippines handed down a couple of lessons to Sri Lanka while posting a 115-31 win.

Jordan's 84-67 win over cross-border rivals Jordan came in Group D, as did United Arab Emirates' 68-63 triumph against Indonesia.

Hosts China carried too many guns to outplay India 121-49 and Qatar outsmarted last edition's semifinalists Kazakhstan 77-62, in Group C.

Group A

Philippines, who had finished ninth in the 2007 FIBA Asia Championship in Tokushima, scored the first eight points of the game and cruised along thereafter.

Sri Lanka, playing in the FIBA Asia Championship after a gap of 14 years - the island nation's last appearance came in the 1995 edition at Seoul - struggled with their scoring rhythm and returned a woeful 19% in field attempts.

Jared Dillinger led Philippines' scoring with a game-high 21 points, and collected 11 rebounds.

Japan breathed close on Korea's heels, but the introduction of the giant centre Ha Seung-jin midway through the first quarter, which tilted the scales in Korea's favour.

Ha, in combination with Yang Heejong launched 13-2 spree and Korea didn't look back.

Yang Heejong led the scoring for the game with 23 points, and Ha, with a 5/5 field record had 12 points.

Daiji Yamada came off the bench and led the scoring for Japan, with 23 points.

Group B

Iran were far from their cohesive best as they huffed, puffed and scratched the bottom before beating Chinese Taipei.

Memphis Grizzlies centre Hamed EHadadi returned a double-double - scoring 19 points and collecting 11 rebounds for Iran. Spearhead Samad Nikkah Bahrami led the scoring for the game - with 22 points - pulled down seven rebounds, and effected a game-high 11 assists.

'It was the first game and they (Taipei) have never been an easy side,' Samad said.

'I hope we can improve a lot in the way we play as we get along in the tournament,' he added.

Wu Tai-Ho was the leader of the Taipei cause with 16 points, but his efforts went in vain against a more experienced outfit.

Kuwait trailed 50-54 at the end of the third quarter, but outscored Uzbekistan 19-10 to inch towards a place in the eight-final round.

Aleksandar Kozlov was the highest scorer in the game with a game-high 25 points, but fought a lonely and therefore a losing battle for Uzbekistan.

Rashed Alrabah was the leading scorer for Kuwait, with 19 points and Mohammad Ashkanani 14 points.

Group C

Qatar and Kazakhstan fought on even keel before Qatar made their move late in the first half to avenge their 76-77 defeat suffered in last year's FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup in Kuwait.

Saad Ali was the highest scorer for Qatar, and in the game, with 20 points. Yaseen Ismail contributed 13 and pulled down eight rebounds.

Tyutyunik was the highest scorer for Kazakhstan with 19 points as Anton Ponomarev was restricted to only seven shots at the goal, for his 11 points.

China, Kazakhstan's opponents next, had no such trouble.

Yi Jianlian led from the front with 16 points as the hosts never trailed, scoring the first eight points and consolidating it with overwhelming superiority.

By the end of the third quarter, China coach Guo Shiqiang gave his 12 players at least five minutes each on the court, and 11 of them had scored.

Su Wei came off the bench for his game-high 18 points.

For India, Hareesh Koroth was the highest scorer with 14 points

Group D

Jordan trailed only once in the entire game - midway through the third quarter but that only piqued them to record their biggest scoring spree (14-0).

Lebanese mainstay Fadi El Khatib didn't last even three quarters - ejected for five personal fouls with about a minute left in the third quarter - and more importantly was restricted to a mere four shots at the goal. That more or less told the tale of the game.

Rasheim Wright (194-G-81, college: District of Col.) and Ayman Idais were the leaders of the Jordanian cause..

Wright led the scoring for the game with 23 points. Idais ended with 15 points and six rebounds.

Zaid Abbas collected a game-high 10 rebounds to go with his 18 rebounds as Jordan won the battle of boards 40-31.

American Jackson Vroman, recently naturalized by Lebanon bowed out midway through the fourth quarter, after scoring merely 11 points, in a 33% field record.

Mat Freije was the leading scorer for Lebanon 17 points.

United Arab Emirates' win against Indonesia should raise their hopes of a place in the eight-final round.

Rashed Alzaabi was the leader in scoring for UAE with 19 points, and Al Alhattawi contributed 17.

Ary Chandra was the leading scorer for Indonesia with 15 points.
S Mageshwaran
FIBA Asia


Summary of Day 1 in Tianjin - Aug. 6, 2009 
Group A
Philippines - Sri Lanka 115-31 Philippines totally destroyed Sri Lanka today 115-31. That was the opening game of FIBA Asia Championship 2009 in Tianjin, China. Jared Dillinger (191-G/F-84, college: Hawaii) and his teammates dominated in all basketball elements jumping to 1-0 in Preliminary Group A. Team Philippines had couple of players in a game mood, actually six with double-digits in scoring. Dillinger was the best one with 21 points and 11 boards, while Arwind Santos (193-F-81) added 16 pts. Pauliasi Taulava (206-C-73, college: BYU-Hawaii), Japeth Aguilar (206-C-87) and Cyrus Baguio (188-G-80) scored 15 pts apiece (first two had double-double). Sri Lanka did not have anyone with 10 or more. The leading scorer was Duke Sanjeewa Rajapakshe (-76) with 8 pts.

South Korea - Japan 95-74
South Korea celebrated in the opening day of FIBA Asia Championship 2009 in China. The Koreans were better than Japan 95-74 for 1-0 record in Preliminary Group A. Beside these two teams, participants of the same pool are Philippines and Sri Lanka. Yang Hee-Jong (194-F-84) was a key player in the winning squad today scoring 23 points. Oh Sekeun (201-C-87) followed with 14, while Ha Seung-Jin (222-C-85) added 2 points less. In Team Japan, Daiji Yamada (200-C-81) collected 21 points and 5 rebounds. Tomoo Amino (196-F/G-80) had 15 points and 5 boards, while Joji Takeuchi (205-C-85) stopped on 14 pts.



Group B

Iran - Taiwan 71-67

Iran had to work very hard today in order to beat Taiwan 71-67. That is first appearance for both teams on FIBA Asia 2009 Championship and they are placed to Preliminary Group B. Other two participants of this pool are Kuwait and Uzbekistan. Hamed Ehadadi (218-C-85, agency: Agency No 10) (218-C-85, agency: Agency No 10) paced Iran to victory collecting 22 points and 13 rebounds. MohammadSamad Nikkhah (199-G/F-83, agency: ACMT) was close to triple-double 19 points, 7 boards and 11 assists, plus Oshin Sahakian (202-F-86, agency: Agency No 10) delivered 11 points. Wu Tai-Hao (206-C-85, college: BYU-Hawaii) was better than the others in Team Taiwan with 16 points and 6 boards. Lin Chih-Chieh (192-F-82) had 15 and Tseng Wen-Ting (202-C/F-84) 11 pts.

Kuwait - Uzbekistan 69-64
Kuwait has a joyful first day at FIBA Asia Championship 2009 in China. First appearance and valuable win for Kuwait, despite nice performance by Aleksandr Kozlov (202-F-82), who scored 25 and grabbed 5 rebounds for Uzbekistan. Kuwait now has 1-0 and Uzbekistan 0-1 in Preliminary Group B, where also are placed Iran and Taiwan. Rashed AlRabah (189-F-87) stepped up for the winners collecting 19 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Mohammad Ashkanani (193-F-84) followed with double-double, 14 pts and 10 boards, while Shayee Saeed (180-G-86) added 12 pts. Ildar Safarov (207-C-85) was behind Kozlov in loss with 16 points and 8 rebounds.


Group C

India - China 49-121
The host of FIBA Asia Championship 2009 celebrated in the opening day. That was an easy job for Team China, who blasted India with impressive 121-49. China and India are together with Qatar and Kazakhstan placed to Preliminary Group C. Jianlian Yi (212-C/F-87), Su Wei (212-C-89) and Hu Xuefeng (185-G-80) were the best players in victory collecting 16 points and 6 rebounds each of them. Du Feng (207-C/F-81) followed with 12 points. In Team India, Hareesh Koroth (185-G-84) was the best with 14 points. Talwinderjit Singh (182-G/F-86) had 11 and Dinesh Coimbatore Venugopal added 10 points, plus 8 boards.

Kazakhstan - Qatar 62-77
National Team of Qatar demonstrated nice performance in the opening day of FIBA Asia Championship 2009 in China. Both countries, Qatar and Kazakhstan, are placed to Preliminary Group C together with India and the host China. Saad Abdulrahman Ali (193-F-85) stepped up for the winners today nailing 20 points. Erfan Ali Saeed (200-F-83) also was good collecting 15 points and 7 rebounds, while Yasseen Ismail Musa helped with 13 points and 8 rebounds. Alexandr Tyutyunik (198-G-90) responded with 19 points and 8 boards in loss. Anton Ponomarev (209-C-88, agency: Court Side) followed with double-double, 11 pts and 10 rebs. Naturally, Qatar jumped to 1-0, while Kazakhstan fell to 0-1.

Group D
Indonesian - United Arab Emirates 63-68
It was very exciting game between Indonesia and UAE in Day 1 of FIBA Asia Championship 2009. UAE celebrated in thriller mostly owing to Rashed Alzaabi (190-F-88) and Ali AlHattawi (202-C-79). Now they have 1-0 in Preliminary Group D, where Lebanon and Jordan are also placed. Alzaabi top-scored for UAE with 19, while AlHattawi added 17 points and 9 rebounds. Saleh Khalifa (-89) followed them with 15 pts. On the other side, Ary Chandra (-84) responded with 15 points and 5 rebounds. Andi Poedjakesuma (187-F-80) contributed with double-double, 13 pts and 14 boards.

Lebanon - Jordan 67-84
Jordan played some tight defense especially on the key players in the rival side and surged ahead to an 84-67 victory over fellow West Asian contenders and last editions silver medalists Lebanon in Group D on Thursday. Rasheim Wright (194-G-81, college: District of Col.) scored four points including a colourful dunk during that Jordanian spree, led the scoring for the game with a record-high 23 points. Ayman Idais, who accounted for five points a sizzling three-pointer from almost the centre-line being the highlight in that third quarter blitz, ended with 15 points and six rebounds. Zaid Abbas collected a game-high 10 rebounds to go with his 18 rebounds as Jordan won the battle of boards 40-31. American Jackson Vroman, recently naturalized by Lebanon bowed out midway through the fourth quarter, after scoring merely 11 points, in a 33% field record.


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