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Play-Off bracket1
Final Standings
1. China
2. Qatar
3. Iran
4. Jordan
5. Korea
6. Japan
7. Kazakhstan
8. Taiwan
9. Lebanon
10. Syria
11. Uzbekistan
12. Bahrain

Group Standings
Group A
1. Qatar 4-0
2. Jordan 3-1
3. Iran 2-2
4. S.Korea 2-2
5. Syria 1-3
6. Bahrain 0-4
Group B
1. China 4-0
2. Japan 3-1
3. Kazakhstan 2-2
4. Taiwan 2-2
5. Lebanon 1-3
6. Uzbekistan 0-4

China won Asian Games 2006 (Photo: Asian Games)
Asian Games mascot (Photo: Asian Games)

Starting Five in BOLD letters

Yi Jianlian

Wang Shipeng

Li Nan

Wang ZhiZhi

Liu Wei
Liu Wei (190-G-80) of Shanghai Dongfang Sharks
Hu Xuefeng (185-G-81) of Jiangsu Nangang Dragons Nanjing
Sun Yue (206-G-85) of Beijing Aoshen Olympians
Wang Shipeng (197-F/G-83) of Guandong Southern Tigers
Zhang Jinsong (198-F-73) of Bayi Army Rockets
Li Nan (198-F-76) of Bayi Army Rockets
Zhu Fangyu (200-F-83) of Guandong Southern Tigers
Li Ke (208-C-80) of Bayi Army Rockets
Yi Jianlian (212-C/F-87) of Guandong Southern Tigers
Mo Ke (209-C-82) of Bayi Army Rockets
Wang Zhizhi (214-C-79) of Bayi Army Rockets
Tang Zhengdong (213-C-84) of Jiangsu Nangang Dragons Nanjing

  China Wins Asian Games Title With 59-44 Rout of Qatar - Dec 15, 2006 -- by Arthur Volbert
Wang Zhizhi (214-C-79) scored 28 points and Yi Jianlian grabbed 15 rebounds as China defeated host Qatar today 59-44 to win the championship of the Asian Games.
China's women's team also won Asian Games gold with a 90-59 rout of Chinese Taipei yesterday.
In a defensive contest, China shot only 40 percent against Qatar but 33 percent against China. Qatar outrebounded China 36-33 but China scored 11 points from turnovers to only 4 for Qatar. China led 20-16 after the first quarter and 34-25 at the half. The score was 47-39 after three quarters. China outscored Qatar 12-5 in the fourth quarter.
China won its three medal-round games by 15 points or more -- 16 over Korea, 28 over Jordan and 15 over Qatar -- showing the same dominance over Asian competition that it exhibited in the Asian Championship two years ago, when it played with Yao Ming. The only game in which it had difficulty was in the meaningless game against Lebanon.
The starting five of Liu Wei, Wang Shipeng, Zhu Fangyu, Yi Jianlian and Wang Zhizhi played the bulk of the game. Sun Yue, Li Nan and Mo Ke were the only other players who saw action.
Qatar was led by Omar Abdelkader Salem who had 16 points and 15 rebounds.
In the Bronze Medal game Iran defeated Jordan 84-78 behind 19 points from Mahdi Kamrany and 9 rebounds from 217 cm Hamed Ehadadi. Ehadadi appears to be a good rebounder and shot blocker but is offensively challenged.  However players that size often develop late and Ehadadi is only 21 years old.
Yesterday 209 cm 18-year-old Anton Ponomarev scored 25 points, grabbed 9 rebounds and dished out 4 assists to lead Kazakhstan to a 100-74 win over Chinese Taipei. In their first meeting Taipei won by two and Ponomarev shot 3 for 18. So Ponomarev can adjust his game, an indication of his potential.  Yesterday Borat got a Golden Globe nomination for best comedy. Ten years from now Ponomarev may be more famous.
Wang Zhizhi averaged 19.0 ppg for fifth place in scoring for the tournament.  Yi Jianlian averaged 16.8 ppg for 8th place.  Ponomarev averaged 17.4 ppg for 6th place.  Yi averaged 10.3 rebounds for third place.  Ponomarev averaged 9.0 rebounds for 8th place.  Liu Wei averaged 3.0 assists for 10th place.  Ehadadi led the tournament in blocked shots with 3.1 per game.
Wang led the tournament in shooting percentage with 55.8 and Yi finished second with 54.1.  Wang finished second in free throw shooting with 78.0 percent.  Mo Ke finished fifth in three-point shooting with 50 percent and Zhu Fangyu finished 10th with 47.1.  Wang finished first in two-point shooting with 62.8 and Yi finished 8th with 54.1.  No Chinese player was among the top ten in turnovers.

Games Yesterday:
11th place: Uzbekistan 92 Bahrain 73
9th place: Lebanon 88 Syria 82
7th place: Kazakhstan 100 Taipei 74
5th place: Korea 87 Japan 76

China 59
Liu Wei 28min+0p(0/4)+2a, Wang Shipeng 7p+1r+2a, Zhu Fangyu 10p+6r+2a+2s, Yi Jianlian 8p(3/9)+15r+2a+2s+1bl, Wang Zhizhi 28p(13/20)+6r+2s+2bl
Qatar 44
Saad Abdulraham Ali 7p+4r+2a+1s, Ali Turki Ali 5p+4r+1a, Yaseen Ismail Musa 6p+2r+2a, Omar Abdelkadar Salem 16p+15r+2s+1bl, Daoud Musa Daoud 8p+4r

  China Blasts Jordan 86-58 -- To Face Qatar in Asian Games Final - Dec 13, 2006 - by Arthur Volbert
Playing a dominant game, while still giving plenty of rest to its starters, China trounced Jordan today 86-58. China started slowly, falling behind Jordan 26-21 after the first quarter. But then China started demonstrating its superior basketball talent, outscoring Jordan 20-6 in the second quarter. It maintained its advantage over Jordan in the third quarter with a 23-10 spread and outscored Jordan 22-16 in the fourth. Jordan finished with a 4-1 record for second place in Group E and yesterday defeated Kazakhstan 99-91in overtime.
Wang Zhizhi (214-C-79) led China with 20 points and 3 blocked shots. Yi Jianlian had 17 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks. Mo Ke scored 13 points and Zhu Fangyu scored 12. China shot 52 percent from the floor to 35 percent for Jordan. It grabbed 38 rebounds to 33 for Jordan. It scored 11 points from turnovers to 5 for Jordan. Zaid Al Kas led Jordan with 27 points and Islam Abbas had 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Qatar defeated Iran today 67-64 to qualify for the Friday final against China.  Qatar was led by 23 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals by Ali Saad Abdulrahman.
In other games, Anton Ponomarev had one of those games that show his youth and inexperience as he shot 2 for 10 in Kazakhstan's 94-74 loss to Korea. He grabbed 5 rebounds and had 2 assists and 2 turnovers. Ha Seung Jin only played 15 minutes for Korea and had 1 point and 5 rebounds.

Other games:

9th-12th classification:
Lebanon 90 Bahrain 65
Syria 111 Uzbekistan 104

5th-8th classification:
Japan 78 Chinese Taipei 67
Korea 94 Kazakhstan 74

China 86
Liu Wei 14min+2p+3r, Wang Shipeng 3p+2r+3a, Zhu Fangyu 12p+6r+2a+1s, Yi Jianlian 22min+17p+10r+2a+3bl, Wang Zhizhi 25min+20p+2r+2a+1s+3bl, Sun Yue 29min+5p+3r+3a+3to+1s, Li Nan 8p+7r+3a+1s, Mo Ke 25min+13p(5/5)+3r+1a+2s, Tang Zhengdong 6min+6p+3r+1a
Jordan 58
Fadel Al Najjar 8p+6r+2a, Enver Soobzakov 6p+2r+2a, Zaid Al Kas 27p+5r+1a+2s, Islam Abbas 12p+12r+3a+1s

  IR Iran basket semifinal place - Dec. 12, 2006 - by Eurobasket News
IR Iran reached their first Asian Games men's basketball semifinal in 55 years with a dramatic 68-64 win over Japan at Basketball Indoor Hall on Tuesday. The game was tied at 64-64 with 38 seconds left, when IR Iran's Samad Nikkhah (199-F/G-83), the leading scorer in the tournament, broke the deadlock.
He received the ball on the baseline, drove to the basket to score and also drew a foul on a Japanese defender. Nik Khah Bahrami scored with the free throw shot for a three-point lead, 67-64, with seconds left. In the last five seconds Japan's Shinsuke Kashiwagi had a wide open three-point shot from the corner to level the game. but it rimmed out to be rebounded by IR Iran's centre Hamed Ehadadi.
A foul and an additional point from the free throw line from Ehadadi gave the Iranians a four point margin, with the final buzzer sparking wild celebration from the players. IR Iran now face either Qatar or Chinese Taipei in the semifinals, depending on their result in their quarterfinal at 19:15 on Tuesday. The dramatic finish was characteristic of the game, which featured nine lead changes as well as seven points at which the scores were tied.
IR Iran last played in a basketball semifinal at the inaugural 1951 Asian Games in New Delhi, India, where they won the bronze medal. They did not compete at the 2002 Asian Games in Busan, Korea, and finished seventh at the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok, Thailand.
Disappointed Japan coach Kimikazu Suzuki pointed out the main reason he felt his team had lost, he said, "Rebounds, I think Japan and Iran both missed a lot of shots, but Iran had about 20 points from rebounds. That was the problem.
"Kazakhstan and the center East countries have players who are big and tall. Our players did well even if they didn't have enough time to train. I am thinking of making a new national team. I think we have to select big and tall players, including naturalised ones in Japan. Otherwise, it's difficult to win against other countries.”
IR Iran's coach Fredrick Femi Onica said, "I think it's a part of the game, we gave up some shots and we also had some problems with [Japan's] number nine [Takehiko Orimo]. Our big men didn't attack the basket all that well. Sometimes we tend to have breakdowns in rotation and that tends to effect our game, but defence is definitely the key to winning games."

  Qatar keep hoop dreams alive - Dec. 12, 2006 - by Eurobasket News
Qatar lived on their nerves to cap a memorable sporting night by reaching the semifinals of the men's basketball competition with a nailbiting win over Chinese Taipei.
On more than one occasion Qatar looked to be down and out but following two periods of overtime they eventually prevailed 103-96 to book their place in the last four against IR Iran on Wednesday 13 December.
The hosts, who won four of their five group matches, trailed throughout and needed a nerveless Erfan Ali Saeed (200-F-83) to sink two free throws with four seconds remaining to pull the scores level at 81-81.
Chinese Taipei then missed a shot in the final second of the game and had further opportunities in the first period of overtime.
With the scores again locked at 92-92 and with five seconds remaining, Chou Shih Yuan was given two shots from the free throw line that would have sealed victory. He missed both and the Qatari fans courtside breathed again.
Inspired by Saeed, who scored a game-high 27 points, Qatar finally pulled away in the second period of overtime to clinch victory.
“I am so happy,” said Qatar captain Yasseen Muosa. “It was a very strong and long match. Chinese Taipei is very fast and strong and we tried to compete with their speed and to stop them. We managed to do that. We were surprised, actually, by how they performed.”
Forward Mohammed Seleem Abdulla added: “In the beginning of the match we were overconfident but then we were surprised by the strength of the Chinese Taipei players and their efficiency in their three-point shots from everywhere on the field.
“In the second half we gathered our forces as a team and we managed to win this marathon match.”
Tournament favourites China defeated Korea 68-52 in an earlier quarterfinal to avenge their defeat to them in the 2002 Asian Games final.
Yi Jianlian amassed a game-high 18 points and 14 rebounds for China as they leapt into a 41-25 half-time lead. Centre Ha Seung Jin scored 16 points and claimed 16 rebounds for Korea but was unable to stop China booking a semifinal place against Jordan.

  China Defeats Korea 68-52 to Reach Semi-finals - Dec 12, 2006 - by Arthur Volbert
China soundly defeated Korea in the Asian Games today 68-52 behind 18 points and 14 rebounds from Yi Jianlian (212-C/F-87) in 34 minutes. Wang Zhizhi had 16 points and 2 rebounds in 13 minutes. China ran off a 19-13 lead in the first quarter and led 41-25 at halftime. It then coasted in the second half, being outscored 12-8 in the third quarter, then outscoring Korea 19-15 in the fourth. Note that China purpose is to win the championship in this tournament, not to run up the score on Korea. China has two more games in the next three days that it must win.  It plays the semi-finals tomorrow and, if it defeats Jordan, plays the finals on Friday.
Ha Seung Jin played even with Yi Jianlian, with 16 points and 16 rebounds in 34 minutes. But remember that Ha has NBA experience and Yi does not. China only made 33 percent of its field goal attempts but Korea only made 31 percent, as the teams appeared to concentrate on defense. Korea outrebounded China 45-41 but China scored 15 points from turnovers to 8 for Korea. Korea made only 4 of 17 three-pointers as China appears to have learned how to shut down Korea's outside shooting, which was highly troublesome for China in past encounters.
In other games, Jordan beat Kazakhstan in overtime. Zaid Al Khas scored 30 for Jordan, grabbing 11 rebounds. Rustam Yargaleyev scored 26 for Kazakhstan while Anton Ponomarev had 21 points and 11 rebounds. Iran defeated Japan 68-64 as Hamed Ehadadi had 12 points and 15 rebounds. Ehadadi is 217 cm and was born in 1985 and might be a prospect for first-division European teams. His performance has been too uneven and his offensive performance too poor to suggest him as an NBA prospect. Qatar eked out a 103-96 win over Chinese Taipei in double overtime. Erfen Ali Saed had 27 points and 15 rebounds for Qatar while Chen Hsin An scored 24 and Yang Che Yi scored 23 for Taipei.
China plays Jordan and Qatar plays Iran in tomorrow's semi-finals. Japan plays Taipei and Korea plays Kazakhstan in the 5th-8th classification games. Bahrain plays Lebanon and Uzbekistan plays Syria in the 9th-12th classification games.
In yesterday's women's semifinal, China defeated Korea 77-53 behind 20 points from Chen Nan. China will face Taipei in the final as Taipei defeated Japan 70-59.
China 68
Liu Wei 6p(1/7)+3r+1a, Wang Shipeng 8p(2/11)+6r+3a, Zhu Fangyu 8p+2r+2bl, Yi Jianlian 18p(6/16)+14r+1a+3s, Wang Zhizhi 16p(4/6)+2r, Sun Yue 2p(1/6)+2r+2a+1s, Mo Ke 7p(1/4)+9r+3a+1bl
Korea 52
Yang Dong Geun 2p+6r+2a+2s+3bl, Ha Seung Jin 16p(7/13)+16r+1bl, Kim Joo Sung 8p+4r+2a, Kim Min Soo 9p+5r+1bl, Kim Sung Chul 3p+3r+1a, Kim Seung Hyun 12p+2r+3a+2s

  China Edges Lebanon As It Rests for Quarter-Final Against Korea - Dec 10, 2006 - by Arthur Volbert
In a game that meant everything to Lebanon and nothing to China, China nevertheless prevailed 75-73. Lebanon had been eliminated from the quarter-final round of the Asian Games when it lost to Chinese Taipei on Tuesday while China was assured of the Group F championship when it defeated Japan.
China will face three games in three days starting Tuesday, beginning with its quarter-final game against arch-rival Korea, the team that defeated China in the 2002 Asian Games. So China's only purpose in the Lebanon game was to avoid injury and rest up for Korea. For Lebanon, a win against China would have meant that it salvaged something from its so-far terrible performance in this tournament.
China did not start Wang Zhizhi, Liu Wei or Zhu Fangyu. It played Mo Ke, Hu Xuefeng and Li Nan in their place. China led 20-16 after one quarter and 35-34 at the half. China led 61-51 after three quarters. But Lebanon outscored China 22-14 in the fourth when the Lebanese went all-out while China was rightly saving its energy for Tuesday's game against Korea.
Wang Zhizhi led China with 20 points and 14 rebounds. Wang Shipeng scored 13, Liu Wei scored 12 and Yi Jianlian had 11 points and 8 rebounds.
Rony Fahed led Lebanon with 27 points, playing all 40 minutes. Joseph Vogel had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
In other games Chinese Taipei defeated Uzbekistan 106-69 and Kazakhstan defeated Japan 77-72 behind 18 points and 11 rebounds from Anton Ponomarev (209-C-88). Ponomarev only hit three of 10 three-pointers but still led his team in both scoring and rebounding.
While Japan, Kazakhstan and Chinese Taipei all finished with 3-2 records, Japan placed second, Kazakhstan third and Chinese Taipei fourth based on tie-breakers. Kazakhstan's win against Japan means that it will face Jordan in the quarter-finals rather than host Qatar and its home-court advantage.
Taipei will play Qatar, Kazakhstan will play Jordan, and Japan will play Iran on Tuesday.
China 75
Hu Xuefeng 0p+4a+3s, Wang Shipeng 13p+3a, Li Nan 10p+2r+1a+2s, Yi Jianlian 11p+8r+2a, Mo Ke 9p+3a, Liu Wei 20min+12p+1r+3a, Zhu Fangyu 23min+0p(0/4)+6r+1a+2s, Wang Zhizhi 24min+20p+14r+1a
Lebanon 73
Jean Abdel-Nour 8p+7r+2a, Rony Fahed 27p+3r+4a, Roy Samara 8p+5r+1s, Joseph Vogel 15p+10r+1a+2bl, Omar El Turk 11p+1r+1a+1s+1bl

Group F
China 5 0
Japan 3 2
Kazakhstan 3 2
Chinese Taipei 3 2
Lebanon 1 4
Uzbekistan 0 5

Group E

Saturday, December 9
Korea 87 Qatar 81 OT
Jordan 95 Bahrain 44
Iran 95 Syria 79

Qatar 4 1
Jordan 4 1
Iran 3 2
Korea 3 2
Syria 1 4
Bahrain 0 5

  Hard Luck Lebanon!! - Dec 10, 2006 - by Eurobasket News
Gold medal favourites China maintained their unbeaten record following a thrilling 75-73 win over Lebanon in the last round of men's basketball group matches.
Lebanon, ranked second highest at the start of the competition, exited the competition after finishing a disappointing fifth in group E. However, they at least salvaged some pride by becoming the team to push China closest so far.
Wang Shipeng produced a series of three-point baskets late in the game and finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds to give China the victory after a see-saw fourth quarter.
Lebanon had made light of the absence of injured superstar El Cheikh Fadi El Khatib and led at 67-66, largely due to some inspirational play from centre Joseph Vogel and guard Rony Fahed.
“This is what happens when you play for pride,” said Vogel, who ended with 15 points. “We had no preparation coming into this tournament but as the games went by we started playing better. This was the best game of the tournament for us.”
An inspired Kazakhstan avoided a quarterfinal against highly-rated Qatar after upsetting Japan 77-72.
Kazakhstan had to go through the preliminary rounds but have improved as the tournament has gone on. Some early baskets from Anton Ponomarev and a hot streak during the third quarter by guard Rustam Yargaliyev put Kazakhstan in charge against a team shorn of key players Eric McArthur and Takuma Watanabe.
The Kazakhs defended well late on to seal their third win of the group stage with 18 year-old Ponomarev finishing with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Chinese Taipei eased to a 106-69 win over bottom side Uzbekistan to end the group alongside Japan and Kazakhstan on eight points.
Group winners China will take on Korea on Tuesday 12 December in the quarterfinals, while Japan play IR Iran. Group E winners Qatar face Chinese Taipei and Kazakhstan line up against Jordan.

  Korea beat Qatar as both progress - Dec. 9, 2006 - by Eurobasket News
Qatar went down to a surprise defeat to Korea while wins for Jordan and IR Iran mean they qualified for the last eight of the men's basketball.
The hosts still finish top of group E after their 87-81 loss to Korea, who join Qatar in the last eight.
Qatar's first defeat of the games was mostly down to one man, Bang Sung-Yun (197-F/G-83), who scored 42 points with 12 three-pointers. His total was the best individual performance by any player at Doha 2006.
“I think we came into this game a bit relaxed as we were in the first place in the group. I think Korea played really well and number 10 Bang Sung-Yun made all the difference in the game.
“I think this loss is good for us as we can start moving things around and make necessary changes,” said Qatar guard Malek Salem Abdulla.
Korea qualify for the quarterfinals as the fourth placed team from group E (along with Qatar, Jordan and IR Iran) and will meet China in the quarterfinals.
Awesome three-point shooting from IR Iran guard Mohammad Samad Nik Khah Bahrami helped his team to a 95-79 win over Syria.
He had a six out of nine record from outside the arc and scored 34 points overall. Syria trailed early on but fought back to be within five points at half-time, but could not turnaround the match and go out of the tournament.
Jordan didn't need to be at their best to easily beat Bahrain 85-44 in a hopelessly one-sided contest. They finish group E in second place and will meet either Japan or Kazakhstan in the quarterfinals. Japan meet Kazakhstan on Sunday 10 December to sort out the final placings in group F.
Earlier, Korea's women's team booked their place in the semifinals with a 101-39 thumping of Thailand.
The line-up for the women's semifinals sees Korea go up against China while Chinese Taipei tackle Japan. Both matches take place at the Basketball Indoor Hall on Monday 11 December.

  Lebanon overtaken by speedy Chinese Taipei - Dec 8, 2006 - by Eurobasket News
In today's basketball, some excellent interceptions, rapid counterattacks and clever blocking gave Chinese Taipei a convincing win over the larger, but slower Lebanese team, with the match ending 86-72 in Chinese Taipei's favour.
Tseng Wen Ting was Chinese Taipei's man of the match scoring an impressive eight out of 15 attempted baskets, producing 21 points for his side. On the Lebanese side Fadi El Khatib, the well-chosen captain, racked up 15 points in seven out of 10 attempted baskets.
Likewise Lebanon's Joseph Vogel scored a daunting nine points for 19 attempts making him one of the most productive players on the court. But the quality of Lebanon's individual players couldn't make up for their lack of co-ordination as a team and above all couldn't make up for their lack of pace.
In the first half that lack of pace told strongly against the unprepared Lebanon as they went rapidly down 28-15 to the tenacious attacking style of Chinese Taipei. In the second quarter, the Lebanese became more organised and more effective in both attack and defence, yielding the quarter by 22-18 points, a much smaller margin.
Encouraged by their improved performance, the Lebanese piled on the energy and managed to finish the quarter, in relief, just one point down at 20-19 and in the fourth quarter they finally found Chinese Taipei's measure, winning 16-20. It was a consolation and an idea of what might have been had Lebanon been able to overcome Chinese Taipei's speed, opportunism and accuracy.
Chinese Taipei now goes on to face Uzbekistan on 10 December while Lebanon faces gold favourites China.

  China Defeats Japan 94-68 in Asian Games - Dec 8, 2006 - by Arthur Volbert
Playing all five starters more than 30 minutes, China defeated Japan today 94-68. Wang Zhizhi led the way with 30 points and 14 rebounds while Yi Jianlian contributed 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Wang Shipeng scored 16 points, Zhu Fangyu scored 15 and Liu Wei scored 12. Sun Yue played 16 minutes but missed all five of his shots.
China jumped off to a 27-14 first quarter lead and was ahead 54-38 at the half. China led 70-56 after three quarters, then outscored Japan 24-12 in the fourth.
Ryota Sakurai led Japan with 18 points and Kosuke Takeuchi scored 12. China outrebounded Japan 35-28. Japan had 18 turnovers to 9 for China, showing that China's guard play is indeed improving.
China shot 54 percent from the floor to 45 percent from Japan. Japan is now second in Group F with a 3-1 record while China leads the group at 4-0.
Kazakhstan defeated Uzbekistan 100-77 as Anton Ponomarev did not play, likely being rested against this inept opponent. Chinese Taipei defeated Lebanon 86-72.
China 94
Liu Wei 12p+5a, Wang Shipeng 16p+1r+5a, Zhu Fangyu 12p+4r+2a, Yi Jianlian 16p+12r+2a+2bl, Wang Zhizhi 30p+14r+4s
Japan 68
Takehiko Orimo 8p+1r+1a, Kosuke Takeuchi 12p+4r, Ryota Sakurai 18p+3r, Shinsuke Kashiwagi 9p+3r+5a, Shunsuke Ito 7p+5r, Joji Takeuchi 7p+3r

  Lebanon stunned by court star Ponomarev - Dec. 7, 2006 - by Eurobasket News
Men's basketball continued at the Basketball Indoor Hall on Wednesday 6 December with group F matches, as Kazakhstan's star 18 year-old forward Anton Ponomarev (209-C-88) carrying his team to a shock 80-75 win over gold medal contenders Lebanon.
Ponomarev scored 27 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as Kazakhstan won their first match of round two in beating a team ranked 24th in FIBA's rankings - the second highest ranked team in the tournament behind China [11th]. Kazakhstan won the bronze medal at the 2002 Asian Games in Busan and are currently ranked 56th in the world.
The Kazakhs shocked Lebanon early in the game by racing into a 14-6 lead on the back of some outstanding three-point shooting from guard Rustam Yargaliyev, who hit three, three-point baskets in the first quarter and finished the game with 18 points.
Lebanon's star player El Cheikh Fadi El Khatib, who was still clearly feeling the effects of a back injury sustained during the opening ceremony, was again the go-to-guy for his team as he scored 19 points in the first half to help Lebanon take a 41-38 lead at halftime.
But it was Ponomarev who led a stirring third quarter fight back for Kazakhstan as they assembled a 10-point lead at one stage before Lebanon reduced it to five by the end of the quarter.
The large contingent of Lebanon fans found voice during the last quarter as they tried to carry their team to victory; El Khatib produced a number of plays late in the game, moving to within four points with less than two minutes to play.
El Khatib was unable to get his team across the line, however, as they eventually went down by five points at the final whistle, which brought howls of protest from Lebanese players who clearly thought they were on the receiving end of some bad decisions.
“We played hard to get the win,” said Ponomarev after the game. “We have a new chance now to fight into the next round. This team [Lebanon] was in the world championship, and now we have shown that we can play.”
Earlier, a dominant second quarter helped Japan maintain their unbeaten record following the team's 75-56 win over Uzbekistan. The game was tight in the first quarter with Japan leading 20-16, while the second quarter saw Japan move away in scoring 21 points to 11 and lead into the half time break 41-27.
The Uzbeks never really threatened from then on and the Japanese ended up winning the game by a comfortable 19 points, enough to indicate they could cause trouble for gold medal favourites China in their next match.
Japanese guard Takehiko Orimo was influential during the team's run in the second quarter and he finished the game with 17 points, including three, three-point baskets. Kosuke Takeuchi also provided an imposing presence in the paint in grabbing 12 rebounds, whilst also adding 15 points.
Uzbekistan's hopes of causing an upset were not helped by the dismal shooting of star guard Aleksandr Kozlov, who has been the team's leading scorer in the tournament to date. Kozlov shot a horrible 1 for 7 from the field for the game and finished with just four points.
Meanwhile, China continued to look like gold medal favourites after thrashing Chinese Taipei 101-65 and maintaining their perfect record at the 15th Asian Games Doha 2006. The win means China now join their next opponents, Japan, at the top of group F.
China's comfortable win again showcased the enormous talent of Yi Jianlian, who scored 20 points in the first half before finishing the match with 28 points after spending the majority of the second half on the bench.
Yi shot an incredible 12 of 13 from the field with most of his baskets coming from low-post work under the ring. He was also dominant in the key, grabbing nine rebounds as he formed a dangerous pairing with former NBA player Wang Zhizhi, who finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.
China's Lithuanian coach Jonas Kazlauskas used previous games to experiment with his team's line-up and, if this game is anything to go by, he appears to have settled on playing both Yi and Wang together with the other young Chinese centre, Tang Zhengdong, to be used sparingly off the bench.
Chinese Taipei were courageous early in the match, but too much was left to Chen Hsin An, who has been one of the tournament's leading scorers in averaging 24 points per game. He finished this match with 14 points.
“Our defence was very successful and the rhythm was good,” said Yi. “In the second quarter our successful defence gave them [Chinese Taipei) little chance to shoot the three-pointer.”
Japan play China in a table-topping clash in their next match while only a miracle will now secure Lebanon a top two position as they next play Chinese Taipei. On the Group's other game, Kazakhstan take on Uzbekistan and all matches will be played on Friday 8 December.

  China Defeats Taipei 101-65 in Asian Games - Dec 7, 2006 - by Arthur Volbert
China defeated Chinese Taipei yesterday 101-65 as it played up to the ability it is capable of playing. Yi Jianlian led the charge with 28 points in 23 minutes, hitting 12 of 13 shots. Yi also had 9 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal. This is the type of game that make Yi look very intriguing to the NBA, whether he was born in 1987, 1985 or 1984.
Zhu Fangyu had 18 points, Hu Xuefeng scored 16, and Wang Zhizhi had 13 points and 8 rebounds.
China led 24-23 after one quarter. It broke the game open with a 28-10 advantage in the second quarter to lead 52-33 at the half. It enlarged the margin to 80-46 after three quarters. Chen Hsin An and Lin Chih Chien each scored 14 for Chinese Taipei. No Chinese player was on the floor for as much as 24 minutes as all twelve players on the team got into the game. Coach Jonas Kauslauskas knows how to pace his team in this typ of tournament.
China shot 63 percent from the field to 38 percent for Chinese Taipei. It outrebounded Taipei 45-20. It scored 17 points from turnovers to 12 for Taipei.
In other games in Group F, Kazakhstan defeated Lebanon 80-75 as Anton Ponomarev had 27 points, 16 rebounds and 4 steals. While this 18-year-old is inconsistent the NBA and top European teams should watch him closely. Ponomarev outplayed Lebanon's veteran Joseph Vogel, who had 15 points and 11 rebounds. Japan defeated Uzbekistan 75-56.
China 101
Liu Wei 5p+1r+5a, Wang Shipeng 11p+4a+3s, Zhu Fangyu 18p+4r+1a, Yi Jianlian 28p+9r+1a, Wang Zhizhi 13p+8r, Hu Xuefeng 16p+2r+2a, Sun Yue 4p+3r+3a, Li Nan 5p+3r
Chinese Taipei 65
Yang Che Yi 9p+1r, Tien Lei 10p+2r+1a, Chen Hsin An 14p+1a, Lin Chih Chien 14p

  Iran too strong for Bahrain - Dec 5, 2006 - by Ali Surgeon
Bahrain national team lost to Iran 112/77 in Asian games today.
It was a strong display from Iran team to prove that it is a powerhouse in Asia.
Bahrain team was tough to beat in the first half of the game going to the changing room at half time with 2 points deficit (49/47).
Later in the 3rd quarter, Iran team started to play their favourite full-court press and opened a gap by the end of the quarter by winning it 33/17!
In the 4th quarter, Bahrain team surrended to the powefull display by Iranian guards who were too strong with their fast break and 3 pointers.
It is worth to notice that the strong display from Iran team in Asian games is mastered by their well experienced Nigerian coach Fredrick Oniga.
This is the thrid straight loss for Bahrain team in the asian games.
Bahrain will play Syria on Thursday at 3:00pm.

  Bahrain setback after loss to Qatar - Dec 4, 2006 - by Ali Surgeon
BAHRAIN'S hopes of reaching the semi-finals in basketball suffered a major setback following a heavy 97-56 defeat to hosts Qatar in Group 'A' last night in Doha.
Having lost their first match to the group's other contenders and reigning champions South Korea 106-80, Bahrain must win their remaining three matches against Syria, Jordan and Iran to have any chance of booking one of the top two semi-final spots from this six-team group.
Under their coach Salman Ramadan, Bahrain will next play Iran tomorrow at 3pm, Syria on Thursday and Jordan on Saturday.

  Lebanon recorded its first big win against Uzbekistan in the Asian games :(106-70) - Dec 3, 2006 - by Asia-Basket Lebanon
Lebanon started its campaign in the Asian Games by trashing Uzbekistan in the first game on the score of 106-70.
Lebanon who misses two key players in their roster Paul Khoury and Brian Feghali is hoping to have good results in its first ever participation in the Asian Games and to continue its great results after a big summer in which History was made in the World championship(Beating France and Venezuela) despite the 10 days preparations due that the team was not expected to participate .
The team started the game on the a very strong tempo , the first quarter finished on the score of 36-10 , in this quarter Fadi El Khatib (197-F-79) once again did his best hobby by scoring and together with his teammates they gave a big show and the they scored from everywhere , Rony Fahed , Jospeh Vogel had big shots, Uzbekistan scored its first basket after long minutes when the score was 20-0.In the 2nd Quarter the same rhythm continued and coach Koussay gave all his players the chance to participate in the game , among the players Mazen Mneimneh the rising Lebanese talent who played in the game 10 minutes and scored 8points and grabbed 4 rebounds , the score at the half was 67-28.
In the 3rd and the 4th quarters the 2nd unit had lot of minutes on the floor and the game continued with a big dominance for Lebanon , the game finished on the score of 106-70.
Lebanon's next game is against Japan on Monday .
Best Performances :
Fadi El Khatib  (34 pts , 5 rebs ) , Joseph Vogel (14pts,10rebs), Rony Fahed (14pts,6ast)
Q1: 36-10  Q2: 67-28   Q3:88-48   Q4: 106-70

  BAHRAIN BEATEN - Dec 1, 2006 - by Ali Surgeon
BAHRAIN's national basketball team lost their opening Group 'A' match in the second round of the Asian Games in Doha, going down 106-80 to reigning champions South Korea last night at the Games Village Basketball Indoor Hall.
It was Bahrain's first defeat in the Games but they are still in contention for a spot in the third round with three matches remaining against Jordan, Syria, Iran and hosts Qatar.
In yesterday's other matches in the same group, Jordan recorded a narrow 62-59 victory over Iran while Qatar proved too good for Syria 99-59.
Bahrain's next match will be against the group's other favourites Qatar on Sunday at 8.30pm at the same venue. Their third match is against Iran on Tuesday, they meet Syria on Thursday and Jordan on December 9.
The top two teams from this group and Group 'B' which comprises China, Lebanon, Japan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Chinese Taipei qualify for the semi-finals.
Coached by Salman Ramadan, Bahrain started their toughest match in the group with a line-up consisting of playmaker Hussain Shaker, Mahmood Ghuloom, Ahmed Mirza, Ahmed Al Mutawa and Hussain Taqi.
Al Mutawa was Bahrain's top scorer with 27 points. Mirza got 22, Shaker scored 11 and Ghuloom managed seven and Taqi had four.
Team captain Yasser Bu Nafoor (3 points), Kadhem Marzooq (4), Hani Alam and Mohammed Qurban (1 each) also played for Bahrain last night.

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