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Stunning Afghani victory over Hong Kong in openning round of the Asian Games - Nov 24, 2006

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Asian Games Qualifying Round:

Game 1:
Afghanistan - Hong Kong 65-57
(Q1: 19-14 Q2: 34-33 Q3: 50-50 Q4: 65-57)

Wihin the preliminary rounds for qualifications to the Asian Games Basketball Tournament, being held at the Basketball Indoor Hall at Sport City in Doha, an Afghani selection coached by Zabi Zewalt and made up of players of Afghani origin from the United States with captain Yousof Etemadi  has won a signficant game 65-57 against Hong Kong team in the opening day in Group C qualifyinmg games that includes Afghanistan, Hong Kong and Syria. One team will qualify from this group to the next round that will resume November 30.


The Afghanis started with a 9-0 lead. They continued their lead throughout first quarter to end it their favour 19-14 with key scoring from Bilal Azzi. By the second quarter Hong Kong had regained momentum with Lee Kiu Fung putting his team ahead 25-22 and contributing 13 points to the tally. But the stunning three-pointer by Abdullah Karimi, sent the Afghan team to lead again 34-33 at half-time.


A feverish third quarter saw a huge game and at one point a 12-2 Hong Kong run, but both teams tied 50-50 at the buzzer. The Afghanis with their physical power and strong defence prevailed in quarter 4 confining Hong Kong to scoring just 7 points as the Afghani onslaught of 15 impressive points gave them a deserved win 65-57. Team captan Yosouf Etemadi scored 16 in a majour performance. Nafi Mashriqi added another 16. .Coach Zabi Zewalt said to Asian Games reporter on court: “It is a big thing for us, it is the first time after a long time that we have had a basketball team. We are very excited, the kids are very good, and have a bright future. As a first time it is a privilege to be here and we are proud of that.”

The Afghan players were ecstatic and celebrated their victory over Hong Kong (China) with an emotional lap of honour round the court with their national flag. Afghanistan's selection has to confront Syria next. Game is scheduled Nov.24.


Afghanistan head coach: Zabi Subat

Afghanistan roster (in alphabetical order): Ali Amiri, Iwal Obaidullah Arghand, Sulaiman Aziz, Bilal  

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