FIBA Asia 2015, four remain

FIBA Asia 2015There were few surprises on Thursday as the FIBA Asia 2015 Quarterfinals played out to form and history for the most part. Not many will be surprised to see a last four made up of Iran, China, the Philippines, and Japan, and those four nations will now compete for a place in the final.

Iran overcame South Korea to progress and will now meet China in a mouthwatering contest between the two best teams in the competition, China demolished India to make the last four. Japan had too much for Qatar and will now head into a semi contest against the Philippines after the Filipino contingent downed Lebanon.

Iran vs. South Korea, 75-62
Defending champions Iran made into the semi-final of the FIBA Asia 2015 and remains on course to win its fourth title in five editions of the competition. The teams split quarters, but Iran used big efforts in the first and third to seal what proved to be a cruising win. The champs opened with a strong 23-8 run and held a 36-25 lead at halftime despite Korea winning the second frame. In the third quarter Iran put the game to bed with a 24-19 run that made it too far for South Korea in the fourth act. Hamed Haddadi pushed the Iranian victory with 18 points and 14 rebounds in an impressive double-double display.

Japan vs. Qatar, 81-67
Japan put together its best game so far by easing past Qatar in the last eight of the FIBA Asia 2015 tournament. Japan is still not rebounding much or providing many assists, but the team keeps finding the important hoops and in this contest started well to make the difference. Indeed, the Nippon contingent poured in 28 points during the opening stanza and through 10 minutes led 28-13. Qatar settled down and won the middle quarters but after thirty minutes had only reduced the lead by two points (63-50). Japan had a double digit lead and moved up a gear in the fourth to secure the win. Takatoshi Furukawa led the winning effort with 22 points.

China vs. India, 104-58
Host nation China remains the biggest threat to champions Iran and in Changshu on Thursday the winningest nation in the history of the tournament put together its best game. China finally let loose and put India to the sword, managing to progress as the only undefeated country left. The game was never in doubt as China completed a stunning offensive display that included 24 assists handed out by the roster. The hosts took a 27-15 lead through the first buzzer and then dominated the game, with India simply left to play for pride.

Philippines vs. Lebanon, 82-70
It was billed as the closest game of the Quarterfinal and so it proved as the Philippines edged past Lebanon to punch a ticket to the semi-final. Injury ravaged Lebanon never let the Philippines pull away, but the Middle Eastern nation could never quite get close enough to go for the win. The Philippines took a 20-16 lead through the first act and never looked back, winning the remainder three frames (17-16, 20-17, and 25-21) to win the contest.

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