FIBA Asia 2015, Quarterfinals set

FIBA Asia 2015The eight teams progressing to the Last Eight of the FIBA Asia 2015 tournament in Changsha, China have been locked. The quarterfinals will be taking place on Thursday, giving the players and national teams a day to prepare for the first knock-out stage of the competition so far.

In Group E the Philippines built on the shock win over Iran by defeating India to top the standings, while Iran hit back with a victory over Palestine to cement its own sport in the Last Eight. Despite the loss, India also make it through and will be joined by Japan after their win over Hong Kong.

China’s place was already assured, but the hosts stayed the only unblemished team with a win over Qatar, who also make it through to the Quarterfinals. South Korea downed Kazakhstan to punch its ticket, while Lebanon weathered a second half storm by Jordan to also make it through.

Group E
After defeating champions Iran in the shock of the tournament yesterday, the Philippines maintained winning ways with a 99-65 victory over India. The winners merely cemented their place in the Last 8 and at the top of Group E, while India survived and progressed from fourth place. After losing the first quarter 16-17, the Philippines won the second frame 26-19 and then never looked back through a cruising second half. The winners claimed 48 rebounds to India’s 35 while also handing out 21 assists in a solid all-round game.

Iran bounced back from its game horriblus yesterday against the Philippines and put Palestine to the sword; the champs remain on track and are in the Quarterfinals of the FIBA Asia 2015 tournament. The wheels have come off Palestine’s performances after an unbeaten first stage and now the country slips out of the competition. Iran continued to be stunning off the glass and claimed 50 boards, while Palestine managed just 29. Across the middle quarters the champs were back to their formidable best, winning the second frame 6-26 and the third act 11-28.

Japan punched its ticket for the Last Eight with an 89-62 workout against Hong Kong on Tuesday. Japan had carved out a 40-32 lead through halftime, but the game was really put to bed in the third stanza, using a 28-10 run to put the contest beyond Hong Kong. Makoto Hiejima led the Japanese effort with 19 points, while Joji Takeuchi added 17 points and 8 rebounds to the winning cause.

Group F
Host nation China stayed as the only undefeated country left in FIBA Asia 2015 with an 89-65 victory over Qatar in Changshu. China took the lead early and never looked back, winning the first quarter 26-17 on the way to a 44-33 lead, before a 26-15 run in the third act made the closing frame a stroll. Despite the loss Qatar joins China in the Quarterfinals, finishing in second place behind the Chinese in Group F.

South Korea ensured that Kazakhstan left the competition without a win while ensuring its own berth in the Last Eight. The Koreans picked up a 79-63 victory to finish in third place in the standings. Kazakhstan had opened a 29-32 lead through the long break, but South Korea poured in 30 points and conceded just 10 points in the third quarter to turn the game around. The Koreans held the fort in the fourth frame, using a 20-19 winning stretch to see the contest through.

Lebanon grabbed the final Quarterfinal space from Group F with a narrow 80-76 win over fellow Middle East nation Jordan. Lebanon’s first half was encouraging and at the midway buzzer the country was cruising with a 45-30 lead. Jordan made their opponents sweat for the rest of the game, carving into the double digit lead with a 19-24 charge in the fourth before making it a nervous finish for Lebanon with a 16-22 winning fourth.

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