FIBA Asia 2015, Second Stage starts

FIBA Asia 2015After an exciting first group section the FIBA Asia 2015 tournament moved into the Second Stage in Changsha, China, with another two groups to decide who progresses to the first knock out stage.

Iran stayed undefeated as the champions swept the floor with Hong Kong to lay down a marker in Group E, while the Philippines proved too strong for Japan. Palestine let its unbeaten record slip by losing to India in the closest contest of the Second Stage so far.

China also stayed unbeaten as the hosts eased past Kazakhstan with an impressive first half display. Also romping to victory off the back of a strong half was South Korea as they overcame Lebanon with a big second half. Rounding out the action in Group B, Jordan pulled away from Qatar late on to open its win account.

Group E
The Philippines continued to rebuild after losing game 1 to claim a 66-73 victory over Japan at the start of the Second Stage. The victory proved that buckets are more important than other stats, with Japan outrebounding and out-assisting the Philippines through the game. Yet it was the Philippines who emerged with a win, with the middle quarters proving the difference, going 15-21 and 13-19 in favour of the winners. Andray Blatch paced the winners with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Iran continued to provide the benchmark at FIBA Asia 2015 with a 111-56 demolition of Hong Kong in Changsha. The Iranians were hot off the boards again and grabbed 51 rebounds in total while Hong Kong could manage just 22, while the reigning champions dished out 30 assists in an offensive school. The Middle Eastern giant stopped Hong Kong at just 4 points through the second quarter and put them to the sword for the rest of the contest.

Palestine had surprised many by topping Group B with an unbeaten record, but against India at the start of the Second Stage they came unstuck. Arguably Palestine was expecting to win this contest, but India put it together to win 70-73. Palestine led 36-32 through the long break, but India rallied in the third act with an 11-17 run that made it 47-49 after and they carried the momentum into Q4 to take the win. Amjyot Singh continued to shine for India as he doubled up with an impressive 32 points and 11 boards in the winning effort.

Group F
China joined Iran as the only other unbeaten nation left in the FIBA Asia 2015 after defeating Kazakhstan 75-62. It is fitting that the two countries that have won the last nine editions of this tournament should be the teams to beat this time. Host nation China started with a 23-14 winning first act and then 19-12 in the second quarter handed them a 42-26 lead. China eased off the gas and could even afford to lose the second half 33-36 and still win with ease.

South Korea is hot on China’s heels after downing Lebanon 85-71 on Sunday, but it could have been so much different. Lebanon controlled large parts of the first half, winning the opening frame 13-23 and extending to lead 32-43 through the long break. South Korean hit the second half in better form as the offence started ticking and dished out 24 assists throughout. A 26-15 winning third handed South Korea the lead through thirty minutes and they carried the momentum into the fourth stanza to win the contest.

Jordan managed to grab an opening win by defeating Qatar 73-84 in a close fought clash. The teams traded through the first quarter and at the midway buzzer Qatar held a slender 36-33 lead. Jordan picked up its scoring in the second half and poured 51 points through the nets to stun Qatar and snatch the success.

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