Lebanon pulled out the biggest upset in the ABC Championship today when they edged South Korea 75-72 in the semifinal and advanced to the championship game. The inspiring win also means Lebanon is going to the 2002 World Championship in Indianapolis, USA, along with China, which pounded Syria 94-55 in another semi match-up.
Lebanon used their man-to-man defense to contain the Koreans' perimeter shooting successfully, holding slight lead throughout the whole game. Led by Fadi Khatib, who scored 24 points, Lebanon twice overcame the Koreans' furious comeback rallies which cut the deficit to one point. Lebanon PG Toni Fahed also had 23 points.
South Korea center Seo Jang-hoon had 17 points and 12 rebounds but saw his shots blocked three times by Lebanon center Joe Vogel. Choo Seung-gyun scored a team-high 18 points. South Korea head coach Kim Dong-kwang complained about the officiating after the game, claiming one of the refs from middle-east country favored Lebanon.
South Korea lost to Lebanon twice in the previous three match-ups, with the other loss coming from the 1999 ABC Championship. They did rout Lebanon 97-71 in the preliminary round.
Without surprise, China breezed past Syria 94-55 and went to the championship game. China led by as many as 28 points in the second half. 6-6 SG Hu Wei-dong had 20 points while Yao Ming had 17.
Lebanon 75-72 South Korea
China 94-55 Syria
9th-10th Place: Uzbekistan 73-66 UAE
11th-12th Place: Hong Kong 86-72 Kuwait
13th-14th Place: Thailand 100-72 Singapore