Sunday, October 13, 2002

Asian Games - Korea to meet China in long-awaited final

Veteran PG Lee Sang-min calmly sank the go-ahead three-pointer at the buzzer as South Korea escaped with an inspiring 69-68 win over Philippines in the semifinal of 2002 Pusan Asian Games on Oct. 12. China cruised past Kazakhstan, 131-62, as expected and will meet the Koreans in the final tomorrow (Oct. 14).

Trailing most of the game, Philippines pulled ahead, 68-66, in the final minute after PG Rodericko Racela's consecutive three-pointers. South Korea intentionally fouled Racela on Philippines' last possession and got the ball back after Racela bricked both of his free-throw attempts under pressure and an unbelievable noise from the home crowds.

Lee Sang-min, who missed his previous three three-point tries, seized the moment and stunned the Filipinos with his buzzer-beating three-point shot. Korean players and home crowds all went crazy, hugging each other.

Upset at the semifinal loss, Philippines lost another heart-breaking game today as they lost 66-68 to Kazakhstan and failed to take home the bronze medal.

In the 5th-place game, Japan couldn't find any offense besides Michael Takahashi, who had a game-high 22 points, and Takehiko Orimo, who had 17. Japan lost to North Korea, 65-74, and finished 6th-place in the tournament.

Oct. 13
#Kazakhstan 68-66 Philippines (Half 37-37)
KAZ - V. Strebkov 30p, Y. Issakov 16p+9rb ; PHI - J. Cariaso 18p, E. Menk 13p+14rb, P. Taulava 15p+17rb

#DPR Korea 74-65 Japan (Half 43-30)
PRK - Pak Chon-jong 22p, Pak In-chol 18p+7rb, Ri Myong-hun 11p+8rb ; JPN - M. Takahashi 22p+8rb, T. Orimo 16p+5a, T. Shinohara 10p+9rb

Oct. 12 - Semifinal
#South Korea 69-68 Philippines (Half 36-34)
KOR - Moon Kyung-eun 18p(4-6 3PT), Lee Sang-min 15p, Seo Jang-hoon 14p+8rb ; PHI - R. Racela 14p, K. Duremdes 12p, Castillo 12p, E. Menk 2p+12rb, P. Taulava 8p+10rb

#China 131-62 Kazakhstan (Half 64-39)
CHN - Lee Nan 24p+7rb, Yao Ming 19p+7rb, Liu Yu-dong 16p, Zhu Fang-yu 14p+6rb, Menk Bateer 13p+9rb ; KAZ - Y. Issakov 16p, M. Dedov 15p