Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Stankovic Cup Day 4 – Robinson’s 36 leads India upset Korea, 81-76

206cm center Sozhasingarayer Robinson scored 36 points, including two game-deciding free-throws with 1.4 seconds remaining to boost the lead to five points, as India pulled out a shocking upset over South Korea 81-76 in the Stankovic Cup tournament.

We don’t have any historical record on hand, but this is probably India’s first win over South Korea in history on every basketball level. And now you know why Robinson got down on his knee and kissed the basketball court after the final buzzer sounded.

India and Korea is both 1-1 in Group A. But because of this key win, India will make the semifinal if Taiwan beat Korea tomorrow.

Robinson totally dominated the Koreans in the game. He scored on dunks, fadaway jumpers, putbacks, finger-rolls, free-throws. Everything. With Korea coming back from a 14-point deficit in the end of third quarter and taking a one-point lead with 1:13 to go, Robinson calmly swished a 14-foot jumper to put India back on top, 77-76. India never gave up the lead after that.

Robinson made sure the Korean All-Stars will remember him for the rest of their lives. He made both free-throws with 1.4 seconds remaining to increasing India’s lead to five points. And the rest is history.

Korea couldn’t buy a basket in the first three quarter. Worst yet, they didn’t have a clue on how to stop Robinson. India led by three in the end of first and five at halftime. India’s opened the second half with an 18-6 run to take the largest lead of the game, 57-40.

Korean College All-Stars finally woke up in the final ten minutes. Cho Sung-min had 14 points, including three back-breaking three-pointers, in a furious 21-3 rally as Korea suddenly changed the momentum and took the lead 69-65 with six minutes to go.

You won’t find any drama in the other matchup though. Syria stomped Philippines 96-65. M.N. Samman led Syria with 27 points. Michael Madanli had 25 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals. 210cm center Wissam Yakoub tallied 10 points, 8 rebounds and three blocks. Brian Ilad’s 16 points and 11 rebounds topped Philippines.

Group A: Taiwan 2-0, India 1-1, Korea 1-1, Kuwait 0-2
Group B: Syria 2-1, Qatar 2-1, Japan 1-1, Philippines 0-2