Friday, November 26, 2004

Stankovic Cup Day 6 – Korea, Qatar win semi, will meet in final game

In the most important game of the tournament, Taiwan NT didn’t play like a home team. They didn’t even play like a TEAM at all. Qatar outscored Taiwan 41-26 in the second half and came up with a convincing 71-49 victory in the semi final of the Stankovic Cup tournament. Qatar will meet Korea, which beat Syria 88-82 in the other semi final, in the championship game.

In a tournament full of surprises, it’s not really a surprise anymore that both second-place teams in the group advance to the championship game while two group winners meet for third-place.

19-year-old phenom S. Abdulrahman Ali tallied 18 points and 14 rebounds. He scored seven straight points in the start of the fourth quarter to increase Qatar’s lead from nine to 16 points (46-30). With its height advantage, Qatar dominated the paint as star forward Y. I. Mousa had 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Both teams struggled to put the ball in the basket in the first three quarters. Six minutes into the game, Qatar led by 7-3. In the end of the first period it was 15-8, Qatar. Thee score was 30-23 Qatar at halftime.

Taiwan NT looked like a group of lost souls in the whole game. For the second consecutive night, they had a hard time to score. Taiwan NT also had trouble containing Qatar’s power frontline downlow. Team leading scorer Chen Hsin-an had only five before the intermission.

The only HIGHLIGHT for Taiwan in the game was in the fourth quarter, Lin Chi-jay and Tien Lei made three consecutive threes to pull within 49-39. But Qatar kept their composure, oce again pulling away with a 22-10 closing run.

In the other semi final, Syria jumpstarted the game with its efficient half-court game to lead 31-17 with 7:30 to go in the second quarter. But Korea, with its starting PG Kim Tae-sul out of the game due to ankle injury, picked up their outside shooting and cut the deficit to 44-41 at halftime.

Syria lost its heart and soul Michel Madanli, who hurt his ankle and sat out the second half. Faciing a 21-46 rebounding disadvantage, Korea shot an astonishing 14 of 34 (41%) on three-pointers to be in front the rest of the way and made it to the championship game.

■Final Day Schedule
Championship: Korea vs. Qatar
Third-place: Taiwan vs. Syria
5/6: Japan vs. India
7/8: Kuwait vs. Philippines

■Day 6 Game Summary
Qatar 71-48 Taiwan (Half 30-23)
Qatar - S.Abdulraman Ali 18p+14rb, Y.I. Mousa 13p+13rb, Ali Turki Ali 13p
Taiwan - Tien Lei 17p+6rb, Chou Shi-yuan 14p, Chen Hsin-an 5p+5rb, Tsun Wen-din 2p+9rb+5blk

Korea 88-82 Syria (Half 42-44)
Korea - Lee Kwan-jae 22p, Cho Sung-min 18p, Kang Eun-sik 17p, Kim Dong-uk 12p
Syria - M. Samman 16p, M. Madanli 13p+12rb. R. Hasaballah 14p+8rb,O. Madani 13p+7rb

Japan 61-48 Kuwait (Half 35-24)
Japan - T. Amino 15p+12rb, K. Takeuchi 11p+15rb, S. Furuta 10p+7rb
Kuwait - O. Mubarak 24p

India 111-93 Philippines (Half 52-36)
India - S. Kumar 25p+6rb, S. Sridhar 23p+8rb, S. Robinson 18p+12rb+4a, M. Ahmed 14p+7rb
Philippines - B. Reroma 24p, R. Ricafuente 17p, E. Merelos 17p