Halfway thru the tournament, things started to get interesting. After two upsets, top-heavy Jones Cup standing became a long-jam. Philippines and Samara are no more undefeated as Taiwan NT upset Russia-Samara 68-66 while Philippines was shocked 76-80 by AIS -- basically a junior team.
Under the single round robin format, USA-Passing Lane is now officially the one and only favorite.
With a little help from the refs (so-called homecourt advantage, isn't it?) and redhot shooting of Chang Chih-feng and Yang Yu-min, Taiwan NT came away with an important win. Taiwan NT deserved credit for their defensive intensity for the whole 40 minutes. However the outcome wasn't set before Samara missed two potential winning three-pointers in the last 8 seconds.
Philippines' loss was a shock. Steve Weigh of AIS knocked down a game-deciding three-pointer with 35.4 seconds left to increased the lead to five points.
Coming off a four-game losing streak, AIS didn't lay down and die versus the PBA All-Stars. On contrary, Philippines doesn't look like a team who won four straight. Philippines' head was never in the game until the final five minutes. Their 24 turnovers hurt even more.
The Passing Lane-Korea game became a three-point shootout as both teams shot over 40% from three. Passing Lane made 14 three-pointers while Koreans made 15. But Passing Lane dominated the paint just like the previous four games. For the frist time in the tourney, Korea's defense looked helpless.
Kazakhstan 100-78 Japan (50-45)
Kazakhstan: A. Shpht 33p+5rb, R. Gulyazutdinov 21p+12rb, R. Yargavliev 16p+8rb, I Nechaev 12p
Japan: K. Nakagawa 21p+6rb, A. Ota 16p, T. Ito 14p, T. Onishi 13p+7rb
Qatar 108-64 India (42-32)
Qatar: Daoud 21p+7rb, Abdulrahman 20p, M. Salaheldin 17p, E.A. Saeed 13p
India: Sridhar 18p, T. Singh 16p
Australia-AIS 80-76 Philippines (38-39)
AIS: R. Kersten 21p, P. Mills 14p, A. Baynes 13p, S. Weigh 10p
Philippines: R. Adducul 15p+7rb, A. Taulava 14p, A. Helterbrand 14p, A. Dela Cruz 11p
USA-Passing Lane 110-88 Korea (56-50)
Passing Lane: T. Johnson 29p+5rb+4a, S. Bradford 22p+6rb, M. Douthit 19p, B. Walker 12p
Korea: Julian Kim 19p+11rb, Lee Kwang-Jae 19p, No Kyoung-Suk 17p