Monday, July 09, 2007

Jones Cup Day 8: Jordan clinches Jones Cup title

Chen Hsin-an

-- Jordan 72-71 Iran

The Asian Championship is still three weeks away, but Jordan will convince itself that it was ready for the challenge.

Jordan closed out the game with a 27-17 rally in the 4th quarter to upset Iran 72-71 and avenged the loss to Iran in the bronze medal game of the Doha Asian Game last year. With the win, Jordan clinched its first ever Jones Cup title with a 7-1 record with one game to play.

Zaid Al Khas scored six of his nine points in the final minute, when he sank a three with 52 seconds to tie the score at 69 all and, after Iran's Hamed Hadadi made a pair of free-throws, dropped another go-ahead three with 17.6 seconds left to make the final score 72-71.

JOR: R. Wright 25p, O. Daghles 16p+7rb, Z. Al Khas 9p
IRN: M.S. Nikkah Bahrami 14p+6rb, H. Hadadi 13p

-- Taiwan 83-72 AIA

Surprisingly, Taiwan NT played its best game in the tournament without the service of bigmen Tien Lei and Tsun Wen-din. The home team made 14 treys and led from start to finish in the win over Athletes in Action 83-72 Monday night.

Taiwan led 21-14 after the first quarter. Lin Chih-jay was 4 for 4 from the three-point land in the second quarter and helped Taiwan increase the lead to 43-30 at the half.

Chen Hsin-an, who has been very quiet in the tournament, then single-handedly took over the third quarter when he made four consecutive threes to boost the score to 65-51.

Wu Dai-hao stepped up his game and filled up the void left by Tsun and Tien, scoring 22 points on 10 for 18 shooting to go with two blocks and 8 boards.

TWN: Wu Dai-hao 22p(10-17 FG)+8rb+4a+2blk, Chen Hsin-an 20p(5-9 3PT), Lin Chih-jay 19p(5-8 3PT)+8rb
AIA: C. Hammonds 14p, R. Rawlings 14p+9rb, B. Asbury 13p, A. Ruoff 12p

-- Philippines 88-80 Qatar

Chot Reyes became the first head coach to be ejected in the Jones Cup in the past 10 years but his boys didn't let him down. Philippines withheld Qatar's furious rally and secured a 88-80 win to boost its record to 5 wins and 3 losses.

Reyes received two technical fouls for his protest and was ejected with 30.4 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Qatar seized the moment for a 5-0 run to cut the deficit down 8 points, 62-54.

But Philippines didn't panic as it enjoyed a double-digit lead for most of the final quarter before Qatar made the final push. With one minute left Qatar once again rallied and stayed close with 85-80. Kirby Raymundo and Kelly Williams then calmly made three of four free-throw to seal the victory.

PHI: M. Caguioa 14p, D. Hontiveros 13p, K. Williams 13p
QAT: Yasseen Ismail Musa 19p+7rb, E.A. Saeed 19p+12rb, O.A. Salem 14p+14rb

-- South Korea 81-78 Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan was ready to pull off one of the biggest upset in the tournament before Korean finally woke up and took advantage with their experience. South Korea ignited a 27-18 run in the final quarter to spoil the game for Kazakhstan. The final score was 81-78, South Korea.

However, the outcome was not decided before a controversial technical foul with less than a minute to play. Kazahstan head coach Vitaliy Strebkov was assessed a technical by Taiwanese referee Hsu Teh-jun for his protest with 38.9 seconds left and the score tied at 77 all.

South Korea received two free-throws plus a possession and scored three points to shake off the Kazakhs. Anton Ponomarev failed to covert his desperation three-pointer at the final buzzer.

Kazakhstan was also whistle for a technical with 2:42 left to play.

KOR: Ha Seung-jin 14p, Yang Hee-jong 14p, Kim Joo-sung 12p, Yang Dong-guen 12p, Kim Dong-woo 11p, Kim Min-soo 10p
KAZ: A. Ponomarev 23p+7rb, Korovnikov 23p+6rb, A. Tyutyunik 11p

-- Lebanon 82-74 Japan

Lebanon took advantage of its height and experience in the game and led by as many as 20 points for an easy win. Japan was outrebounded 55-26.

LIB: Fadi Khatib 25p+9rb+6a
JAP: Y. Okada 23p, S. Kikuchi 17p

-- Standing
Jordan 7-1
AIA 5-3
Lebanon 5-3
Philippines 5-3
Taiwan 5-3
Iran 4-4
South Korea 4-4
Qatar 3-5
Kazakhstan 1-7
Japan 1-7