DOHA: Qatar salvaged some pride and finished with an 84-75 victory over Kuwait at the Al Gharafa yesterday but failed to make it to the final four of the 23rd FIBA Asia U18 Championship.
The semi-final berths were booked by the tournament’s traditional power houses Korea, China, Chinese Taipei and Iran — who completed the final line-up yesterday with a characteristically comprehensive win, their sixth in as many games in the competition, against minnows Malaysia.
Iran, the bronze medallists at the 22nd FIBA Asia U18 Championship, will now take on the silver medalists of the last two editions of the tournament, Korea, in a repeat clash of their meeting at the same level two years ago.
China, who hold the record of 10 gold medals in the FIBA Asia U18 Championship, including the last two editions, take on Chinese Taipei in the other semi-final.
Much like Gharafa SC, who under coach Koussay Hatem won all the three titles of the season, teams going into Wednesday’s play-offs game need good temperament to succeed.
Now that these four teams have actually made it to this stage – where all the teams claim they expected to be – the reality of the competitiveness also beckons them.
The medalists in Doha will earn the right to represent FIBA Asia at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship to be played at Crete, Greece.