DOHA: Qatar earned their first victory in the second round of FIBA Asia U18 Championship when they overcame Jordan 66-48 at the Al Gharafa Stadium in Doha yesterday.
A day after losing to Korea heavily, the hosts bounced back brilliantly to prevail over their Asian counterparts.
Meanwhile, pushed to a corner at the end of the first half, ten-time – twice defending – gold medallists China surged ahead in the early part of the second and then powered forward for an 81-54 win over twice past silver medallists Korea and take the top place in Second Round Group E yesterday.
China, after today’s rest day, take on Kazakhstan in the quarter-finals while Korea will line up against another East Asian team and traditional rivals Japan.
China certainly looked the better of teams – at least in terms of their organisation in defense – but their offense lacked teeth.
China did a lot of running during this period but just that with most of the offensive plays either intercepted or failing to find the mark.
Korea played well within themselves during these moments managing to hold their own.
Jeon Hyunwoo burnt the netting from downtown to give Korea their first lead midway through the second quarter to keep the team afloat and when he sank a sizzler yet again at the buzzer for the first half to lock the score at 30-all it certainly looked Korea were having China’s measure.
Song Kyochang’s lay-up opened the scoring for the second half, but thereabouts ended any signs of a Korean fight.
Zhou Qi who did not appear for the first quarter at all was at the forefront of a frontal attack as Zhao Rui and Zou Yuchen played the ideal foil to Sun Minghui’s back-court game as China reeled in 14 unanswered points and went on to outscore Korea 29-5 in the third quarter.
Zou Yuchen’s double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds along with Zhou Qi’s missing a double-double by a rebound while scoring 16 points were the stats highlights for China.
Meanwhile in other matches yesterday, Kazakhstan prevailed over Hong Kong 84-51, Japan thrashed Kuwait 86-55 and Iran surpassed Chinese Taipei 74-41 while Philippines edged out Malaysia 72-69 after a tough fight.