Defending champions Iran showed no sign of letting up by defeating Egypt 74-65, while Philippines-Mighty Sports secured an impressive 88-69 victory over US-Sacramento State on Day 4 of the William Jones Cup at New Taipei City’s Sinjhuang Gymnasium yesterday.
Dominating the trench battle under the hoop, Iran’s 2.13m-tall center Rouzbeh Arghavan led his team with 24 points and nine rebounds, while Rasoul Mozafarivanani and Vahid Dalirzahan came off the bench to contribute 18 and 10 points respectively.
Egypt gave last year’s Jones Cup winners an early scare by going in front 22-17 in the first quarter, but Iran fought back to grab a one-point lead at half-time with the score at 40-39.
Photo: Huang Yao-cheng
Arghavan’s hustling and strong team defense paid off as Iran went on a 19-5 run in the third quarter, but a tenacious Egypt team made their own stand to come within five points in the fourth quarter.
In the end, Arghavan was the hero when, with the outcome still in doubt, he drained a long-range three-pointer in the final minutes to help his team pull away for a 74-65 triumph.
Egypt’s shooting guards Mouhanad Elsabagh and Amr Sherif Abdelhalim netted 17 points each, despite being on the losing end, but Egypt’s team spirit is likely to pose a serious threat for their upcoming opponents.
Photo: Huang Yao-cheng
Philippines-Mighty Sports joined Iran atop the standings, with three wins each, by securing victory over US-Sacramento State by 19 points.
Four Philippines players hit double-digit scores, led by point guard Dewarick Spencer and center Vernon Macklin, with both scoring 14 points each.
It was a closely fought contest in the first quarter, with the score level at 23-23, but the Philippines outpaced the US side to pile up 31 points in the second quarter and lead 54-35 at halftime — a lead they did not relinquish.
Forward Grant Dressler scored 16 points and Taiwanese-American Jeff Wu scored 13 for US-Sacramento State in their 88-69 defeat to the Philippines.
South Korea claimed their second win by thrashing India 97-55 in a one-sided affair.
Heo Ung and Kang Sangjae scored 19 points and 15 points respectively to help South Koreans cruise to victory.
The Indian team appeared tired from Monday night’s tense battle against Taiwan Team A, in which they were tied at 66-66 and went into overtime. The hosts scored 10 points to India’s four in overtime to secure a 76-70 triumph.
In the domestic derby game last night, Taiwan B Team, the youth squad preparing for next year’s Summer Universiade, were having the better of their seniors and were leading 71-63 in the fourth quarter, before Taiwanese-American Douglas Creighton came off the bench to net a three-pointer and tie the game at 80-80 in the final minute of the game.
However, Creighton turned from hero to villain a few seconds later, when he fouled Taiwan B Team forward Huang Tsung-han. Referee awarded Huang three free-throws, of which he sank only one, but it was still enough for his side to edge Taiwan A Team by 81-80 in what fans called the most exciting game of the tournament so far.
Results from Monday saw Japan downing Egypt 71-66, while Iran rolled over US-Sacramento State 70-59 and the Philippines-Mighty Sport prevailed over South Korea 86-65.
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