Thu, Jul 28, 2016 - Page 16 News List

South Korea upset Iran in William Jones Cup battle

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Philippines-Mighty Sport’s Dewarick Spencer, center, drives to the basket in their William Jones Cup match against Japan at the Sinjhuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City yesterday.

Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Tiapei Times

South Korea produced their best performance of the 38th William Jones Cup so far, defeating titleholders Iran 67-50 in a big upset yesterday, while Philippines-Mighty Sports notched another victory to sit atop the standings with four wins and no losses.

Playing to their strengths, South Korea took the game to their opponents from the start with a fast pace and plenty of quick breaks.

They went in at halftime with a 33-22 lead and Iran’s starters could not keep up with South Korea’s speedy transitions as the lead gradually widened in the second half.

Starter Kim Sun-hyung and bench forwards Heo Il-young and Kim Jun-yi found their shooting range as they combined for 40 points.

South Korea starting center Lee Seoung-hyun had a scintillating day, anchoring the defense and directing traffic in the lane.

Lee contributed eight points, six rebounds and four assists.

South Korea had the defense shadowing high-scoring Iran guard Behnam Yakhchali throughout.

Despite the extra attention, Yakhchali found enough space to score 13 points, making three-for-six with his trademark three-pointers.

However, the defense had him locked down in the final stretch and he was held scoreless in the fourth quarter.

The upset cleared the way to the No. 1 position for Philippines-Mighty Sports, who took full advantage by crushing Japan 87-66.

Four players scored in double digits, led by Zachary Graham, who nailed 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists.

Senegalese starting center Hamady N’Diaye, playing for Mighty Sports, impressed with another dominating display. He recorded eight points and 10 rebounds.

Local reports have linked N’Diaye to the Super Basketball League after the big man’s performances at the tournament.

Japan forward Nishikawa Takanobu top scored for the losers with 15 points, while starter Yuki Mitsuhara hit a double-double, with 10 rebounds and 10 points.

The Philippines gave Japan no chance from the tip-off, sinking 28 points in the first quarter on their way to a 50-21 lead at halftime.

They eased off after the intermission, scoring 37 points in the second half for a 21-point final margin.

In the early afternoon contest, Egypt marched to their second win with a 79-67 triumph over India, who have yet to taste victory in the competition.

Starting guard Amr Sherif Abdelhalim and Ibrahim El Gammal had 19 and 16 points respectively in a big scoring haul for Egypt, with three other teammates also hitting double-digits for hoops.

In yesterday’s late game, US-Sacramento State thrashed Taiwan B 81-60.

Today’s games see Philippines-Mighty Sports looking to consolidate their position on top against India at 1pm, US-Sacramento State taking on Egypt at 3pm, Taiwan B Team hosting Japan at 5pm and Taiwan A playing Iran at 7pm.

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