The Philippines clinched this year’s William Jones Cup title yesterday with their seventh straight victory, a 80-61 triumph over Egypt, while South Korea staked their claim to second place by defeating Taiwan B 82-65 in the evening game at the Sinjhuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City.
Taiwan A matched South Korea’s 5-2 record when they topped US-Sacramento State 86-71 in the late game, setting up a showdown for second place at 7pm today.
Defending champions Iran salvaged some pride by averting a strong challenge from Japan in a tight 73-65 win in the afternoon.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
Deflated by three consecutive losses to South Korea, Taiwan A and the Philippines, Iran are now looking to finish in the top three and face India on the final day of the tournament.
Represented by Mighty Sports, the Philippines put the game away at the end of a surprisingly close contest when they lit up the board for 28 points in the final quarter, compared with Egypt’s 14 down the stretch.
The dynamic duo of Al Thornton and Dewarick Spencer were too much for their Middle Eastern opponents.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
Thornton, a former NBA player with the Los Angeles Clippers and the Golden State Warriors, dished out a double-double with 20 points and 15 rebounds.
Spencer, whose career has spanned several professional leagues in Europe and Asia, had 19 markers to go with three rebounds.
Point guard Amr Sherif Abdelhalim starred for Egypt, netting a game-high 24 points and pulling down 12 rebounds as his team dropped to a 3-5 record.
South Korea built on their huge 45-21 lead at halftime and coasted the rest of the way to down Taiwan B.
Starters Heo Ung and Lee Seoung-hyun led South Korea with 16 and 11 points respectively.
For the hosts, American import John Florveus had his best day for the national junior squad getting ready for next year’s Summer Universiade.
The center from the University of Georgia Bulldogs took charge, bagging a team-high 17 points and 13 rebounds in a losing effort.
Earlier, Iran went in with a 32-26 lead at halftime and had to fight for every possession against a tenacious Japan to close with an eight-point winning margin.
Iran relied on the steady hands of starting trio Rouzbeh Arghavan, Behnam Yakhchali and Sajjad Mashayekhi, who posted 19, 18 and 15 markers each.
Point guard Yuki Togashi was the bright spot for Japan, making seven-of-11 field goals and going three-for-five three-pointers in his 25-point total.
In related news, Japan advanced to the semi-finals of the FIBA U18 Asia Championship on Friday when they ousted Taiwan 77-71 in the Iranian capital, Tehran.
The hosts gave the home fans plenty to celebrate by edging China 62-59, while South Korea prevailed over the Philippines and Lebanon saw off India in the other quarter-finals.
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