Hosts South Korea finish with perfect record to claim gold

By Paul Huang  /  Contributing reporter

Wed, May 22, 2013 - Page 20

Favorites South Korea took home the gold medal with a 79-68 win over China in the final of this year’s East Asia Basketball Association Championship in Incheon, South Korea, last night to close out the competition with a perfect 5-0 record.

The hosts made the most of home-court advantage by scoring early and often to claim a 19-13 lead by the end of the first quarter, before an evenly fought second that saw China fight back to keep the deficit at seven at 43-36 at halftime.

China would reduce the deficit further when Duan Jiangpeng came off the bench to score seven points in the third quarter to give South Korea a scare heading into the final quarter, but that was as close as they got as the hosts held China to a game-low 12 points in the final quarter by virtue of a tough ball-denying defense to keep the victory intact.

Japan 87, Hong Kong 71

Japan easily handled Hong Kong in the bronze medal game in Incheon yesterday afternoon, winning by a sizeable margin to settle for a third-place bronze medal finish in this year’s competition.

Kosuke Kanamaru and Kosuke Takeuchi combined to score 50 points for the land of the Samurai as they opened the game with a slim 19-18 advantage after the first quarter of play and steadily added to their lead over the next three quarters en route to an impressive victory.

Yi Ting Lo’s game-high 31 points for Hong Kong was the lone highlight for the underdogs in a game in which they were out-rebounded by Japan 45 to 27.