Round: Semi Finals
Date: 15 August 2009
City/Arena: Tianjin City / Tianjin Gym
|Points in the Paint:||17||14|
|12||L. WANG||Did not play|
|15||F. DU||Did not play|
|8||O. EL TURK||2||0/1||0||0/1||0||0/0||0||0/0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|11||R. AKL||Did not play|
|12||D. FARIS||Did not play|
|15||F. EL KHATIB||26||1/6||16.7||1/3||33.3||0/3||0||0/0||0||0||2||2||1||3||1||1||0||2|
|Min||Minutes played||Tot||Total rebounds||BS||Block Shots|
|%||Shooting percentage||PF||Personal fouls||*||Starters|
TIANJIN (FIBA Asia Championship) - Hosts China and last edition’s silver medalists Lebanon uncorked some scintillating moments before the former emerged the better in the second semifinal by a wafer-thin 72-68 margin on Saturday.
China, who thus made the final after finishing 10th in the 2007 FIBA Asia Championship in Tokushima, joined Iran on the road to the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey.
China, 14-time gold medalists in the Championship, will attempt to dethrone defending champions Iran in the final on Sunday.
Lebanon, failed to make the final for the first time in three FIBA Asia Championships having lost to China and Iran in the 2005 and 2007 respectively.
They, however, have another chance to qualify for the 2010 FIBA World Championship when they play against Jordan in the bronze medal play-off on Sunday.
Both the coaches understandably sounded exhausted after the game.
“It was a tough game,” China’s Guo Shiqiang echoed Lebanon’s Dragan Raca.
“After all it’s one step before the final. It ought to be tight,” they said.
Hu Xuefeng converted two of the three free-throws, when the referee called a foul on Rony Fahed, to give China a marginal 70-68 lead with 0:42 seconds left on the clock.
Brian Feghali’s three-pointer attempt bounced off the rim and when Fadi El Khatib fouled Yi Jianlian to save time, the latter converted twice from the foul-line to take China to safety.
Lebanon did begin aggressively racing ahead 9-2 in the first five minutes of the game.
And when Wang Zhizhi leveled the scores at 14, for the first time for China, Jackson Vroman converted both his free-throws and Fadi El Khatib shot from the paint to give Lebanon a 18-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Lebanon kept their noses ahead in the second quarter and Vroman managed to put them back in lead when Yi leveled the scores at 31-31.
China went into the lead for the first time in the game only at the stroke of the second quarter buzzer when Liu Wei scored in the paint.
Yi Jianlian had just earlier leveled the scores with his trademark dunk.
Incidentally, that was only the third time China had leveled the scores in the entire first half.
And when the second half began, Wang Shipeng who had drawn a blank during his 13:31 presence on the court in the first half reeled in the first nine points and China were comfortably ahead 44-33.
Lebanon did fight back closing in the gap and went ahead marginally midway through the fourth quarter and kept pegging on their rivals’ heels.
And that foul in the dying moments proved their undoing.
Jackson Vroman led the game in scoring with 21 points, in a 56% field record (9/16), and collected 10 rebounds.
No other Lebanese crossed double-figures.
The only other Lebanese to convert at least half his scoring attempts was Ali Mahmoud who got all of two shots at the goal.
Wang Zhizhi was China’s leading scorer with 20 points, 12 of them in the second half. China’s first NBA export also collected a team-high nine rebounds.
Yi Jianlian converted six of his 10 attempts in two pointers and returned 18 points.
ll Watch highlights of the game at FIBATV.com now - click here
|Schedule / Results||Standings||Teams||News / Photos||Event Guide|
|Full schedule||Group Standings||Group A||Group B||News||Key Facts|
|System of Competition||JAP, KOR||IRI, KUW||Interviews||Overview|
|FIBA ranking||PHI, SRI||TPE, UZB||Press Releases
||Road to Turkey
|Group C||Group D||Photos||Clean Game
|CHN, IND||INA, JOR||All Time Medalists|
|KAZ, QAT||LIB, UAE||TV broadcasters|