NAVOI, Uzbekistan (26th FIBA Asia Championship): Uzbekistan defeated Turkmenistan 82-59 in the only game of the “Stan” division qualifying tournament in Middle Asia and booked their place in the 26th FIBA Asia Championship to be played at Wuhan from Sept 15-25.
Uzbekistan, who had finished 14th in the 25th FIBA Asia Championship at Tianjin in 2009, began the game on a high and raced ahead 22-13 at the end of the first quarter.
A further 22-18 run in the second consolidated their position at the end of first half.
Even after resumption there was no relenting as Uzbekistan ran advantages of 15-11 and 23-17 in the two quarters of the second half.
Aleksandrs to the fore
Aleksandr Kozlov (pic above) led the scoring for Uzbekistan with a game-high 23 points.
Aleksandr Yahin had 14 points as Hurmatjon Nuraliev and Samender Juginisov each contributed 10 points.
Aleksandr Pashkov’s 14 points led Turkmenistan. Maksim Otbozin had a dozen points.
At the 26th FIBA Asia Championship, Uzbekistan will line up against twice defending FIBA Asia champions Iran, GCC champions Qatar and dedicated East Asian team Chinese Taipei in Group B of the Preliminary Round.