QF1: (F2) Ch. Taipei Vs. (E3) Japan
QF2: (E1) China Vs. (F4) Saudi Arabia
QF3: (E2) Korea Vs. (F3) Philippines
QF4: (E4) Lebanon Vs. (F1) Iran
SF1: Winners of QF1 Vs. Winners of QF2
SF2: Winners of QF3 Vs. Winners of QF4
ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia (22nd FIBA Asia U18 Championship): Japan needed a win to qualify for the quarterfinals and win big to finish No 3 in their Wednesday’s Group E Second Round game against Lebanon. And the boys from the Land of the Rising Sun did exactly just that winning 94-82 (Box scores) to book a quarterfinal clash against fellow East Asian team Chinese Taipei.
Syria later in the day won 67-59 (Box scores) against India to bring the curtain down on the round robin stages of the competition. Syria thus tied with Lebanon and Japan at 2-3 in win-loss in Group E, but lost out on goal average tie-breaker.
The play-offs stage begins on Friday after Thursday’s rest day.
Masahiro Narita (pic above) returned a sterling performance with 26 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals to lead Japan’s win.
Yuta Watanabe was his usual composed self with 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Shuto Terazono had another double-double – 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Yudai Baba missed a double-double by one rebound scoring 18 points.
Lebanon had Jimmy Salem leading their scoring with 15 points with Wael Arakji and Ali Mezher each adding a dozen points before the former was disqualified for two unsportsmanlike fouls.
“The boys were aware of the situation and rose to the occasion,” gushed Japan coach Sato Hisao.
“The point was we needed our starters to get into rhythm. Once we achieved that I knew we didn’t have to worry about anything,” he added.
Hisao used Yusei Sugiura for less than even three minutes.
“I was holding him back in case we needed a late charge,” Hisao said.
“Overall I am quite satisfied the way the boys have done in the last two games,” he added.
Lebanon coach Salim Chemali’s position – and expression of words – were obviously diametrically opposite.
“Our defense just didn’t work at all in the first half. We were very scattered throughout,” Chemali said.