Game Photos. Game Details and Stats
TOKYO, Japan (4th FIBA Asia Cup): With their ambassador in Japan H.E Yousef Bilal cheering on, Qatar’s seasoned roster defied its ageing limbs and aching bones to show some vintage magic that caught Philippines completely napping and won 79-63 in the bronze medal play-off in the 4th FIBA Asia Cup on Saturday.
For the GCC champions, it was a repeat of their bronze medal success from two years ago, having beaten Philippines at the similar stage at the 3rd FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup, as it was called then, at Beirut (Lebanon) in 2010. For Qatar coach Tom Wisman, though it was a matter of a consolation medal – the genial American having been at the helm of Japan’s silver-medal at Beirut two years ago.
Now, the game was one between a line-up that was solid on experience good enough to cover up their inadequacies in speed against an enthusiastic team that was more error-prone than efficient.
“Looks like we can pull off some magic too,” Wisman looking obviously relieved.
Mohammed Yousuf Mohammed stood as a standing example for Qatar’s resilience to hold – firing in a three-pointer from almost half-court and then executive a clean block on Jeffrie Chan moments later all after having spearheaded the GCC team’s campaign for almost three quarters despite his 30-years of age.
Naturalized guard Trey Johnson delivered what was expected of him, but most of the credit for the win went to veteran duo Omar Salem and Khaklid Abdi who did a superb job of nipping the Filipino speed, thus making amends for the absence of their long-time mate Yasseen Ismail, who was yet to recover from his strained hamstring.
Philippines coach Chot Reyes might have felt a little short changed on fortune with his naturalized center Marcus Douthit struggling to cope with a painful left ankle, which he had injured towards the end of the second quarter.
The Syracuse alumnus who was has been a crucial factor in compensating for the lack of size otherwise had 17 points and 9 rebounds, but was a poor shadow of his normal solid self.
“It’s very painful. Killing me,” Douthit said after strving his way through the second half.
Reyes was as vociferous as ever – sometimes with expletives – in showing his frustration at the inadequate shooting rate of his team.
“It was like we were firing guns without bullets,” Reyes said.
Wisman paid tribute to the character of the team terming his roster a “team of pride.”
“This team was playing for the pride of the State of Qatar. They wanted to go back home and hand the Qatar Olympic Committee a medal in appreciation of all the support,” he added.