The long rebounds off Qatar’s misses also put Japan into transition and allowed them to get quick and effective shots amid its opponent’s scrambled defense.
China is bolstered by their four towers, led by 7-0 forward Yi Jianlian who is the top scorer (18) and rebounder (8) for the Chinese side.
Gilas Pilipinas stood its ground in the face of a relentless Lebanese assault to win, 82-70, in the quarterfinals of the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship late Thursday night at the College of Social Work Dayun gymnasium in Changsha, China. Winning the competition tonight will ensure them of at least a silver medal as well as an entry to the 2016 Olympics.
But the hard-fighting Lebanese refused to back down, encouraged by the unexpected enthusiastic support coming from Chinese fans.
In a do-or-die battle for fourth place in Group F, Lebanon prevailed over Jordan.
Castro led an onslaught in the third and Gilas took command, 54-46, at one point during the period. China, Qatar and South Korea are safe already, with Kazakhstan eliminated. The Iranian squad earned a 94-48 win over Palestine.
Leading by four points in the first quarter at 20-16, the Gilas five never relinquished the advantage even as Lebanon tried to match them point by point in the second canto.
Hamed Haddadi and Asghar Kardoust combined for 29 points and 22 rebounds for Iran.
“Win or go home, we have no choice but to fight”.
Meanwhile, Philippines used their quickness through their backcourt duo Jayson Casto and Terrence Romeo to hit crucial shots, while helped by the efficiency of American naturalized Blatche.
It is the first time after 2003, that the Indian basketball team has reached this far.
Though, China is going to be a tough cookie to crack, India is hoping to avoid the mistakes of its the last game with the Philippines.
Will this year’s edition of the Fiba Asia Championship be another history in the making for Gilas and the Philippines?
Fleet-footed big man Joji Takeuchi remains Japan’s best offensive weapon, but steady production from Takatoshi Furukawa and Yuta Tabuse could spell trouble for the Filipinos.