5 Takeaways from the semifinals of the FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2018
NONTHABURI (FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2018) — After 4 exciting days of basketball at the FIBA Asia Champions Cup, we finally have a matchup for the championship game which will be between Alvark Tokyo from Japan and Petrochimi from Iran! Let’s take a look one more time at the events of the semifinals and see what we can expect up ahead.
Here are the 5 takeaways from the semifinals of the FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2018!
Breakthrough for Petrochimi
After two straight years of getting knocked out of the semifinals round by the eventual FIBA Asia Champions Cup champions, Petrochimi were now able to breakthrough to the title game on their own. They have been displaying how determined and how much they wanted to win it all this year and it showed against the Meralco Bolts in the semifinals showdown.
Despite a sluggish shooting start in the first half, the team trusted in it’s shooters (especially Benham Yakhchali) and it paid off with those timely threes creating the difference the team needed to win.
Fans of Iran basketball and Arsalan Kazemi already know his game, but it’s still a marvel to watch how much the 28-year-old can impact a game while caring so little to get his own points. Kazemi has been dominating the boards with 12.0 rebounds (4th overall) in addition to his stellar defense which makes him one of the most important player on this finalist squad despite averaging the least amount of points on the team at 4.8 PPG.
Alvark Tokyo will have plenty of offensive options to throw at Petrochimi which will be a great final test for Kazemi’s defensive prowess at this competition.
Sharing is caring
There is no way to talk about Alvark Tokyo without mention how well their floor game has been. Coach Luka Pavicevic’s club leads the tournament in assist rate with 66.1% of their field goals being assisted. They also have the highest assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.0 and to top it all off, they are tied for the highest field goal shooting percentage at 48.8%.
This makes them the most accurate shooting team who gets their shots off assists and barely turns the ball over. All of that seems pretty good and makes it no surprise that they are playing in the championship game.
Baba-boom energy off the bench
Yudai Baba has been doing just what he does and it’s just been so fun to watch. Whenever he takes the court, he seems to be unleashed and explodes on unlimited energy in his every move. Baba is averaging 10.0 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 2.3 APG, and 2.0 BPG (?!) off the bench which seems like starter-level numbers but he seems to be relishing in his current role.
Alvark will need even more of his energy going up against a physical Petrochimi team in the finals and fans can be sure that they will enjoy watching him do so.
Records will be broken
One way or the other, a record will be broken when the final buzzer of the championship game sounds. Petrochimi has already broken through to their first ever FIBA Asia Champions Cup finals appearance but if they should win it all, it will be the 6th time a club from Iran wins the title. This will make Iran the country with the most FIBA Asia Champions Cup title, edging out Lebanon who also currently has 5.
On the other end, Alvark Tokyo will also shatter a record should they beat Petrochimi in the final game. They are already the first team from Japan since 1999 to play in the FIBA Asia Champions Cup and first since 1996 to play in the finals. However, if they win it all, they will be the first club ever in Japanese basketball history to win the title of this event.
With so much at stake, the FIBA Asia Champions Cup finals is a must-watch for all Asian basketball fans.