FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2018 by the numbers
NONTHABURI (FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2018) — The FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2018 came to a wrap when Petrochimi sealed an entertaining win over Alvark Tokyo, 68-64, in the title game. It was a fitting end to the 20-game, 6-day tournament that saw the best clubs of Asia playing against each other for the outright claims as the champion among champions.
Here are some of the interesting numbers behind this year’s FIBA Asia Champions Cup!
6 – Number of FIBA Asia Champions Cup title claimed by clubs from Iran. Petrochimi made history and set a record with their win in the championship game by becoming the 4th claub from Iran to win the tournament. Between the four clubs (which are Saba Battery Tehran, Mahram Tehran, Foolad Mahan Isfahan, and Petrochimi), Iran as a country now has the most FIBA Asia Champions Cup titles with 6 in total. They were previously tied with Lebanon who holds 5 titles. Even more impressively, all 6 FIBA Asia Champions Cup title have come in the past 9 editions of the tournament which emphasizes Iran’s domination in Asian basketball.
1996 – The last year that a club from Japan made it to the FIBA Asia Champions Cup title game. Alvark Tokyo had already made an inspiring run to the finals as the first club from Japan to play in the tournament since 1999 and were just so close to becoming the first to win the entire competition. Though they ended up only as runner-ups in this year’s event, the well-orchestrated play of Alvark throughout the entire tourney should be considered another moment of pride for Japan basketball which has been high on the rise in 2018.
28 – Number of points scored by Meisam Mirzaeitalarposhti and Daiki Tanaka in the FINAL. Both players were on their best forms for their respective teams and their scoring output is recorded as the highest ever in the past 3 championship games. Each player missed only 5 of their total attempted shots, but it was Meisam and Petrochimi that ended out on top.
98.4 – Scoring average of the Mono Vampire Basketball Club. Spearheaded by super-scorers Michael Singletary and Marcus Keene (who coincidentally both averaged 28.2 PPG), the host club became one of the most entertaining teams in the field with their breakneck pace of play and high scoring games. The team’s scoring average led all teams this year and ranks third among all teams in the three past FIBA Asia Champions Cup tournaments, being the one of the only three teams to average at least 95 points per game.
50 – Points scored by Al-Riyadi’s Amir Saoud. It wasn’t the way that the 2017 champions envisioned themselves on the final day of the competition, but they made sure to make their last stand count. Saoud had previously erupted for 30 points against Mono Vampire, but still have more ammo left and went off for 50 against the Liaoning Flying Leopards. The 50-piece ties Sam Young’s record of most points scored in a game in the past three years of FIBA Asia Champions Cup play. It also sets the record for most scored by a non-foreign player.
66.4 – Points Allowed Per Game by Petrochimi. There is nothing more cliché in team sports than the saying “Defense wins championships” and Petrochimi proved just that by locking down every single opponent they faced. Even as their offenses struggled from time to time, they were still able to pull through with their stifling defensive efforts.
3 – Games in the final day decided by less than 5 points. The final day of the FIBA Asia Champions Cup meant the last chance for teams to make an impression and nearly every team came out swinging against their opponents, putting it all out on the floor. Of the 4 games played to decide the final standings, three games were decided by at least 4 points with each contest going down to the wire. The Mono Vampire rallied a huge comeback that was completed with a last second three-pointer by Keene to win 97-96. The SK Knights held on with clutch shooting to fend off the feisty Meralco Bolts, 91-87. And, of course, Petrochimi had to lock it down on defense to ward off a final push by Alvark Tokyo in the title game. It was a perfect and entertaining way to end the tournament on a high note for viewing fans.