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06/06/2017
Review
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Korea and Chinese Taipei upset rivals in EABA Championship 2017 Semi-Finals!

NAGANO (EABA Championship 2017) - Korea and Chinese Taipei notched giant-sized upsets as they eliminated erstwhile unbeaten teams China and Japan respectively at the Semi-Finals of the EABA Championship 2017.

The day's first game actually saw Hong Kong formalize their qualification to the FIBA Asia Cup 2017 and FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Asia Qualifiers by disposing of Macau, 96-81. The Hong Kongers played a tight first period against Macau before they broke the game open by outscoring their foes, 29-9, in the second quarter. It was all Hong Kong from there as they successfully punched their tickets to Beirut, Lebanon in August.

Done. See you in Lebanon @nikehkg #睇我啦 #HongKongBasketballTeam #NikeBasketball

A post shared by Duncan Reid 惠龍兒 (@duncanreid33) on

Duncan Reid towered over the competition here, scoring 14 points and grabbing 9 rebounds, while Leung Shiu Wah exploded for 19 points on 7-of-9 field goal shooting. Veterans Fong Shing Yee and Wong Chun Wai also shone with 13 and 14 points respectively. As for Macau, they were paced by the combined 47 points of Un Kam Chi and Lai Ka Tong.

The upsets started in the second game, where Korea outlasted China in overtime, 106-104. Korea seemed well in control of the game after leading at the half, 45-36, but China mounted a big comeback in the second half, with Sun Minghui's jumper forcing overtime. The fierce rivals traded baskets in the extra frame before Jeon JunBeom's game-winner and Zhao Yanhao's last second miss sealed the deal.

 

Big men Hu Jinqiu of China and Lee JongHyun of Korea had a memorable face-off here. Hu ended up with 17 points, 18 rebounds and 4 assists, while Lee countered with 20 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 7 huge blocked shots. Lee also got help from veteran sniper Heo IlYoung, who sank 6 three-pointers on his way to 22 points, while Jeon recorded a total of 21 points on the strength of 5 triples. As a team, Korea caught fire from beyond the arc, hitting 19 three-point shots total.

Korea beat rivals China 106-104 AOT in the first Semi-Final Game

Things unraveled for hosts Japan in the day's final matchup, too, after they fell short against Chinese Taipei, 78-73. The Akatsuki Five just had no answer for naturalized player Quincy Davis, who erupted for 29 points and 17 rebounds. Davis powered his way inside the paint and neither the Takeuchi twins nor Ira Demon Brown could do anything to slow him down.

Davis got ample help from SBL star players Chou Yi-Hsiang and Chiang Yu-An, who scored 10 points apiece. Taipei really pounded the ball inside to Davis, who shot 59% from the field. The victors also ruled the battle of the boards, 46-31, which offset their anemic outside shooting. Coach Chou Chun-San's wards made only 2 of their 8 attempts from three-point land.

As for Japan, they tried to rally in the final period, but they just could mount a big enough run to overhaul their deficit. Makoto Hiejima continued his strong play with 20 points on 8-of-13 field goal shooting, while Daiki Tanaka added 13 points. Brown, Japan's naturalized player, struggled here, shooting 4-of-10 from the field and turning the ball over 5 times.

These results push both Korea and Chinese Taipei into an unlikely meeting in the Final, while China and Japan collide for 3rd place. Korea, therefore, have a chance to register a 4-peat in the competition's history as they won the previous three editions.


RESULTS:

Hong Kong beat Macau, 96-81

Korea beat China, 106-104

Chinese Taipei beat Japan, 78-73


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