02 - 08
April 2018
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FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup berths at stake in U16 Asian Championship Quarter-Finals

FOSHAN (FIBA U16 Asia Championship) - It is time for the biggest battles to begin at the FIBA U16 Asia Championship Quarter-Finals, where four spots to the U17 Basketball World Cup are at stake.

Here are the outlooks for each Quarter-Finals matchup:

Iran v New Zealand

This is maybe the toughest one to call if only because New Zealand are so deceptively good, and Iran have not yet faced an opponent of this caliber or size. That's a dangerous proposition for the Iranians, who will undoubtedly lean on the tournament's most efficient player so far, Matin Aghajanpour, for most of their offense. Facing off with him on New Zealand's end will be their own leading scorer, Mitchell Dance, who can probably match Aghajanpour point for point. It may all come down to which team have the better supporting cast, though, and that means the performances of guys like Amirhossein Yazarloo, Seyed Mortazavi, Tom Cowie and Shalom Broughton may tip the scales on either side.

Australia v Korea

Korea will get just 15 hours of reprieve before they plunge back into action against maybe the deepest team in the entire field, Australia. That's the way the ball rolls, though, and the Koreans will have to dig deep into themselves to find the chutzpah needed to stick with the ultra-efficient Crocs, who have been led by relatively unheralded guys like Kobe Williamson, Jay Rantall and the two Lukes - Travers and Jackson. Nothing short of Korea's finest effort will matter in this matchup, and that means big men Moon JeongHyeon and Cha MinSeok have to play solid around the basket while playmakers Lee SeungWoo and Yang JunSeok have to bring their A-game.

Japan v Philippines

For all the things that have gone right for the Japanese so far, this is the one game that has the potential to go disastrously wrong, especially given the Philippines' size. The only way coach Torsten Loibl's wards can counter that, of course, is with their patented speed and shooting. Chikara Tanaka and Keisei Tominaga struggled a bit with their shot against Korea on Day 3, but if they find their range here, that will negate the height of the Philippines' triple towers - Kai Sotto, Geo Chiu and Raven Cortez. The playmaking of Seishin Yokochi and the quickness of Yuki Kawamura will be x-factors as well, and if Philippines guards Mac Guadana, Terrence Fortea and Forthsky Padrigao cannot match up well, then it's lights out for Batang Gilas.

China v Lebanon

The U16 Cedars celebrated like they won the championship when they pulled the rug from under Chinese Taipei, but they will have an even bigger dragon to slay when they face the hosts. China have been untouched in this competition, and though Lebanon have a number of talented and gritty players, the Chinese, at least on paper, loom large for a one-sided outing. Starting center Jiao Boqiao is doubtful for this fixture, but 6ft 8in (2.03m) Aizimaiti Aizimaiti has ably filled that void. Super scorer Sun Haoqin should engage Rayan Zanbaka in an exciting shootout, but there are serious concerns about the Lebanese's ability to match up with the likes of all-arounders Chen Pengyudi, Lu Pengyu and Xierzhati Saimaiti.