10 - 16
July 2023
Iran v Hong Kong
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For promotion: Philippines, Iran set up Division B Final showdown

AMMAN (Jordan) - The Philippines and Iran will slug it out for the right to ascend to the top level as the two set up a showdown in the FIBA U16 Women's Asian Championship 2023-Division B Final after putting out their respective foes in the Semis, Saturday at the Prince Hamza Sport Hall.

Closer to redemption

Gilas Women were the first to secure their ticket to Sunday's Big Dance after beating Malaysia, 79-44, to move a win away from settling some unfinished business.

Returning guard Ava Fajardo showed assertiveness in pulling the Philippines closer to completing their redemption tour after bowing out of the Semis last year, finishing with 20 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals for a 27.0 efficiency rating for her best outing to date.

The 15-year-old playmaker helped lead the second-quarter turnaround, which saw the squad open it up with 14 straight points to build a 29-13 lead with under seven minutes to go.

It would be all Philippines from that point on as they coasted to the 35-point rout - and a chance to finally get on board Division A for the next U16 tilt in 2025.

Ariel De La O contributed with her own double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds. Aubrey Lapasaran also produced 10 markers, alongside 5 boards, 3 dimes, a steal, and a block for a full stat line, as a total of 10 players scored at least 2 points in the victory.

On the other hand, Opheila Wong Shing Ting led the Malaysians with 16 points in the loss, where they missed out on replicating their Finals run in the 2017 competitions.

Ke Xin Lee was the only other double-digit scorer with 13 points for the former Division B silver medalists, who will have to wait for another cycle to get another shot at promotion.


Iran complete title picture

The young Iranians overcame the tough stand of a gritty Hong Kong side, 64-58, to set up the Final meeting with the Philippines in a clash of unbeaten teams.

Heroes were aplenty in the win, with Ghazal Zamani Dehyaghoubi almost coming up with a rare 20-20 outing as she finished with 18 points and 23 rebounds, together with 2 assists and 3 steals.

Helya Houdneh produced 16 points and 8 rebounds with a pair of steals, while Mobina Rahimi came through with a full line of 11 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and a block.

Dehyaghoubi and Houdneh contributed to Iran's mini 6-0 run for a 57-48 lead with 3:24 remaining in the game to bring momentum in their favor. But even having the upper hand hardly meant that things were all easy for the crew as the opposition tried and tried to come back.

Hong Kong did manage to get within just four points, 59-55, but Iran were also able to provide answers. The latter doubled up on defense, too, making it hard for their foes to get any closer.

A layup by Houdneh plus a split from the foul line by Rahimi pushed their lead to eight, 64-56, with 25 seconds left to play, all but sealing their ticket to the finale.

Ka Lam Lo had 17 points to lead Hong Kong, who once led by nine points in the game. Yan Ting Tai and Tsz Ching Kam had 12 points each while Wan Ki Mak had 9 markers and 19 rebounds.

Hong Kong will face New Zealand in the Third-Place Game on Sunday.


Semi-Finals 1
Philippines def. Malaysia, 79-44

Semi-Finals 2
Hong Kong def. Singapore, 64-58