01 November, 2017
01 February, 2019
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Guam stands tall, Singapore eliminates Fiji at end of first round

NONTHABURI (FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Eastern Region Pre-Qualifiers) – The first round of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Eastern Region Pre-Qualifiers come to an end with Fiji being the lone team eliminated from contention to advance towards the FIBA Asia Cup. Thailand puts up a fight but eventually drops to Guam and Indonesia pounds Macau to set up the stage for the second round. 

Fiji vs Singapore (68-86)

Singapore escapes elimination by beating Fiji 86-68 to secure 3rd place in Group B of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Eastern Region Pre-Qualifiers.

Desperate for a win, Fiji were able to hang closely with Singapore throughout the first quarter and midway through the second quarter. The final 6 minutes of the first half spelled disaster for the FIBA Asia newcomers, going scoreless and allowing Singapore to go out on a 10-0 run.

Coach Salua Koroi’s squad attempted one comeback attempt after another, but could never close the gap down to single digits again.

Delvin Goh was hampered with foul trouble in the first half but finished strongly with 19 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals. He paired up nicely with Leon Kwek who also had a big game of 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 three-pointers.

Fiji’s star Joshua Fox had his biggest game of the tournament yet with an absurd 29 points, 22 rebounds, 7 assists, and a 39 player efficiency rating but still could not change the fortunes for his team.

With the loss, Fiji are eliminated from the competition. Singapore finish at 3rd place of Group B.

Guam vs Thailand (91-70)

Thailand gave Guam a close fight in the first half, but couldn’t maintain their tempo for the entire game and losses their first game 91-70.

Undefeated Guam found themselves in a difficult situation midway through the second quarter when star center picked up a technical foul which coupled with an earlier unsportsmanlike foul to result in an ejection. Thailand had already rallied back into the game with a 14-3 run capped with a buzzer beating three to take the lead and were looking to pounce at their opponents.

However, Thailand themselves were plagued with foul trouble which limited the use of Chanatip Jakrawan and Darongphan Apiromvilaichai. They were able to stick with Guam with their transition game but once Guam slowed the tempo down in the second half, Thailand fell behind quickly.

Tournament leading scorer Earnest Ross picked up the slack from Washington for 31 points to go with 5 rebounds, 5 three-pointers, and 5 steals. His scoring total in this game is tied for the most by any player in the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Regional Pre-Qualifiers.

Ross and Tai Wesley (21 points, 10 rebounds) combined to be the first two teammates of the Eastern Region Pre-Qualifiers to both have at least 20 points.

Chitchai Ananti had 17 points to lead Thailand but was held scoreless in the second half while nursing a minor injury. Thailand then turned to Moses Morgan who had 15 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 blocks.

Guam’s undefeated 3-0 record puts them at first place of Group B, while Thailand is at second place.

Macau vs Indonesia (54-99)

Indonesia has no trouble bouncing back from the opening day loss to beat Macau comfortably, 99-54.

Five players score in double digit efforts as Indonesia shoots a blistering 54.8% from the field in the win. Macau were red hot in the opening quarter, missing only 3 of their 12 attempts to stay within 2 points of coach Fictor Roring’s squad. Indonesia bursted away with 31 points in the second quarter to blow the game open and away.

Andakara Prastawa led Indonesia with 19 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. Jamarr Johnson a

dded in 15 points, 7 rebounds, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals.

Macau’s Hip Meng Lo started the game on fire with 10 points on 5/6 shooting in the first quarter, but slowed down to finish with 22 points and 3 rebounds in the losing effort.

Macau wrap up the first round in 3rd place of Group A with Indonesia up ahead at 2nd.