23 September, 2015
03 October
10 Imad QAHWASH (Palestine)
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Palestine keep momentum going with third win on the trot

CHANGSHA-HUNAN (2015 FIBA Asia Championship) - Palestine eased to their third straight victory in their first-ever participation at a FIBA Asia Championship, beating Hong Kong, 85-79.

Jerry Steele's team, after an upset of the Philippines on Day 1 and a comprehensive victory over Kuwait on Thursday, led from start to finish and went in front by as many as 23 points.

Imad Qahwash finished with a game-high 24 points for Palestine, whose Jamal Abu Shamala stayed red hot from long range by making four of seven attempts.

Turning point: Hong Kong had kept the contest tight until midway through the first quarter, when Jamal Abu Shamala struck with a three-pointer and Sani Sakakini followed with a jump shot to put Palestine ahead by nine. The Palestinians outscored their opponents 12-5 over the last 5:00 of the quarter and had a comfortable lead the rest of the way.

Stats Don't Lie: With another blistering display from behind the arc, Jamal Abu Shamala removed any doubt about his ability to be a constant threat on the perimeter for Palestine. He has made 14 of his 21 attempts from three-point range in the tournament.

Game Hero: Sani Sakakini did a little bit of everything for Palestine and finished a couple of assists shy of a triple double. The captain played all 40 minutes and had 19 points and 16 rebounds.

The Bottom Line: Palestine are making waves as first-timers at the FIBA Asia Championship, but with just six points coming from the bench, opponents with more depth and weapons overall are going to be far more challenging.