China keep themselves on top as the number one basketball nation in Asia, after beating South Korea 61-58 on Saturday (10 December) in Kuala Lumpur in the final of the ninth Asian Basketball Championship.
China keep themselves on top as the number one basketball nation in Asia, after beating South Korea 61-58 on Saturday (10 December) in Kuala Lumpur in the final of the ninth Asian Basketball Championship. The Tense and hotly contested match was marred at one point by an ugly incident when several spectators threw beer cans at the South Korean players near the end of the first half.
SYNOPSIS: The match was a sellout. Fans who took their cars would have done better to leave them home. All available parking space was long since taken up hours before the match.
The 10,000 seat National Stadium was overflowing, with stairs and entrances taken up by more than 12,000 spectators. (SEQ 1-3)
An excellent defense by the smaller South Korean team was largely responsible for keeping the game tight till the end. But it wasn't enough to prevent their larger Chinese opponents from eventually penetrating and scoring from the inside. (SEQ 4)
In contrast, the Koreans never seemed to break clear of the Chinese defense and had to rely almost exclusively on outside shotting. Missed shots were quickly gobbled up by the Chinese and turned into impressive under the basket layups. (SEQ 5)
But the Koreans were able to find the hoop. The lead changed hands repeatedly before Korea was able to go into a very brief 25-24 lead. During the first four minutes there were only six points on the board at 3 a piece. (SEQ 6-7)
Nearly two minutes before the end of the first half, the closely fought contest was stopped for nearly three minutes after heated arguments erupted between players of both teams after Korean captain Jong Tough Su was heavily fouled under his own basket. Tight defences caused both teams to commit several fouls. South Korea gave up many valuable points by sending the Chinese to the free throw line.
China managed to squeeze to a 34-32 lead at halftime. (SEQ 8-11)
The match continued to be a touch and go affair in the second half, But China was beginning to creep into a more substantial lead, by taking advantage of the free throw line. (SEQ 12)
With less than four minutes to go China ripped open the game and took an 11 point lead. But the Koreans battled up to the end and chipped away the difference. The China using the clock however, were able to hold on and win by three points. (SEQ 13-16)