Qatar bounced back by tripping Chinese-Taipei, 71-68, Wednesday to
muddle up the standings in Group E of the 27th FIBA-Asia Men’s
Basketball Championship at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Qataris’ victory boosts the Philippines’ hopes of topping Group
E. The Philippines, Chinese-Taipei and Qatar could end the elimination round in a three-way tie on 4-1 win-loss each assuming Gilas Pilipinas beats Hong Kong late Wednesday night.
A win by the Filipinos over Hong Kong will enable them to finish on
top of the standing due to a higher quotient over Qatar and
Qatar will settle for second and Chinese-Taipei at no. 3 and Jordan at no. 4.
Gilas Pilipinas, which defeated Qatar, 80-70, on Tuesday but lost to Taiwan, 79-84, last Saturday, will then meet Group F no. 4 Kazakhstan in the knockout quarterfinal round.
That gives the host team a strong chance of advancing into the semifinal possibly against
the winner between South Korea and Qatar in the other quarterfinals match.
In the other matches, Jordan beats Japan, 65-56, Wednesday to complete the quarterfinal cast in Group E while Iran proved too much for Kazakhstan with an 85-53 win to remain unbeaten and ruled Group F
with a clean 5-0 card.
Kazakhstan now is 2-3, but its entry into the quarterfinals will depend on the outcome of the game between China (2-2) and Bahrain (1-3). A loss by China to Bahrain may forge a triple tie in
their group with similar 2-3 card each.
The Jordanians victory at least completed the quarterfinal cast in Group E with Qatar (4-1), Chinese-Taipei (4-1) followed by host Philippines (3-1), but has one game left against Hong Kong and Jordan
(2-3). At the end of the elimination round both Japan (1-4) and Hong Kong (0-4) are relegated to the classification.
Jimmy Baxter and Mohammad Shaher Hussein, who combined for 31 points, led a Jordanian surge to establish a 45-35 lead going into the fourth period. A three-point shot by Ahmad Alhamarsheh kept their their 10-point lead, 55-45, going into the last two minutes of the match.