The 35th edition of the R. William Jones Cup is underway from Hsinchuang Stadium in New Taipei City as teams from across Asia, Africa and North America compete in a round-robin basketball tournament to decide international supremacy.
Most of the teams involved are Asian, but the United States has sent a representative team as well. Team USA holds the all-time Jones Cup record with 15 titles, but there are plenty of other contenders in the tournament that could give the American team some trouble.
The tournament will be staged through July 15, but there is plenty of basketball to be played until then. Check back here throughout the tournament for daily updates of scores as well as the standings.
Day 9 Scores
USA 81, Jordan 71
The United States notched a convincing 81-71 win over Jordan on the final day of the Jones Cup, finishing 4-3 and in fourth place in the tournament.
Eric Hicks posted another impressive performance in the win, tallying 18 points to lead the American team, while Marcus Melvin chipped in with 13 points and Ed Horton and Jermaine Dailey added 10 points apiece.
It was a strong outing from the United States, which surged to a 23-10 lead just 10 minutes into the contest. With a 28-point outpouring in the final frame, the American handed Jordan its fifth loss of the tournament and a sixth-place finish.
Japan 96,Taiwan B 81
Japan finally broke out of its slump in the Jones Cup notching its first win of the tournament, but it was too little too late as the Japanese team finished eighth in the standings, just ahead of its fallen counterpart.
Japan was fueled by a 31-point performance in the third quarter, led by Kosuke Kanamaru and his 20 points. Yuta Watanbe and Makoto Hiejima each added 18 points apiece in the win.
The Taiwanese side was led by Liu Cheng and his game-high 22 points, but Cheng's effort wasn't enough to give Taiwan B its first win of the tournament. As a result, the home team dropped to 0-7 and exits the tournament in last place.
Taiwan 73, South Korea 60
South Korea had a chance to lock up a second-place finish behind tournament leader Iran, but came up short in its finale with a 73-60 loss to Taiwan.
With the win, Taiwan leaped Korea to finish in second place, propelled by a 26-point, 17-rebound performance from center Davis Quincy.
While both teams were evenly matched, this game was never really close. Taiwan jumped out to a 20-8 lead to start the contest and never looked back, staving off an 18-point performance from Taiwan's Cho Sung-Min.
Both teams finished at 5-2, but Taiwain held the tie-breaker and locked up a second-place finish. Iran was a perfect 7-0 in the tournament to take home first place.
Day 8 Scores
USA 109, Lebanon 66
The Americans smashed Lebanon by 43 points en route to their third win of the William Jones Cup in Taipei. Eric Hicks led the USA with 23 points and nine rebounds.
Lebanon is now just 2-5 in the tournament.
This game was over early as the Americans raced out to a 19-point lead after the first quarter and led by 24 at the half. While the lopsided win was a positive, the American team still must improve if they plan to distinguish themselves as the one of the best teams in the tournament.
Egypt 81, Taiwan Team B 69
Egypt knocked off the host country’s B-team on Saturday. They improved to 5-3 largely on the strength of Ibrahim El Gamal’s 27 points and 11 rebounds. Taiwan fell to just 1-6 in the loss.
The Egyptians held off a furious comeback attempt from the Taiwanese in the final quarter. After getting the game within a point, Taiwan couldn’t get over the hump and Egypt pulled away for the win.
Jordan 74, Japan 65
Japan has had almost no luck in Taipei. They lost their seventh-straight game; this time the loss came at the hands of Jordan.
Jimmy Baxter helped lead the winners to victory with 19 points as Jordan overcame 28 points from Kosuke Kanamaru to earn the their third victory.
Iran 72, Taiwan 67
The Iranians have left no doubt about what country has the strongest team in the tournament. Led by the man seemingly destined to win tournament MVP, Hamed Haddadi, Iran knocked off the host country’s top squad.
Haddadi had 17 points and 11 rebounds as Iran stayed perfect, moving to 7-0, while Taiwan slipped to 4-3.
Day 7 Scores
Iran 86, USA 62
So much for the momentum the Americans generated in rattling off three consecutive victories. The only remaining undefeated team in the tournament, Iran, gave the U.S. a 24-point thrashing on Friday in New Taipei.
Towering 7'2" center Hamed Haddadi put up 25 points and snagged eight boards in a thorough domination of his undersized foes in the paint.
Iran sharpshooter Hamed Afagh added 17 points of his own in the offensive onslaught, while Curtis Marshall and Eric Hicks led the USA side with 19 and 12 points respectively.
South Korea 75, Japan 66
Frustration truly has to be setting in for Japan, who has lost all six of its games in the William Jones Cup by single digits. The squad fell victim to South Korea despite a valiant rally in the final quarter.
After keeping it close for the first quarter, the underdogs found themselves in a 21-point hole before the fourth quarter, which was too difficult to dig out of. Makoto Hiejima led all scorers with 20 in the losing effort.
Meanwhile, three players scored in double figures for the victors—Joo-Sung Kim (16), Seung-Jun Lee 12 and Sung-Min Cho (11)—in keeping South Korea's hopes of winning the cup very much alive.
Jordan 69, Lebanon 67
A nail-biting contest between two of the lowlier squads made for the most entertaining matchup in Friday's action, as the game was characterized by significant runs from both teams.
Despite limiting Lebanon to just six points in the opening quarter, the Jordanians entered the fourth trailing by four, but managed to triumph and improve to am ore respectable 2-4 in the tournament.
Forward Fadi Khatib poured in a game-high 23 points, but it wasn't enough to help Lebanon overcome the rally mounted by Jordan.
Egypt 72, Taiwan 62
One of key wins on Friday was had by Egypt, who convincingly defeated the favored Taiwan national team to improve to 4-3.
It was a defensive struggle in the early going, but Egypt managed to build a 12-7 lead after one quarter and balloon it to 28-17 at halftime.
The hosts didn't get much closer—mostly thanks to the efforts of Egypt's dynamic duo featuring Ibrahim El Gamal (20 points) and power forward Assem Marei, who reeled in a whopping 13 rebounds to go along with 18 points.
Taiwan dropped its record to 4-2, with its only other loss coming in similarly befuddling fashion against Lebanon by 20 points on Day 3.
Day 6 Scores
USA 88, Egypt 83
The Americans won their third straight game at the William Jones Cup on Thursday, defeating Egypt in a tight game that went down to the wire.
The two teams were tied 50-50 at halftime and the United States only led by a point heading into the final quarter. Led by Curtis Marshall (22 points and 10 rebounds), the Americans outscored the African side 17-13 in the fourth period to secure a hard-fought victory.
The U.S. is now 3-2 despite a rocky start.
South Korea 67, Jordan 57
South Korea held Jordan to just six points in the first quarter of their matchup on Thursday, setting the tone defensively in a game that the Asian nation would go on to win comfortably, 67-57.
Only two players from each team managed to score in double figures, but the combination of Kim Joo Sung and Kim Min Goo proved to be the difference for South Korea. The two combined to score 25 of the team's 67 points.
South Korea is now 5-1 through six games this summer.
Iran 60, Japan 55
After a wide open first quarter of play between Iran and Japan, which saw each side score 20 points, Iran took control defensively in the second period, holding Japan to just seven points to take a six-point lead into the halftime locker room.
A low-scoring second half would favor Iran, who went on to win, advancing to 5-0 in the tournament and sending Japan to 0-5 in the process.
Hamed Haddadi was the high man for Iran, scoring 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor.
Taiwan 90, Taiwan B 89
Taiwan improved to 4-1 on Thursday after beating Taiwan B in a high-scoring and dramatic matchup.
Liu Cheng would score a game-high 26 points for the B team, but Lin Chih-Chieh nearly matched him, scoring 24 points and dishing out seven assists for Taiwan, who went on to outscore Taiwan B by six points in the fourth quarter.
Taiwan B now falls to 1-5 for the tournament.
Day 5 Scores
Egypt 64, Lebanon 62
Egypt was fortunate to escape with a win on Day 5, heading into the fourth quarter facing a three-point deficit.
However, the Egyptians outscored Lebanon in the final period and managed to improve its record to 3-2, while the Lebanese have fallen to 2-3.
Ibrahim El Gamal was the hero, as the young guard finished with 14 points and seven rebounds.
Jordan 86, Taiwan B 77
Jordan finally earned a much-needed win in this tournament, besting Taiwan B to improve to 1-3 and forcing its opponent down to a 1-4.
Despite a 31-point outburst in the fourth, Jordan held on and showed enough resolve to hold the lead they had going into the decisive quarter.
Give credit to Ahmed Al-Hamarsheh, as the big man piled in 13 points to go along with his nine rebounds in the victory.
USA 64, Japan 56
The Americans improved their record to 2-2 with a second-straight win on Wednesday, moving to .500 in a game where Jermaine Dailey notched 14 points and seven rebounds.
Japan put up a strong fight in the second half, battling back from a ten-point deficit. It just wasn’t enough in the end, as the squad remains defeated and moves to 0-4.
Iran 71, South Korea 68
Iran maintains its perfect record at the William Jones Cup, with a narrow victory over South Korea improving the victor to 4-0 and dropping the loser to 4-1.
This was the most important match of the day and certainly didn’t disappoint, as Hamed Haddadi went off for 34 points and 15 rebounds in the win.
South Korea’s team effort simply wasn’t enough to stop the former NBA player and it now must settle for second place in the standings.
Day 4 Scores
USA 101, Taiwan B 69
The United States notched its first victory in the William Jones Cup on Tuesday in dominant fashion over the Taiwanese B National Team.
University of Cincinnati alum Eric Hicks led the Americans with a joint game-high total of 18 points, matching that of Taiwan B's lead scorer, Huang Chen-Jing.
It was never really close throughout, as U.S. built a 21-point halftime lead and were never in danger of relinquishing it. Former Texas Tech swingman Curtis Marshall added 14 points of his own, and point guard Cervante Burrell had 12 points in the winning effort.
Iran 90, Egypt 54
Three players scored in double figures for Iran in its most recent romp that improved the squad's record to 3-0. Shooting guard Hamed Afagh and Rouzbeh Arghavan led the way with 12 points apiece while, Mohammad Samad Nikkhah Bahrami kicked in 11.
Ahmed Tawfik was the only player to score more than 9 for Egypt, as he finished with 16 points. The score could have been more lopsided, but the Iranians eased up slightly when the game was well in tow with a 63-32 advantage through three quarters.
The loss does drop Egypt to 2-2, but that record is slightly deceiving—its previous two victories were over Japan and Jordan—both of whom have not won a single game in New Taipei thus far.
South Korea 61, Lebanon 52
The tightest contest of the day pitted these two teams, but the South Korean club emerged from the defensive struggle with a rather convincing win.
To capture this victory, it took a solid all-around effort for South Korea, because Lebanon forward Fadi Khatib had a monstrous game in the paint, putting up 23 points and 10 rebounds. Unfortunately, his double-double wasn't quite enough for Lebanon to improve to 3-1.
South Korea's 4-0 record is unmatched by any of the other eight teams in the tournament, though Iran has a chance to tie that in the next game. Big man Cho Sung-Min led his winning team with 12 points, with his efforts on the inside at least somewhat neutralizing Khatib's impact.
Taiwan 91, Jordan 61
The woes for Jordan continue, but it's difficult to criticize considering Taiwan's solid form and advantage of having its home crowd cheering on in support.
It wasn't as easy as the final score indicates, though, because Jordan came out holding nothing back and were only trailing 32-26 at half. However, the flat start by the hosts was quickly redeemed after the intermission, as Taiwan went on a 31-15 run in the third quarter.
Jordan let up nearly as many points in the final term in yielding 28. The backcourt of Jimmy Baxter and Wesam Al-Sous scored 16 and 12 points respectively, but it wasn't nearly enough.
Taiwan forward Cheng-Ju Lu tied Baxter with 16, while wing player Wen-Cheng Tsai had 14 and Wen-Ting Tseng notched 13 points for the victors.
Day 3 Scores
Egypt 64, Japan 59
While the result didn't come as easily as expected, Egypt was able to come through with a win and bring its record to 2-1 in the table. The Egyptian squad broke out to an early lead in the contest, holding steady throughout despite a surprisingly strong performance from Japan.
Ibrahim El Gamal led the way for Egypt with a game-high 20 points and five steals. Gamal's performance was joined by fellow standouts Mouhanad El Sabbagh (13 points) and Ramy Abdalla (10 points), who helped keep their country ahead in a day where offensive firepower was at a minimum.
Kosuke Takeuchi (14 points) and Kosuke Kanamaru (13 points) were the only double-figure scorers for Japan, which is now the only 0-3 squad in Taiwan. The United States and Jordan have lost each of their two games and have not played a third.
Iran 77, Taiwan B 64
Iran's excellent performance in Taiwan continued on Monday, as the club made relatively slight work of the second Taiwanese team in the field. The favorites struggled from the field from the outset, but overcame its first-quarter troubles to walk into halftime ahead 38-31. Iran is now 2-0 in its two matches, one of only two undefeated teams remaining in the event (South Korea).
The Iranian side was especially dominant on the boards. Asghar Kardoust was Iran's leading scorer with 17 points but he also grabbed a critical 10 rebounds. Rouzbeh Arghavan also had a double-double with 11 points and as many boards. Mohammad Jamshidi (15 points) was Iran's other double-digit scorer.
That said, the finest individual performance in Monday's contest came from Kuo-Wei Lai, who had 18 points. The Taiwan B team is now 1-2 for the tournament, sixth overall in the table.
South Korea 85, United States 79
The South Koreans kept their undefeated run alive, building a lead in the first half and staving off a strong run from the United States down the stretch. Leading the way for the 3-0 Korean bunch was Kim Sun-Hyung, whose team-high 14 points helped South Korea walk into the halftime break ahead 41-29.
Sun-Hyung's effort may have been the individualistic high for South Korea, but it was an overall team effort that led to the win. Seung-Jun Lee (13 points) and Cho Sung-Min (12 points) both had solid outings, as the South Koreans played a team-first, ball-movement-heavy style.
The United States' scoring output was led by former Texas product Haywood Owens, who had a game-high 16 points. Curtis Marshall and Ed Horton had 14 points apiece.
The United States didn't exactly bring its A Team to Taiwan, but it's still shocking regardless to see the club go down in consecutive games. Through two contests, the United States is tied with Jordan for seventh place in the table.
Lebanon 83, Taiwan 63
In the biggest drubbing of Monday's action, the home crowd saw their beloved first team get pummeled by Lebanon. The Lebanese effort started out out a bit slow—the team took merely a two-point lead through the first period—but the rout was on by the time the two sides hit halftime.
Fadi Khatib paced the victors with 18 points, as five Lebanon players had at least 11 points. The top-heavy effort also saw the Lebanese side dominate despite an excellent performance from Taiwan leading scorer Davis Quincy. The former Tulane standout had 23 points and eight rebounds for Taiwan, which is now 2-1 in the standings.
Lebanon also stands at 2-1, in a three-way tie for third place. The talent disparity between these two teams isn't as great as shown on Monday, but the Lebanese side seemingly had a plan of attack and executed it to near-perfection.
Day 2 Scores
Egypt: 89, Jordan: 65
Haytham Kamal had a huge game with 23 points and 15 rebounds in leading Egypt past Jordan in impressive fashion. Egypt went on a 24-13 run to end the third quarter and hand Jordan its second loss.
Lebanon: 79, Japan: 72
Swingman Abdel Nour paced the Lebanese team with 21 points in its close 79-72 victory over Japan. With the loss, the Japanese team falls to 0-2 in Jones Cup play, while Lebanon improved to 1-1 in the tournament.
Taiwan: 89, USA: 84
In one of the more shocking contests of the tournament thus far, Taiwan ousted the United States 89-84 with an impressive fourth-quarter performance. Hsun-Chuang Tsung led the Taiwanese team with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
South Korea: 81, Taiwan B: 60
South Korea improved to 2-0 and handed Taiwan B its first loss of the tournament with a dominating win on Sunday. The Korean team used a massive second-quarter effort to gain momentum in the contest, running away with the game from the very beginning.
Day 1 Scores
Taiwan B: 70, Lebanon: 66
The Taiwan B team got off to a fantastic start on Saturday as it scored a four-point victory over Lebanon. Forward Cheng Liu Zheng led the way with 20 points as the hometown team gave the fans something to cheer about.
South Korea: 80, Egypt: 63
The South Korean women's team has nine Jones Cup titles, but the men's team has only broken through once. It has a chance to do so once more this year, though, as a total team effort allowed Korea to beat Egypt comfortably.
Iran: 64, Jordan: 57
Prior to the Philippines winning the Jones Cup last year, Iran and Jordan combined to win the previous five. This battle of Jones Cup titans went to Iran, however, as Haddadi Hamed Ehadadi and Ka Ruini Mahdi Kamrani scored 15 points apiece.
Taiwan: 70, Japan: 62
The game that everyone was waiting for pitted Taiwan against Japan. Taiwan jumped out to a 10-point lead in the first quarter, and while Japan battled back throughout the remainder of the game, it was unable to mount a comeback as Taiwan joined Taiwan B on the winning end on Day 1.