FIBA Asia 2013: Standout Performers from Early Action in the Philippines
We've learned a few things through two days of action at the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship. One fact that has been made painfully obvious is Malaysia is not on par with the rest of the field. Through two games, the Malaysians have been outscored 228-47.
It should be noted that the team has faced two of the better clubs in the field in China and Iran, but the mammoth losses thus far convey just how big the gap is between the Malaysians and the elite teams.
Where will China finish at 2013 FIBA Asia Championships?
Perhaps coming as a surprise to some, the Koreans have had a solid showing thus far. They lost 76-65 to Iran on Friday, but that came a day after scoring a huge upset over China.
The Koreans have done it with defense. They held China to 38.5 percent shooting in the opener and limited Iran to 41 percent shooting in the 11-point loss. Before a huge third quarter from the Iranians, Korea had their sights set on a second-straight upset.
This team could be dangerous beyond group play.
As for individual performances, a handful of players have had solid games, but four players in particular have shown consistency through both days.
Stats from FIBA.com
Hamed Haddadi - Iran
The big man and former Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns player hasn't slowed down since his MVP performance at the William Jones Cup. Haddadi was instrumental in the aforementioned third-quarter run that spurred the Iranians past the Koreans on Friday.
He finished the game with 30 points, 13 rebounds and a block. Through the first two games, Haddadi is averaging 25.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and a blocked shot.
Perhaps most importantly, Haddadi has only picked up two fouls combined in both games. As the most dominant big man in the field, teams may have to find a way to get him in foul trouble to even the odds.
Quincy Davis III - Chinese Taipei
Efficiency has been the operative word for QDIII. He has helped Chinese Taipei begin FIBA Asia 2-0 with strong performances on the glass and nearly perfect shooting.
He's averaging 16 points and 10.5 rebounds through two games. He's been a near sure thing with the ball around the basket. QDIII has made 14-of-16 shots from the field and he's a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line.
The Tulane University alum is making his mark with Chinese Taipei as a tough and effective force in the paint.
Narender Kumar Grewal - India
The 25-year-old, 6'1" guard has been shooting lights out through two games. The Indians were nipped by Bahrain on Friday 82-80, but it wasn't because of a lack of effort from Grewal. He poured in 25 points on 11-of-16 shooting from the field, but he did struggle from the free throw line.
He made just 3-of-7 attempts. In such a close game, those missed free throws are huge—especially from one of the team's leaders.
Grewal did rebound on Friday, though. He had 24 points as India blew out Thailand 89-65. It's a safe bet that Grewal will be among the tournament's leading scorers from beginning to end.
C.J. Giles - Bahrain
The Bahrainis big man has been a significant force on the inside. The former Kansas Jayhawk has averaged a solid double-double with 12.5 points and 13 rebounds. He's also been a defensive presence with six blocked shots through two games.
If Bahrain could somehow make it to the next stage from Group D, a matchup between him and Iran's Haddadi from Group C would be interesting.
Bahrain is currently 1-1 and they'll need Giles to continue to be a force in the middle to advance.
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