FIBA Asia 2013 Schedule: Breaking Down Friday's Quarterfinal Clashes
FIBA Asia has reached the knockout rounds in the Philippines. The top-four teams from group play in the second round have advanced to the quarterfinals.
With just three spots in the FIBA World Cup available, the competition will be stiff.
Iran have been the most dominant team through group play, but the pretenders have since fallen by the wayside. Most of the games moving forward should be competitive, so Iran and other quality teams should be tested.
Here's a look at the quarterfinal matchups scheduled for Friday.
Iran vs. Jordan
What team would be Iran's biggest challenge?
Hamed Haddadi has led the Iranians to a perfect 5-0 record. Per FIBA.com, Iran have a point differential of plus-125. Haddadi is averaging 17.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots per game.
No team has had an answer for the 7'2" center, who has played in the NBA for both the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns. Matching Haddadi and Iran's size will be Jordan's biggest issue.
Along with Haddadi, Iran also have seven-footer Rouzbeh Arghavan and 6'11" center Asghar Kardoust. Jordan centers Ali Jamal Zaghab and Mohammad Shaher Hussein both stand 6'9". Rebounding has been a strength for Jordan, but against a massive and physical Iranian squad, continued success in that area seems unlikely.
Iran should remain undefeated as they pound Jordan on the inside.
Chinese Taipei vs. China
This is easily the most intriguing quarterfinal matchup. China underachieved in the preliminary round, but caught fire in the second round of group play. They played without their star, former NBA player Yi Jianlian, for the last four games, but others such as Wang ZhiZhi and Wang Zhelin have stepped up in his absence.
Wang ZhiZhi is averaging 11 points and Wang Zhelin 10.8 points to lead China's balanced attack. Despite their early struggles and their deceiving 3-2 record in group play, China are still one of the favorites and perhaps the only team in the tournament capable of beating Iran.
The Chinese Taipei team would certainly dispute that concept.
They are 4-1 with their lone loss coming at the hands of Qatar. The team from Taiwan has good athleticism, but a lack of size could be their downfall as well.
Quincy Davis III is an undersized but do-it-all player, and he's led his team in points, rebounds and blocked shots, but he's only 6'8". He may have some difficulty remaining productive on the inside against China's bigs.
In order for Chinese Taipei to emerge victorious, they'll need to be hot from the outside. Though the team is equipped with marksmen like Cheng-Ju Lu and Douglas Creighton, knocking off China will be a tall order.
Philippines vs. Kazakhstan
As the host country, the Philippines have been the sentimental favorites, but Gilas Pilipinas have proven to be one of the best teams in the tournament.
They roll into the quarterfinals as the top seed from Group E. Marcus Douthit has been beastly on the inside averaging 14.7 points and 10.3 rebounds to lead his team in both categories.
The team has had a healthy inside-outside balance because of the three-point shooting of Jeff Chan and Ranidel de Ocampo. Chan has drained 58.6 percent of his threes while de Ocampo has converted 43.6 percent of his shots from deep.
Kazakhstan have suffered in the wake of injuries and an increase in competition since the preliminary round. Jerri Johnson has been the most potent scorer on a team that struggles to put the ball in the basket. He didn't play in the team's recent lopsided loss to Iran.
Jonson is averaging 15.4 points, but he's one of only three players on the team making more than 40 percent of their shots.
Even if he returns to the lineup, Kazakhstan will find it difficult to keep pace with the Philippines' explosiveness.
Korea vs. Qatar
The tournament's leading scorer is Qatar's Jarvis Hayes. He's averaging 18 points per game and he's the biggest reason Qatar are 4-1.
The key to this game will be the rebounding. Qatar have been able to overcome their mediocre shooting by pounding the glass. Despite shooting just 38.6 percent from the field as a team, the team is averaging a paltry 44.2 rebounds per game. If they can control the glass, they will win.
Korea are the more skilled and better-shooting team. If they can turn this into a shootout, the Koreans have the edge in scoring. Cho Sung-Min has paced the club averaging 13 per game and knocking down 41 percent of his threes.
The team that can control the glass will control the tempo and advance to the next round.
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