FIBA Asia 2013 Schedule: Tipoff Times and Predictions for Tourney's Final Day

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FIBA Asia 2013 Schedule: Tipoff Times and Predictions for Tourney's Final Day
Photo via FIBA.com

Through eight days at the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship the field has finally been whittled to two, as Iran and Philippines will meet in the finals to determine who can claim to be the best team on the continent. 

That isn't the only matchup taking place in Manila on Sunday, though. 

Four games featuring eight different nations will be featured on the tourney's final day as the last eight positions on the table will be determined, including a vital bronze-medal matchup between Taiwan and Korea.

The winner of that game will clinch the third and final spot in the 2014 World Cup.

Rounding out the action are classification games, including China versus Qatar and Jordan versus Kazakhstan. With each team trying to end the tournament on one final positive note, there's sure to be some intensity in each of these games. 

Here's your go-to guide for all of the action as the tournament draws to a close. 

 

Jordan vs. Kazakhstan

Tip Time: 12:30 p.m. PHT; 12:30 a.m. ET

Preview

It doesn't get more evenly matched than Jordan and Kazakhstan. 

Looking at what each team has done in the tournament, they are virtually identical. Both are averaging right around 41 rebounds, 14 assists and 15 turnovers per game and both are 3-5 through eight tournament games. 

Prediction: Jordan 74, Kazakhstan 70

When two teams are this evenly matched, the game often comes down to who has the best player. In this case, that's Jordan's Jimmy Baxter. He's an athletic guard who can score when the offense breaks down, and he leads the team in assists.

Expect his playmaking ability to be the difference-maker down the stretch. 

 

Qatar vs. China

Tip Time: 2:45 p.m. PHT; 2:30 a.m. ET

Preview

This is definitely not where China thought they would end up on the bracket heading into this tournament. With one of the most talented rosters in the championship, the team was expected to capture a bid for the World Cup. 

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However, that wasn't meant to be as losses to Korea, Iran and Taiwan guaranteed they'd be left off the global stage. 

Now the question is whether Yi Jianlian and the rest of the Chinese team will be motivated to perform against 5-2 Qatar. Led by Jarvis Hayes, the Qataris only lost to the Philippines and Korea. 

Prediction: China 80, Qatar 70

China is still the team that defeated Malaysia 113-22 earlier in these championships, but they've struggled with consistency. As long as China comes into the game motivated to make a statement, they should win this one easily.

They're shooting much better than their counterparts (55 percent to 44 percent) and should ride that efficient approach to a final win. 

 

Taiwan vs. Korea

Tip Time: 5 p.m. PHT; 5 a.m. ET

Preview

This one has all the makings of a shootout. Both teams can score in bunches. 

Taiwan shoots 38.5 percent from beyond the arc and averages 82.8 points per game. Korea shoots 32.4 percent from three-point range and averages 78.5 points per game. In short, both teams like to let it fly and have been successful in doing so. 

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With a World Cup bid on the line, these two teams are going to push themselves to the limit—and the result should be a high-scoring affair that is fun to watch for fans. 

Prediction: Korea 85, Taiwan 82

While both teams have proven they can score with the best of them, the difference in this one is Korea's defense. 

Taiwan relied on outscoring opponents, averaging 82.8 points while allowing 74 per game. Korea, on the other hand, can play good defense when called upon. They gave up just 60.4 points per game in the championships. 

It's not likely Korea can contain Taiwan the whole game, but they're more likely to step up and make a key stop when it matters most. That should give them the edge in a close game. 

 

Philippines vs. Iran

Tip Time: 7:30 p.m. PHT; 7:30 a.m. ET

Preview

An emotional game between the Philippines and Iran serves as the main event for the international tournament as the winner will be crowned the top team in Asia. 

Who will win the championship?

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Unfortunately, Philippines, who hosts the tournament in Manila, could be without their best player in Marcus Douthit, who is struggling with a calf injury. 

Losing the defensive stalwart would be a big blow for their championship hopes. He has multiple blocks in seven of the team's eight games and leads them in points and rebounds. 

Conversely, Iran's center, Hamed Haddadi, is perfectly healthy and leading the way with 17.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. 

Prediction: Iran 80, Philippines 70

As great as it would be to see the home team pull off the upset, it's not likely to happen. Iran's closest game in the tournament was a nine-point victory over Korea. They've dominated everyone else in the field. Meanwhile, Philippines already lost one game to Taiwan and will need to pull out all the stops to keep this one close. 

 

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