The 36th annual William Jones Cup was held in Taiwan and featured the United States as well as teams from Asia and Africa fighting for the title.
Having won the cup in four out of the past five years, Iran was the odds-on favorite to reign supreme again. Host Chinese Taipei finished second last year and was out to prove that it could take that next step.
Instead, it was South Korea who took home the tournament championship.
The United States was a potential factor, but the team was forced to settle for a fourth-place finish. Although the William Jones Cup did not receive a ton of hype domestically in the USA, it is a popular tournament globally that lived up to the lofty expectations.
Here is a look at all the results from this year's William Jones Cup and the final standings.
|William Jones Cup 2014 Standings|
|2||Chinese Taipei A||5||2|
|6||Chinese Taipei B||2||5|
|2||Chinese Taipei A|
|5||Chinese Taipei B|
Day 9 Recap
South Korea 83, Chinese Taipei A 79
In a thrilling championship game, South Korea beat host Chinese Taipei A, 83-79. The clear MVP of the entire tournament was South Korea’s Ratliffe Ricardo and he had yet another amazing game Sunday, racking up 26 points and 18 rebounds. Teammates Song Chang-Yong and Yang Jun-Beom both scored 18 points apiece.
Chinese Taipei A took the early lead in this matchup behind the offensive effort of Davis Quincy (23 points and 11 rebounds) and Liu Cheng (15 points), but Ricardo controlled the pace of the game for South Korea and helped the team make the spectacular comeback.
Egypt 81, USA 78
After a disappointing tournament overall, Team USA fell in a hard-fought third-place game against Egypt, 81-78. The Americans had the early lead, but could not hold off Egypt’s Mouhanad El Sabagh (23 points), Ibrahim El Gamal (14) and Ramy Abdalla (10).
Team USA saw elite performances with MaJic Dorsey’s 22 points and Cory Bradford’s 17 points, but it wasn’t enough to win the game. The Americans were forced to settle for fourth place despite the high expectations coming into the event.
Chinese Taipei B 73, Japan 71 (OT)
Japan lost the first seven games of the tournament, but beat Jordan in the consolation round and took Chinese Taipei B to overtime. While the host team took home the victory, this was the Japanese team most basketball fans expected in this tournament.
Hu Long-Mao scored 19 points and Chen Ying-Chun added 14 points in the victory, but the Japanese didn’t go down without a fight. Daiki Tanaka tallied 17 points and Tenketsu Harimoto added 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Iran 84, Jordan 79
While Iran played Jordan for the seventh- and eighth-place final positions in the standings, the game was much more interesting than fans expected. Iran took home the victory, 84-79, but both teams played well.
For Iran, Hamed Hosseinzadeh racked up 18 points, Mohammad Hassanzadeh added 14 points and 15 rebounds and Mohammad Ojaghi scored 12 points. Jordan’s Mousa Alawadi (17 points) and Mohammad Hussein (14 points and 15 rebounds) also shined in this game.
Day 8 Recap
South Korea 73, Egypt 64
South Korea trailed by six points entering fourth quarter but used a 22-7 period to complete the comeback against Egypt. Ricardo Ratliffe was the driving force on both ends of the floor with 27 points, 13 rebounds and two blocked shots. Chang-Young Song also chipped in 16.
Egypt received another strong offensive showing from Amr Abdelhalim (15 points), but he didn't have enough support to reach the final. Instead, the South Koreans will head to the championship game seeking their second title in the event.
Chinese Taipei A 96, USA 86
The USA Pro Select squad was unable to avenge a previous defeat to the Chinese Taipei A squad in the semifinals. Five different Americans reached double figures, led by Marquin Chandler with 18, but the defensive effort wasn't as strong.
Tsung-Hsien Chang led the charge for the Taiwanese group with 26 points and five rebounds. Tai-Hao Wu added 20 points off the bench. The host nation's A squad now gets a chance to win the title on home soil against South Korea on Sunday.
Japan 80, Jordan 64
Japan didn't win a single game during the preliminary round of the competition but put together easily their best showing to knock off Jordan. Yuki Togashi led all scorers with 18 points while Hironori Watanabe and Ryumo Ono each contributed 13 off the bench.
It's a disappointing result for Jordan, which was coming off a win over Iran in it's final preliminary game to finish the round at 4-3. Mohammad Hussein paced the losing side with 16 and Wesam Al-Sous also played well with 14 points and five rebounds.
Chinese Taipei B 97, Iran 92
Iran entered the tournament having won four of the last five titles. It will now be forced to play in the seventh-place game after a narrow loss to the Chinese Taipei B side. Mohammad Hassanzadeh had 24 points and Mohammad Ojaghi added 11, but nobody else reached double digits.
On the flip side, it was a strong effort from Chinese Taipei. Ying-Chun Chen was on target as he hit 12 of 16 shots for 33 points. Sabatino Chen and Long-Mao Hu provided the support with 17 and 15 points respectively as the team heads for the fifth-place game.
Day 7 Recap
Egypt 83, Chinese Taipei B 59
Four players reached double figures for Egypt, led by Sheriff Abd Alla (19 points) and Amr Abdelhalim (17), as they outscored the Chinese Taipei B team in all four quarters. Hu Long-Mao led the way for the losing side with 14 points and six rebounds.
The Egyptians started the tournament 1-2 before rattling off four straight wins in order to finish atop the group after the preliminary round. They scored victories over both the American and Chinese Taipei A squads during the streak.
Jordan 63, Iran 62
The closest game of the day seen Jordan hold off in Iran in a contest that was close throughout. Wesam Al-Sous did it all for the winning squad, scoring 20 points to go along with five steals, four rebounds and three assists.
Mousa Alawadi (11) and Mohamad Jamal Zaghab (10) also scored in double digits for Jordan. Mohammad Ojaghi pace Iran with 11 points. Both sides now move onto play in the consolation ladder after falling short of the top four.
USA 90, Japan 72
The USA Pro Select team got a monster performance from Craig Williams (20 points, 11 rebounds and five assists) as it cruised past winless Japan. The Americans also got strong offensive performances from MaJic Dorsey and Cory Bradford in the win.
Daiki Tanaka scored 15 points to pace Japan while Yuki Mitsuhara chipping in 13 points, four rebounds and four assists. They go into the consolation bracket while the USA is slated to face off with the Chinese Taipei A team in the semifinals after losing by 15 in the previous meeting.
South Korea 101, Chinese Taipei A 95
A high-scoring affair between South Korea and Chinese Taipei A seen the visitors race out to a 14-point halftime lead. The Taiwanese squad battled back in the second half but couldn't complete the comeback in a slower paced fourth quarter.
South Korea's Moon Tae-Jong led all scorers with 32 points. Kim Jong-Keun and Song Chang-Yong each added 19. Quincy Davis had 28 for the host nation. Both teams advance to the semifinals, with a rematch possible in the title game.
Day 6 Recap
Egypt 69, Japan 55
Egypt’s victory was a perfect example of the talent and depth on the roster, but this matchup was once again all about Japan’s inability to find a victory thus far in the tournament. With six losses already, Japan’s hopes of making a run at a title are out the window.
The key for Egypt was the scoring pace set by several different players. Amr Abdelhalim (16 points), Ibrahim El Gamal (10 points) and Mohamed Alian (nine points) all contributed to the victory. Japan’s Makoto Hiejima deserves credit for racking up 20 points of his own, but the effort came in the loss.
USA 86, Chinese Taipei B 56
After a tough loss on Day 5, Team USA bounced back with a decisive 86-56 victory over Chinese Taipei B. The top star on Thursday for the Americans was Craig Williams, who delivered 22 points and 18 rebounds. Cory Bradford added 18 points and James Justice scored 15 points.
Team USA took the early lead in this game and never relinquished it. Chinese Taipei B’s Chen Hsiao-Jung scored 12 points and Hu Long-Mao tallied 10 points in the loss. The two teams have momentum building in opposite directions.
Chinese Taipei A 84, Iran 76
The best matchup of the day on paper was the battle between powerhouses Chinese Taipei A and Iran, and the battle lived up to the expectations. Iran took the early lead, but once Chinese Taipei A took it back, the hosts never gave it back.
The victory for Chinese Taipei A was highlighted by the play of Lu Cheng-Ju (25 points) and Davis Quincy (13 points and 10 rebounds), but Iran’s Mohammad Ojaghi (17 points) and Meisam Mirzaei (14 points) came to play as well.
South Korea 59, Jordan 52
The star of the tournament thus far has been South Korea’s Ratliffe Ricardo, and he led his team to a 59-52 victory over Jordan. This was South Korea’s third win in a row. Ricardo scored 24 points and added 14 rebounds in the victory. Teammate Moon Tae-Jong tallied 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Despite controlling the tempo of the game and leading for the majority of the matchup, Jordan performed admirably led by the effort of Ahmad Al-Dwairi. The versatile Jordan center scored 18 points and added 15 rebounds.
Day 5 Recap
Chinese Taipei B 79, Japan 69
While the Chinese Taipei B team earned the victory on Wednesday, the biggest story was the continued freefall of the Japanese team. Japan is now 0-5. While Furukawa managed to score 19 points and Harimoto added 16, Japan was still unable to pick up the win, falling 79-69.
After a hard-fought first half, Chinese Taipei B bounced back and dominated for the remainder of the game. The team was led by the scoring of Jung-Hsuan Chang (17 points), Ying-Chun Chen (14 points) and Yi-Hsiang Chou (11 points).
Egypt 102, USA 76
Team USA was expected to take the win over Egypt, but the Americans were stunned in a 102-76 loss. Egypt was dominant in the offensive end and Ibrahim El Gammal led the scoring with 26 points. Ramy Abdalla also added 24 points.
As hard as the loss is to swallow for Team USA, the team still found some offensive rhythm toward the end of the game. James Justice added 22 points and Corey Bradford scored 10. This was a disappointing loss for the Americans.
South Korea 74, Iran 67
In the best game of the day, the South Koreans handed perennial powerhouse Iran a tough 74-67 loss that featured intense action on the court throughout the matchup. The MVP of the tournament thus far has been South Korea’s Ricardo Ratliffe and he was the star of the game again. Ratliffe scored 27 points and added 19 rebounds.
Iran did not go down without a fight, though. Mohammad Ojaghi led the team in scoring with 27 points, but it was Meisam Mirzaei’s 15 points and 11 rebounds that kept Iran in the game.
Chinese Taipei A 78, Jordan 72
Chinese Taipei A that beat Jordan on Wednesday, 78-72, and the victory has sent the team to the top of the tournament standings. It was an all-around effort, as Tsung-Hsien Chang managed to score 16 points, Wen-Cheng Tsai added 12 and Chin-Min Yang tallied 10.
Jordan has slipped down the standings, but still has the offense to be serious contenders. Even in a loss, Wesam Al-Sous (12 points), Mousa Alawadi (10 points) and Ahmed Al-Hamarsheh (10 points) all added to the effort.
Day 4 Recap
Chinese Taipei B 85, Iran 75
On the heels of a three-game losing streak in the tournament, Chinese Taipei B finally clinched its first victory. Despite an early charge by Iran that led to 28 points in the first quarter, the margin was tight at the end of the first half with Taipei B leading 43-42 at the break.
The 10-point deficit at the end was thanks in large part to Hu Long-Mao, who stepped up with 20 points and nine rebounds. Along with Hu, Taipei B also saw Peng Chun-Yen and Chen Ying-Chun register a combined 26 points to help lead the charge.
Though the B team has struggle thus far, the victory gives them confidence moving forward. As for Iran, the 2-2 record is shocking for a team that has dominated the William Jones Cup in the last half decade.
USA 86, Jordan 79
Just one day after dismantling South Korea, Team USA came out on fire against the previously undefeated Jordan. The 86-79 victory pushed the United States to a 3-1 record and in a tie at the top of the standings with Jordan and Chinese Taipei A.
MaJic Dorsey put up a personal tournament-high 30 points to pace the team in scoring. As for the presence inside, Cory Bradford and Craig Williams had 15 and 12 points, respectively, along with nine rebounds apiece.
USA faces an Egypt team fresh off a huge win of their own over Taipei A on Tuesday. With both teams looking to compete for the title, the Day 5 clash should be a pivotal one in the preliminary round.
Egypt 69, Chinese Taipei A 61
Another undefeated team, another disappointing loss.
Egypt came into Tuesday's matchup with Taipei A below .500 and looking for answers. They found those answers and more thanks to an outstanding all-around performance on both offense and defense.
Haytham Kamal (17), Ramy Abdalla (12) and Ibrahim El Gammal (12) all notched double-digit points for Egypt in the critical victory. As for the defense, the Egyptians were able to hold Taipei A to a tournament-low 61 points—the lowest before Day 4 was 84 against Taipei B.
The two previously undefeated teams in Taipei A and Jordan will meet on Wednesday for a huge game. Meanwhile, Egypt has its hands full looking to move over .500 against Team USA on Day 4 of the Cup.
South Korea 102, Japan 87
Looking to make a statement after a double-digit loss to USA, South Korea did exactly the same to Japan. The now 0-4 Japanese club was no match for South Korea in the 102-87 bludgeoning that occurred on Tuesday.
South Korea's decisive victory was led by Ratliffe Ricardo, who had 22 points and 23 rebounds. As for the scoring leaders, Song Chang-Yong (32) and Yang Jun-Beom (26) put up monster numbers to blister the woeful Japanese club.
Day 3 Recap
Iran 65, Egypt 62
Iran returned to its winning ways on Monday and took down Egypt in a hard-fought 65-62 victory. Instead of leaning on one player for offensive production, Iran is getting contributions from across the depth chart. Meisam Mirzaei had 13 points, Farid Aslani had 10 and Hamed Hosseinzadeh racked up 10, but it was Mohammad Hassanzadeh and his 11 points and 17 rebounds that stood out the most.
Egypt got solid performances out of Haytham Kamal (13 points) and Mouhanad El Sabagh (12 points), but Iran was clearly the better team in this matchup. The perennial contenders are rounding into elite form.
Jordan 81, Japan 63
As well as Iran has played, Jordan could be the team to beat in this tournament. Led by the scoring of Ahmed Al-Hamarsheh (23 points and seven rebounds) and Mousa Alawadi (16 points), Jordan earned its third win of the tournament in a 81-63 blowout victory against Japan.
Despite racking up an impressive 24 points in the fourth quarter thanks to the elite play of Hiroki Watanabe and Makoto Hiejima, Japan was not able to complete the comeback. With confidence on its side, Jordan will be tough to beat moving forward.
USA 93, South Korea 77
While the 93-77 final score in favor of Team USA over South Korea looks lop-sided, this was a much closer battle than the score suggests. Craig Williams set the pace for America with 19 points and MaJic Dorsey scored 15 more, but it was James Justice who was the best performer of the day. Justice racked up eight points, six rebounds and four assists.
South Korea rode the play of its two best players Yang Jun-Beom and Moon Tae-Jong, but it still wasn’t enough to earn the victory. Jun-Beom racked up 19 points on Monday and Tae-Jong added 18 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.
Chinese Taipei A 84, Chinese Taipei B 80
In the most unique showdown of the tournament, Chinese Taipei A defeated Chinese Taipei B, 84-80, in one of the most surprisingly intense games of the tournament. Chinese Taipei A remained undefeated on the scoring of Chang Tsung-Hsien (23 points), Lu Cheng-Ju (17 points) and Liu Cheng (14 points).
Chinese Taipei B deserve immense credit for their effort, though. Chang Jung-Hsuan scored 15 points for Chinese Taipei B and Tse-Yu Chen and Hu Long-Mao scored 14 points apiece.
Day 2 Recap
Jordan 74, Egypt 61
Jordan is one of two teams to remain undefeated through two games of the tournament, beating Egypt, 74-61. Guard Mousa Alawadi led the scoring for Jordan with 14 points and point guard Wesam Al-Sous and center Mohammad Hussein each added 13 points.
Egypt’s Ibrahim Gammal was the game’s overall leading scorer with 24 points.
South Korea 87, Chinese Taipei B 84
In the most interesting game of the day, South Korea held off Chinese Taipei B, 87-84. American star Ratliffe Ricardo put South Korea on his shoulders and racked up an impressive 32 points and 21 rebounds. Korean teammate Moon Tae-Jong also added 20 points.
As for Chinese Taipei B, Chen Ying-Chun added 18 points and Yi-Hsiang Chou added 15.
Iran 79, Japan 72 (Overtime)
The only overtime game of the day was the battle between Iran and Japan. While Japan proved to be a viable competitor to Iran in this tournament, Iran didn’t win four of the last five William Jones Cup tournaments by luck.
Iranian point guard Hamed Hosseinzadeh was the star of the game, adding 27 points and 17 rebounds. Japan’s Yuki Togashi and Ryumo Ono played well in the loss (16 and 14 points respectively), but Iran proved to be too strong when it mattered most.
Chinese Taipei A 85, USA 70
As the hosts of this tournament, Chinese Taipei A was expected to win it all. After a lopsided 85-70 win over Team USA on Sunday, the home team looks to be living up to the hype. Chinese Taipei’s Chang Tsung-Hsien led the scoring with 21 points and Los Angeles native Davis Quincy added another 20 points.
The Americans struggled in the second half, but Cory Bradford scored 21 points and MaJic Dorsey tallied 12. Team USA fell to 1-1 overall.
Day 1 Recap
USA 70, Iran 64
American basketball fans may not view it as an upset, but Team USA's 70-64 win over Iran Saturday was a major coup. The Iranians have dominated this event in recent years, and the United States' victory proves that they will contend in this tournament.
The red, white and blue got production throughout the lineup with guard James Justice leading the way to the tune of 14 points. Majic Dorsey and former Illinois star Cory Bradford chipped in 13 points apiece as well.
Iran struggled to get production from its supporting players as much of the emphasis was placed on Hamed Hosseinzadeh. He managed to put up 19 points, but only one other Iranian player managed double figures, which ultimately allowed the United States to come out on top.
This is a huge win for Team USA. General manager Travis McAvene made it clear leading up to the tournament that he wanted to compete with the best, according to Asia-Basket.com.
"In 2012 we came just one point shy of gold," McAvene said. "With added talent and side we want to be able to compete with Iran to win gold."
The United States took a big step toward that goal, but there are plenty of games left to be played.
Egypt 80, South Korea 78
In perhaps the best game of the day, Egypt outlasted South Korea 80-78 to get its tournament off to a fine start. Neither Egypt nor any other African nation has ever won this event or even medaled for that matter, so beating the 1999 champions is a big deal.
Four Egyptian players scored in double figures, including Haytham Khalifa with 15 points. Egypt's balanced offense proved to be effective, but South Korea boasted two players who were extremely difficult to contain.
Former Missouri star forward Ricardo Ratliffe went off with 30 points, while Tae-Young Moon added another 21. Unfortunately for the Koreans, the rest of the roster chipped in just 27 points, which wasn't quite enough to get the job done.
Korea will now have to rebound from this loss after entering the tournament among the top contenders due to a third-place finish last year.
Jordan 71, Chinese Taipei B 62
The 2014 William Jones Cup got off to a less-than-ideal start for one of the host nation's two entries. Chinese Taipei B fell 71-62 to rival Jordan in a contest that highlighted Chinese Taipei's lack of offensive punch.
Yi-Hsian Chou was the only Taiwanese player to register double figures in points with 10. Jordan, on the other hand, had four players accomplish that feat, including leading scorer Ahmad Hekmat Aldwairi, who dropped 17 points and grabbed 17 rebounds as well.
Hekmat Aldwairi's dominance on the glass put Chinese Taipei at a disadvantage, and it was never able to offer a true challenge after the first quarter. Jordan won this event in 2007 and 2008, so perhaps this win is a sign that its glory days at the William Jones Cup have returned.
Chinese Taipei A 88, Japan 77
While Chinese Taipei's day didn't get off to a great start, the Chinese Taipei A team atoned from the B team's loss. Chinese Taipei A picked up a convincing 88-77 win over Japan to shoot up to the top of the standings based on point differential.
Japan has never had a great deal of success at the William Jones Cup and its futility continued Saturday. Chinese Taipei, on the other hand, has won this event twice and has put itself in position to potentially do so again.
That is thanks largely to a virtuoso performance from Chin-Min Yang, who netted a game-high 27 points. Japan's Yuki Togashi put up 14 points, but the Japanese team didn't have anyone capable of matching Yang's offensive outburst.
Chinese Taipei definitely looks like it has a chance to do some damage, but the competition promises to get tougher moving forward.
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