Korea trounces Qatar to set up Gilas showdown
Korea's Kim Jong-kyu scores against Qatar's Musa Yasseen. South Korea will face Gilas Pilipinas in the semifinals of the 27th FIBA Asia Men's Basketball Championship on Saturday. -- Photo by Nuki Sabio
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - South Korea routed Qatar, 79-52, in their quarterfinal match-up at the 27th FIBA Asia Men's Basketball Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday.
Cho Sung-min scored 16 points, Lee Seung-jun added 12 markers, and Korea never trailed against Qatar as they cruised to the Final Four of the tournament.
"Qatar has been a very strong team throughout the tournament. We scouted them and we watched video, we had a game plan," said Lee. "Coach put together some stuff today and we tried to do what he told us to do."
"We are very happy to advance and we look forward to playing the Philippines tomorrow," he added.
South Korea's game against Gilas Pilipinas on Saturday night will be rematch of their third-place match in the 2011 tournament, which saw Korea win 70-68 to break Filipino hearts.
But Gilas Pilipinas, who routed Kazakhstan 88-58 in their quarterfinals clash earlier, hope to have a different result as they are backed by thousands of fans at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Jarvis Hayes and Erfan Ali Saeed both scored 10 points for Qatar, but they could not match the intensity of Korea all game long.
"They played great tonight," Abdulrahman Saad said of the Korean team. "Definitely, they outplayed us. They outhustled us and they beat us on the boards. They came out with a lot more intensity than we did throughout the game."
Qatar coach Tom Wisman, who endeared himself to Filipino fans after guiding his team to an upset of Chinese-Taipei in the second round, was more subdued this time.
"We couldn't match the young legs and the intensity that they played at," he said. "We are an aging team, and we didn't quite match the young guys."
Qatar will take on Kazakhstan Saturday.
KOREA 79 - Cho 16, Lee S. J. 12, Yoon 10, Kim M. 9, Kim S. 7, Yang 7, Kim T. 6, Kim Jong-kyu 6, Kim Joo-sung 4, Lee J. 2, Choi 0
QATAR 52 - Saeed 10, Hayes 10, Daoud 9, Abdi 6, Saad 6, Elhadary 3, Musa 3, Saleem 2, Mohammed 2, Ali 1, Mohamed 0, Saleem 0
Quarter-scoring: 24-14, 40-28, 61-42, 79-52