The first match of the day, between the Australia Gliders and Japan in the women’s competition, provided one of the highlights of the second day’s play at the 2017 IWBF Asia Oceania Zone Championships from Beijing, China.

The Australian Gliders were much more assertive and confident in the opening minutes against Japan. The Gliders went on an early run to lead 6-0 after just one minute and forcing Japan into an early timeout.  As Japan struggled to find their momentum, Australia extended their lead and had a ten-point advantage going into the second quarter. Both teams traded baskets in the second quarter shooting at 60% from the field, Australia maintained their lead into the halftime break, 42-28.  The third quarter saw Australia extend the lead to, 62-43. Despite a rallied effort in the fourth by Japan, the margin was too much, and Australia took the win 65-59. Gliders’ Cobi Crispin top scored with 23 points closely followed by Amber Merritt and Georgia Munro Cook with 18 points and 12 points, respectively.  Whilst Japan were well led by Chihiro Kitada’s double-double (19 points and 12 rebounds) and Mari Amimoto’s 17 points. STATISTICS

Iran men continued to demonstrate their prowess on the court, with a comfortable 91 – 15 win over New Zealand. The duo Omid Hadiazhar (28 points) and Mohammadhasan Sayari (24points) proved unstoppable as New Zealand struggled to find their own range, with a best for Eamon Woods scoring 6 points. STATISTICS

The Australian Rollers finished top of their pool today and secured a place in the men’s quarter-finals with an effortless 91-13 win over Chinese Taipei.  The experience of the Australian team, particularly Shaun Norris who continually found the open player under the basket, put Chinese Taipei under constant pressure and allowed the Australian’s to capitalise, with five players hitting double figures. Leading the scoring was Australian Tristan Knowles 20 points (7 from 9), Michael Auprince 14 points (7 from 9).  For Chinese Taipei Lu Chun-Hi was their top scorer hitting 6 points and 4 rebounds. STATISTICS

China are topping the women’s following their second win of the championship. They ensured a comfortable victory over Iran, 79-22.  China shot well throughout the game with GuidiL Yu leading with 16 points (7 from 13) and Xiaolian Huang with 14 for the game.  For Iran Mahsa Saadatzeinadanloo continued to impress with 11 points and 12 rebounds. STATISTICS

Following the game Iran Sports Federation for the Disabled International Affairs Manager, Hourieh Baradaran said, “It is exciting for our women’s team to be here at their first Asia Oceania Championships.  They have trained extensively prior to the tournament and are pleased that they are able to compete against the best women’s teams in the region.  We are working diligently in Iran to create more opportunities for our female wheelchair basketballers.”

China’s men’s team earnt their second win of the championship with a big win, 106-24, over UAE.  Lei Yang was outstanding making 34 points at 60% and also grabbing 9 rebounds. Tareiq Alyassi, top-scored for UAE with 8 points. STATISTICS

Korea’s men’s team also went 2-0, in a similar style to the Chinese, with a big win, 107 – 19, over Afghanistan.  Korea established their superiority from the get-go and with quarter scores of 32-2, 32-9, 11-4, 32-7 the game was never in doubt.  Korea’s Donghyeon Gim was the leading scorer with 27 points and 9 rebounds and was well supported by Seunghyun Cho with 19.  Afghanistan’s Sayed Nazir Qatali finished with 6 points. STATISTICS

Another superb shooting display from Thailand’s Aekkasit Jumjarean assisted Thailand to victory against Saudi Arabia, 68-48. Thailand were quickly out of the block pushing out to a 22-8 lead by the end of the first quarter. After a low scoring second quarter they led 33-14 at the long break and whilst a revived Saudi Arabia came back at them in the second half the gap was too big, and Thailand took the win. Aekkasit Jumjarean finished with 21 points and 8 rebounds, he was well supported by Kwanchai Pimkorn’s double-double (17 points and 10 rebounds) and Pongsakorn Sripirom (12).   Saudi Arabia were well served by Mahdi Almakinah, 14 points, and Essam Buayti 10 points.  Thailand will now face Iran in the final group game tomorrow for the chance to finish top of Pool C. STATISTICS

The final game of day two was a real cliffhanger with Hong Kong hanging on in the last minutes to gain their first victory at the Asia Oceania Championships with a win 56-47 over Kuwait.  Hong Kong, who were making their debut in the competition, started well and held an eight-point lead at the halftime break.  They pulled away in the third quarter by 15 points, but Kuwait clawed their way back into the game. Despite Hong Kong’s 11-point margin going into the final quarter, Kuwait brought the game back to a three-point game with just one minute remaining but it was thanks to the efforts of Alphonsus Geo Git To at both ends of the court were able to hold off Kuwait to win by 9 points.  Alphonsus Gee Git To top-scored for Hong Kong with 15 points and 6 rebounds assisted by Yan Keung Cheng’s 9 points.  Top scorers for Kuwait were Yousuf Nasir 13 points, Mohammad Algharib 12 points and Nezar Mohammad 10 points. STATISTICS

Heading into day three the closest competition is yet to come from the men’s championship, in Group A Iraq and Chinese Taipei will be battling it out for second place, whilst in Group B Japan need to make sure of the win against Hong Kong.  Group C will see New Zealand take on Saudi Arabia in a fight for third place, as Thailand and Iran vie for the number one spot.  Host’s China will meet Korea in the opening game of day three, a top of the table decided in Group D. Third position in Group D will also be decided as UAE take on Afghanistan.

The women’s competition pool will also be decided tomorrow as China match up with Japan and Australia take on Iran.

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