Opening game of the Central and East Asia Qualifying Tournament saw the women’s tournament leaders Iran play Cambodia. The first period saw a tight contest, but Iran held Cambodia scoreless in the second to break the game open. After halftime, it was all one-way traffic as Iran ran away 58-17 victors. Mahsa Saadatzeinadanloo (18) again topped the scorers as Iran shared the scoring across several players. An Sinet was kept quiet for Cambodia with Ho Chanty picking up 8 points.
The second women’s game provided what many considered the surprise result of the day as the inexperienced Thailand overcame Afghanistan. In the first period on the back of Natnapa Ponin’s 10 points Thailand opened up a 12 point lead. Afghanistan won the second period and squared the third, but they were unable to bridge the gap in the last and went down 41-34. Ponin finished with 20 and had good support from Pawarati Jala(8), but it was their team’s ability to spread the game across the court and protect the ball that was the undoing of Afghanistan. For the Afghani’s Somaya Noori top scored with 13 points.
India’s men were completely outgunned by the unbeaten Chinese. China dominated the game from start to finish as India had no answer for their speed and height. Lin Yinhai again had a day out with 45 points ably supported by Deng Jianchun and Li Yiquan, who scored 34 and 33 respectively, to put complete a 112-17 rout. India’s captain Parthasarathi Venkatram worked hard all day for his 8 points.
In the second quarterfinal, Thailand’s path to the semi-finals was also not challenged by Indonesia. They put the game out of reach in the first period when they went to the first break 20 points up. Coach Abbas was able to rest his power forwards Pongsakorn Sripirom and Aekkasit Jumjarean as Thailand consistently built on their lead throughout the game. One point player Jakkapan Jansupin jointly topped the scoresheet for Thailand with Mongkol Tunsa-Ard both on 14, well supported by Sompong Thaiyod with 12. Indonesia’s Donald Santoso headed all scorers with 19 points in their 63-23 loss.
Afghanistan went into their quarterfinal against Malaysia with renewed confidence on the back of their win yesterday, but a dominant second period from Malaysia where they went on a 20 – 4 run put their game beyond doubt. The second half from Afghanistan was far more competitive but it was not enough to trouble Malaysia who finished with a solid 62-32 win. Malaysia shared the scoring with Yei Bing Freday Tan (20), Hamzah (13) and Zakaria (12) heading the way while for Afghanistan Sadat and Qatali both reached double figures.
In the much-anticipated quarterfinal, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong squared off to decide the fourth and last team to go through to the Asian Para Games. Both teams had shown good form all week, and the first half did not disappoint with Hong Kong holding a slender two-point lead at halftime. It was in the third where the game was decided, Taipei’s Lu Chun-Yi had a hot streak and his 8 points for the quarter was the difference putting Taipei up by 8 at the final change. He continued his form in the last period and Hong Kong had no answer as they went down 47-34. Lu finished with 18 points and was backed up well by Liu Shu-Yu (13) and Tsai Wei-Cheng (10), while for Hong Kong To and Cheng both scored 10.
The final women’s game of the day had Laos and India both searching for their first win of the week. In a tight game where scoring was at a premium, India’s poor percentage allowed Laos to open up an 11-point halftime lead. Laos through better general court control and thanks to Vilayphone’s 14 points continued to control the game through to the end and recorded their first victory in International competition 28-5.
Semifinals on Friday see China versus Chinese Taipei on one side and Thailand versus Malaysia the other, with all four already securing their place at the Asian Para Games in October.
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