Malaysia played India and produced a dominant display to go 2-0 following their second win in Pool B of Division 2 of the 2019 Asia Oceania Championships. India kept it close in the first quarter, going down 18-9, but Malaysia were able to open up a healthy lead by half-time, 38-13, thanks to a strong second period. The second half continued in much the same manner, with both teams using their full rosters as the gap between the teams widened. Malaysia won the third and fourth, 21-2 and 14-2 respectively, to finish up winning 73-17.
Freday Yei Bing Tan scored 16 points for Malaysia, with teammate Muhamad Atib Zakaria getting a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds. Ramesh Shanmugam scored 11 points for India.
The other game in Pool B saw the Philippines and Iraq battle it out. The Philippines started brightly by winning the first quarter 13-9, and kept their noses in front at half-time, leading 25-22. Both teams saw main players get in to foul trouble at different periods during the game, so substitutions and tactics became important as the game wore on. Iraq came back and took the lead after four minutes of the third, but could only manage one more basket for the remainder of the period. Going in to the fourth, the Philippines still had the advantage, 38-32, but with five minutes to go, Iraq had pulled to within one point, and it seemed like they could be on for their second win of the championships. The Philippines weren’t going to give up their lead again though and finished the game well, to win 55-45.
Rene Macabenguil 16 points, John Rey Escalante (13), and Alfie Cabanog with a double-double of 11 points and 16 rebounds led for the Philippines, whilst captain Raad Al-Khafaji hit a double-double for Iraq with 18 points and 13 rebounds.
It was an eventful start in the Afghanistan versus Saudi Arabia game in Pool A as the Afghan Head Coach, Abass Aghakoucheki, was ejected from the game at the beginning of the game for receiving two technical fouls. Leading 14-8, Afghanistan went on a 6-0 run at the start of the second to go 20-8 in front, but Saudi Arabia dug in and pulled it back to just a four-point deficit for themselves at half-time, down 20-24. The gap extended to eight points midway through the third period, but a couple of substitutions by Saudi Arabia seemed to turn the game in their favour. They went on a 12-0 run to take the lead going in to the final quarter. It took six minutes for Afghanistan to score their next points and by this time their opponents had opened up a healthy lead, and completed their comeback winning the fourth 15-5 and getting the victory, 54-42, to claim their second win of the tournament.
Asadullah Abdul Rahimzai top scored for Afghanistan with 14 points, and Shahpoor Surkhabi scored 10 points. Musa Alzahrani hit a double-double for Saudi Arabia of 13 points and 10 rebounds, with Mahdi Almakinah (11 points) and Faisal Asiri (10 points) also getting into double figures.
The game between Indonesia and Chinese Taipei was a one-sided affair as Indonesia went scoreless in the first quarter. They improved in the second period, but with quarter scores of 19-0, 12-7, 16-6, and 20-3, Chinese Taipei ran out comfortable winners to go 2-0 in Pool A.
Chinese Taipei’s Chuang-Yi Giu was the only player in the game to score in double digits, notching a double-double of 24 points and 12 rebounds. Lalu Idrus dominated the boards for Indonesia with 13 rebounds.
The championships, being hosted by the Sports Association for Wheelchair Basketball Thailand, will tell us which countries from the Asia Oceania Zone will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Tomorrow is the first full day of action with 10 matches over two courts over the course of the day.