Quarterfinal line-up for Friday
Top half (winners meet in semifinals)
China Vs. Thailand
Philippines Vs. Japan
Bottom half (winners meet in semifinal)
India Vs. Lebanon
Syria Vs. Hong Kong
BANGKOK, Thailand (1st FIBA Asia 3x3 U18 Championship for Boys and Girls): Two out of the eight quarterfinalists went beyond the routine equations before making the cut, thus setting stage for an interesting, intriguing and intense Final day of action as the playoffs loomed large in the boys competition in the 1st FIBA Asia 3x3 U18 Championship for Boys and Girls on Thursday.
Philippines and Syria along with Qatar and Chinese Taipei were involved in a four-cornered contest for the two places in Group B – with the managers alternating between the technical table and shouting instructions to their teams faster the swings of a pendulum – before Philippines and Syria finished in a tie for the two places. The SEABA nation, one of the more compact teams in the competition, however went on to finish on top of the pool by virtue of their win against Syria.
Japan who had suffered a shocking defeat to Hong Kong on the opening day came back strongly winning both their games – by whiskers – and cruised into quarterfinals.
Hong Kong in Group C and Lebanon in Group D meanwhile went about their business winning all the four games on their plate as China too remained unbeaten in Group A on their way to the quarterfinals.
“It’s an excellent stage. Nobody can guess the outcome of the playoffs. Such is the equal level of the playing field,” said Hong Kong coach Chu Ka Chun.
Hong Kong continue to remain the dark horses in this competition, having made the play-offs for the first time in recent memory in FIBA Asia competitions.
If the dark horses can go all the way, which certainly won’t surprise those who watched them play at the Bangkok Youth Center, remains to be seen.