The second round of the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship finished Wednesday with a six-game slate, including a big matchup between Qatar and Chinese Taipei. That contest was as exciting as everyone had hoped, which is good news considering the other games weren't nearly as close.
With the completion of action Wednesday, teams will now begin preparation for the final round beginning Aug. 9. Four more teams -- Japan, Hong Kong, Bahrain, India -- were eliminated this round, leaving us with the eight finalists for the crown.
The final three teams from the tournament will receive invitations to the 2014 FIBA World Cup.
Jordan 65, Japan 56: Mohammad Shaher Hussein posted a monster double-double of 15 points and 19 rebounds to lead Jordan past Japan in a low-scoring affair. Jimmy Baxter had 16 points for Jordan, which advances with the victory.
After falling behind early, Jordan slowly took command of the game and built an 18-point lead midway through the third quarter. Japan rallied, cutting the deficit to seven with just over three minutes to go and six with 27 seconds left, but it couldn't get any closer.
Naoto Tsuji was the only player on Japan to reach double-figures in scoring, with 14 points off the bench. Japan shot just 30.8 percent from the field.
Qatar 71, Chinese Taipei 68: Daoud Musa nailed a bucket to put Qatar up two with 43 seconds left, and that lead held up to give Qatar a victory in a tight battle between two of the top teams in Group E.
The game was close throughout, but it looked like Qatar had the win secured when it went up by 12 with just over four minutes left. Chinese Taipei came storming back, going on a 14-2 run to tie the game at 68-68 before Musa's bucket put Qatar ahead for good.
Yasseen Musa had a huge game for Qatar, scoring 20 points and pulling down 19 rebounds. Jarvis Hayes added 13 points and seven rebounds. Quincy Davis had 23 points and eight rebounds for Chinese Taipei in the loss.
Philippines 67, Hong Kong 55: The Philippines clinched the top seed in Group E with a come-from-behind victory over Hong Kong. Marcus Douthit led the Philippines with 13 points and eight rebounds, while Gabriel Norwood had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Hong Kong led by six after the first quarter and remained up by five heading into the break. But then the Philippines made its charge, outscoring Hong Kong, 18-10, in the third and pulling away in the final frame.
Siu Wing Chan had 16 points off the bench for Hong Kong. Duncan Reid added a double-double with 12 points and 19 rebounds. Hong Kong shot just 28.0 percent from the field.
Iran 85, Kazakhstan 53: Hamed Haddadi had 16 points and nine rebounds as Iran routed Kazakhstan. Hamed Afagh added 15 points for Iran, which remains unbeaten in the tournament.
Iran led essentially the entire game, taking a seven-point lead after the first quarter and stretching that out to 17 at halftime. The closest Kazakhstan got the rest of the game was 14, with things getting out of hand in the third quarter.
Rustam Yargaliyev had 14 points for Kazakhstan. Despite the loss, Kazakhstan did qualify for the quarterfinals.
China 88, Bahrain 66: China cruised into the quarterfinals with a blowout victory over Bahrain. Six players on China scored in double figures, led by Chen Jianghua's 13 points. China shot 50.8 percent from the field.
China jumped all over Bahrain from the opening tip, taking a 21-5 lead after the first frame. The lead ballooned to 22 by halftime, and Bahrain never really threatened in the second half.
Subah Azzam and Hussain Al-Tawash each had 13 points for Bahrain, which didn't qualify for the quarterfinals.
Korea 95, India 54: The Koreans didn't need a victory to advance, but they still pummeled India with an impressive shooting effort. Getting six-plus points from nine different players, Korea shot 48 percent from three-point range and 55 percent overall en route to an easy victory.
Point guard Mingoo Kim was especially impressive for Korea, nearly recording a triple-double with 14 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. He also powered the team's long-range shooting effort, hitting 4-of-7 shot attempts from beyond the arc. Fellow guard Dong-Geun Yang added 10 points and eight assists.
India got a breakout performance in the game from Pratham Singh, but it was too little, too late. Singh shot 7-of-12 with 18 points to lead the team, but it didn't mean much as his teammates shot a combined 32 percent from the field.