Not the Miami Heat. FIBA Asia in Manila!
This time I won’t be talking about Karate. It’s time to talk about Basketball! FIBA Asia is happening right now in Manila and it will be a topic everywhere here in town for the next two weeks.
As you know, every now and then I write articles about other sports. This blog is still about Karate, of course, but it’s also about defeating the daily grind through sports. Other than Martial Arts, I talk about basketball sometimes. Plus I enjoy watching it so why not complete the joy of pretending to be an expert like the rest of the 100 million basketball crazy Filipinos?
Before I proceed, a short message to the followers of this blog: For those who like basketball, indulge me! For those who follow us for Karate or Martial Arts, hope you can allow us this break every now and then.
About the games then! The first day of the tournament is over and I’ve seen some very interesting ones. China and South Korea was an exciting match. It was a close tough one from beginning to end. South Korea upsets China and wins 63 – 59. Not even the presence of NBA player Jian Lian Yi could stop the relentless attack of South Korea led by Kim Joo Sung.
On a side note, it was nice to see Wang Zhi Zhi back again for the Chinese team. This center has been playing since 1996 and I have seen him in their national team competing in the worlds, Olympics and the FIBA Asia championships for more than a decade.
Earlier in the day, Iran battled Malaysia with a final score of 115 – 25. It was definitely a statement for the defendinbg champions. This deadly team spearheaded by Hamed Haddadi, a towering dominant center who will definitely cause problems to all teams, is looking at keeping the title and nothing more.
The game between the Philippines and Saudi Arabia was a bit of disappointment. It was surprising to see the Philippines struggle against Saudi Arabia considering the past performances of these teams. The Philippine team is a perennial contender that couldn’t seem to find luck in its attempt to get to the finals. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia is not exactly known for its basketball prowess but they made it tough for Gilas Pilipinas specially in the first half. In fact, until the fourth quarter, you can’t help but say that these guys from the Saudi team don’t seem to want to go away.
The other games I haven’t seen but I’ll get a chance to see the other teams in the coming days.
Now we go to my predictions! That’s actually the reason I wanted to write about it. Just for the sake of fun discussion on social media and the blogosphere, I also want to get other people’s prediction. So I’ll tell you mine and you can tell me yours.
Given what I know about the teams and what I have seen in the recent past and specially today, my prediction is that Iran will keep the title. South Korea will bag the second place and the Philippines will be third. As much as I am rooting for Gilas Pilipinas, I really think that it is still a tough road ahead. I wish to God I am wrong and they get the championship but I am not seeing it yet. Thank goodness I’m not an expert and I could be very well wrong.
WHAT’S YOUR PREDICTION?
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