Saturday, July 14, 2012

Asian Qualifying

China opened the Asian part of qualification with an easy defeat of Turkey in Beijing. South Korea was the favorite heading into the match against Qatar, but led by Achmed Al Masri, the Qatar team beat Turkey by 7 in Nanjing. The wide open Group B started with Japan beating the Israeli team in Changchun. India opened their tournament in the right way with a victory over the United Arab Emirates team in Macau.

China was the host and favorites in the tournament, and their victory over South Korea in Tianjin had the Koreans all but eliminated. Al Masri scored 18 points and lifted Qatar over Turkey in Shanghai eliminating the Turks and Koreans. The 34th ranked team in the world had beaten the 19th and 23rd shockingly. In Guangzhou, the Japanese team beat the UAE to be 2-0 and in prime position to advance. Israel knocked out the Indian team in a heated battle of the 16th and 17th ranked teams in the world, the game went into the final seconds with Israel blocking India’s shot at the buzzer in Hong Kong.

In group A, the teams that advanced were already set. But China beat Qatar for seeding in Changchun in a close game. South Korea came in blazing against Turkey in Macau, but were put in their place with Turkey saving themselves from a winless tournament. India and Israel were tied record wise with one game left before the knockout rounds. India was facing Japan with a chance to win, but Japan went on a 10-1 run after half and sent the Indian team home from Nanjing. Israel had lots of support in being the underdogs of the tournament, and they continued their run with a win over the UAE in Tianjin putting them in the knockout round.

The mighty Chinese team beat the darling Israeli team in Guangzhou, advancing to the finals against the winner of the second game. Japan and Qatar faced off in Hong Kong with the Japanese team who rolled through the group stages, but the tournament MVP Al Masri had a triple double and sent the Japanese to the Bronze medal game trying to score the 3rd team in the World Yakball Cup. Japan played Israel in the 3rd place game in Beijing beating the Israeli team 40-31. The finals were a highly anticipated match up between Qatar and China in Shanghai. The Qatari team put up a fight, but the home team with all their support won the game and will be a favorite in America.

Qualified teams

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