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Bahrain storms past Chinese Taipei, sets QF date with Batang Gilas

Baqer Ali scored 23 points to lead Bahrain to a ticket to the quarterfinals. FIBA Photo. 

By Ricky Manliguis

MANILA—Bahrain completed the quarterfinal cast of the 2018 FIBA Under-18 Asian Championship with an emphatic 76-65 win over Chinese-Taipei at Stadium 29 in Nonthaburi, Thailand Wednesday night.  

The Bahrainis had to recover from a nightmarish second quarter with a blistering second half display to secure the win and a last-eight showdown with Batang Gilas on Thursday. It is also the only win for a third-seeded team in the tournament.

Leading by double digits in the first period, 26-16, Chinese Taipei went back to life with 23 points while stymied the Middle Eastern squad's offensive to just nine for a 39-35 heading into halftime.

But that was all Chinese Taipei can muster, as Bahrain answered back with a 20-3 third quarter to  control the game from there, 55-42.

Chinese Taipei tried to revive their chances, but could not trim the deficit to single digits. Muzamil Hamoda scored the insurance basket, 73-56, with 1:22 left in the match.

Baqer Ali and Mustafa Rashed each scored 23 points while Hamoda issued 14 for Bahrain, which shot 45% from the field and pulled a 54-42 rebounding advantage.  

The winner of the Philippines-Bahrain match-up will meet the survivor of the Australia-Japan tussle. Japan entered the last eight by mangling Lebanon, 85-67.

The other quartefinal pairings pit defending champions Iran versus New Zealand and South Korea going up against 11-time winners China.

New Zealand clobbered India, 129-76, while China vented its ire on Indonesia, 102-45.

The Scores:

Bahrain 76— Baqer Ali 23, Mustafa Rashed 23, Hamoda 14, Ali Rashed 7, Karim Aboukuora 4, Ali Kadhem 3, Ghanem Nawaf 2, Rashed Awadh 0, Ahmed Dindayneh 0.

Chinese Taipei 65— Yan 19, Ma 13, Cheng 8, Chen FPY 8, Li 8, Morrison 4, Yun 3, Kuang 2, Jin 0, Chang 0, Chia 0, Yen 0.

Quarterscores: 26-16, 35-39, 55-42, 76-65.

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