Thailand have made history at the 2022 IWBF Asia Oceania Championships in Phuket Thailand, securing their first-ever place at a World Championships after triumphing over Malaysia, 64-37, in the quarter-final to progress to the semi-finals and ensure a top-four finish.
Thailand’s Head Coach, Mohammadreza Dastyar, said: “This is the first time that the team has succeeded in securing a place to participate in a World Competition and it’s thanks to the efforts of the athletes with the support of the Basketball Association that we’ve managed to do this. We hope to make the Thai people happy by working harder to put on performances they can be proud of at the World Championships in Dubai.”
Korea, Iran, and Australia also guaranteed themselves spots at the 2022 IWBF World Championships, taking place in Dubai later this year, as they joined the hosts Thailand in the semi-finals following winning their respective quarter-finals.
Korea took on Iraq, who finished top of Pool B. Iraq stayed with Korea for the first quarter but a dominant second quarter from the Koreans, who scored 21 points and kept Iraq to just 2 points, ensured they had control of the game by the half time break and comfortably ran out, 64-35, victors.
Iran, who topped Pool A in the preliminary round, outscored the Philippines, 86-29, in the third quarter-final game. The final game of the day ended with reigning Asia Oceania Champions, Australia cruising to a 79-25 win over Saudi Arabia setting up a semi-final pairing with Korea, a rematch of the 2019 Asia Oceania Championship Gold Medal Game.
The losing teams from the quarter-finals – Malaysia, Iraq, Philippines and Saudi Arabia – still have the incentive that the zone’s last qualification spot at the 2022 IWBF World Championships is up for grabs for the team who finishes fifth and the four will play in the 5-8 crossover games, tomorrow.
In the 9-10 Placing Game, Afghanistan put on a commanding team performance against the United Arab Emirates, with five players hitting double figures to assist them to a 76-32 win and ensure they finished in the ninth place at the Championships.