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Malaysia beats Uzbekistan 80-75 at FIBA Asian championship

09-21-2011 14:14 BJT

WUHAN, China. Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia edged Uzbekistan 80-75 at the FIBA Asian championship here on Tuesday.

Four of Malaysian players harvested double figures. Batumalai Guganeswaran topped the team with 14 points. Center Chen Li Wei had 13 points and nine rebounds.

Uzbekistan shooter Aleksandr Kozlov made a game-high 21 points.

Malaysia and Uzbekistan both lost their first group E games by huge margin on Monday. Malaysia suffered an 121-36 loss to defending champion Iran, while Uzbekistan was defeated by South Korea 106-57.

Uzbekistan saw a chance to level the score when Gennadiy Zinovev buried a three-pointer to trim the deficit to 78-75 with 23 seconds left. However, Guganeswaran made his last two points on the free throw line to secure the victory for Malaysia.

Malaysia missed the last two Asian championships. The team finished their last three Asian championships (1999, 2003 and 2005) without a single victory. Before the Wuhan event, the team's last Asian championship win dated back to 1995.

Malaysia had a hot start to the game with a 21-10 lead in the first quarter. Though Uzbekistan has a psycial advantage, Malaysian players made full use of their speed to finish several fast breaks.

Malaysia kept the lead until the fourth period, when Uzbekistan shooters buried four three pointers to catch up.

Uzbekistan outrebounded Malaysia 43-34, but the central Asian team made five more turnovers than their opponents. Malaysia made 30 penalty shots throughout the game, while Uzbekistan only got 14 chances.

Malaysia was to meet Chinese Taipei on Wednesday, and a victory would give them a spot in the knock-out stage. Uzbekistan's next opponent was Lebanon.

In Group F, Syria beat UAE 80-70. Syria's forward Ibrahim Ahmad scored a game-high 25 points.

UAE stayed at the last place of the group after two straight losses.

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Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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