S. Korea qualifies for basketball world championship

By 윤민식
  • Published : Aug 12, 2013 - 09:28
  • Updated : Aug 12, 2013 - 09:28

South Korea qualified for its first men's basketball world championship in nearly two decades on Sunday, after handily beating Taiwan to finish third at the Asian championship in the Philippines.

At the Mall of Asia Arena, South Korea cruised past Taiwan 75-57 in the third-place contest, securing the final Asian ticket to the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.

It will be South Korea's first appearance at the world championship since 1998.

Kim Min-goo led South Korea with a game-high 21 points and shot 5-of-10 from the three-point range. Veteran forward Kim Joo-sung, who represented South Korea at the country's last world championship appearance in Greece, contributed 12 points and eight rebounds.

South Korea opened a 29-13 lead after the first quarter and was hardly challenged the rest of the game. By halftime, it was 50-29 for South Korea.

South Korean went scoreless for the first five minutes of the third quarter, as Taiwan cut the deficit to 50-36. Yang Dong-geun then made two free throws for South Korea, and Yoon Ho-young and Kim Min-goo followed with back-to-back treys to put South Korea up by 61-40.

The game was effectively out of reach for Taiwan, as South Korea led 71-49 with about five minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Lu Cheng-Ju had 13 points to lead Taiwan in the losing cause.

Quincy Davis III had 12 points, but no other Taiwanese player scored in double figures.

Kim Min-goo, a 22-year-old collegiate guard, was named to the tournament All-Star team. Kim led South Korea with 12.7 points per game, despite averaging just 20 minutes a game, and topped the entire tournament with 25 three-point field goals made in nine games.

In the championship final, Iran defeated the Philippines 85-71 to grab its third Asian title. Iranian center Hamed Haddadi was named the tournament MVP after dropping in 29 points and pulling down 16 rebounds in the final.

The one-time NBA center led the competition with 18.8 points and 10 boards per game. (Yonhap News)