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ONE WORLD CUP SLOT LEFT FOR THE TAKING

Drowned by the euphoria of claiming a spot in the 2014 World Cup in Spain were the results of the other games in the penultimate day of the 27th FIBA Asia championship Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

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First to book a seat in the title match Sunday was Iran, which ripped Chinese-Taipei, 79-60, just 24 hours after the latter brought down the Great Wall that is China in the quarterfinals.

Less than two hours later, Gilas Pilipinas followed Iran to the championship game with an 86-79 conquest of Korea. (See detailed game story posted earlier)

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Iran and the Philippines thus earned their place in the World Cup, leaving just one more spot open for an Asian team – a spot which will be contested by Chinese-Taipei and Korea.

Veteran Wang Zhizhi banged in 33 points but deposed champion China still struggled in edging Jordan, 79-76. The Chinese will try to salvage 5th spot against Qatar, which rolled back Kazakhstan, 72-67. Jordan and Kazakhstan will slug it out for 7th place.

Japan whipped Hong Kong, 79-50, to clinch 9th place. Hong Kong finished 10th.

India wound up in 11th place with a 75-65 victory over Bahrain, which settled for 12th. (JL)

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