July 15, 2006
Taipei City, Taiwan – Using a blistering start and strong finish, Athletes in Action held off Kazakhstan to win 84-74 and claim the second overall seed in the elimination rounds of the 28th William Jones Cup held at the Taipei Physical Education College Gym.
It looked like only one team had decided to come and play on Friday afternoon in the early game between AIA and Kazakhstan, as AIA raced to a 13-0 lead and a 28-11 first quarter advantage. AIA managed 6 steals in the first 4 minutes and 40 seconds of the game aiding the large margin, and a 16-point half-time lead. An undeterred Kazakhstan came out with more energy in the second half and began to chip away at the AIA lead.
Lead by the physical play of Anton Ponomarev and Yevgeniy Issakov, Kazakhstan cut the lead in half by the end of the third period and then tied the game at 66 with just over six minutes remaining. AIA head coach Mike Jarvis opted not to call a timeout to end the run, but instead trusted his team’s toughness to get them through the dry spell.
Over the next 90 seconds, AIA capitalized on several fast break opportunities and Kansas’ Christian Moody stole the ball and then slammed it home to cap a 10-0 run and force Kazakhstan to call timeout to regroup. The lead never dipped back under ten points the rest of the way as Kazakhstan had no answer to the quick AIA spurt.
Five players scored in double figures for AIA including Tony Danridge (16), Troy Devries (15), Josh Carter (12), Dominique Kirk (11), and Christian Moody (10). JaRon Jefferson and Boomer Herndon also added eight points each to the effort. Herndon was the leading rebounder on the night as he grabbed 11 boards. Dominique Kirk and Josh Carter both had four steals.
The win puts AIA at 6-1 following round-robin play and tied for first with Qatar. Qatar won the head to head match-up and was awarded the first seed. Korea finished third and Taiwan fourth to round out the championship bracket. Qatar will meet Taiwan at 5PM and AIA will face Korea at 7PM Saturday in the championship semi-finals.
Jones Cup Final Standings
Day 7 Results (Friday)
AIA 84, Kazakhstan 74
Qatar 90, Australia 65
Philippines 112, Japan 86
Korea 86, Taiwan 74
Kazakhstan vs. Japan 1PM
Australia vs. Philippines 3PM
Qatar vs. Taiwan 5PM
AIA vs. Korea 7PM
Note: Game story provided by Peter Warden who is traveling with the Athletes In Action team at the William Jones Cup competition.