Powerade five can't take Kuwait lightly
By Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star) Updated August 12, 2009 12:00 AM
MANILA, Philippines - Kuwait is the last team that Powerade Team Pilipinas will face before the FIBA-Asia knockout quarterfinals start on Friday in Tianjin and it’s a game coach Yeng Guiao can’t afford to lose.
The Philippines is safely in the eight-team quarterfinals but what Guiao is avoiding is a matchup against powerhouse China, expected to finish No. 1 from Groups C and D, now consolidated into Group F.
If the Philippines loses to Kuwait, it will end up with a record of 2-3. That will drop Powerade to No. 4 in the seedings of Groups A and B, now combined into Group E. If Chinese-Taipei also makes it to 2-3, Taiwan will be ranked No. 3 because of a superior quotient over Powerade.
Under FIBA rules, the quotient takes into account points for and against in all games, excluding those against eliminated teams. It will not matter that the Philippines beat Taiwan, 77-70, last Monday because the winner-over-the-other rule doesn’t apply. And the Philippines’ 84-point win over Sri Lanka, booted out in the first phase of eliminations, isn’t counted in the quotient. This interpretation is based on previous FIBA-Asia Championships. Confirmation on the application of the quotient system was being awaited at presstime.
Before yesterday’s games, the Philippines had a +3 quotient while Chinese-Taipei, +11.
There will be no complications if the Philippines beats Kuwait at 9 this morning. A win will raise Powerade’s record to 3-2 and unless Chinese-Taipei upset South Korea yesterday, Taiwan will wind up at 2-3, assuming a win over Japan today.
If the Philippines lands at No. 3, it will battle No. 2 from Group F in the knockout quarterfinals. Tipped to rank No. 2 in Group F is Jordan. If the Philippines is No. 4, it will play Group F No. 1 China.
Kuwait is ranked No. 52 in the FIBA world rankings. The Philippines is No. 62.
So what the eff is wrong there? Simple, no matter what happens on that game, the Philippines is sure to end up at number three at Group E. Even in Kuwait beats the Philippines by a million points, the Philippines will end up #3 in group E.
It seems that not just our players need exposure in the international game, even our journalists are. In FIBA tournaments, the first criteria on tiebreaking are the results of the games between the tied teams, not all teams. Ergo, if the Philipines, Chinese Taipei and Japan all managed to be tied with one another, the Philippines will emerge on top since they had beaten both teams. We won't even have to use the other criteria for tiebreaking (goal average between games of the tied teams, goal average for all games) to break that tie. The second-ranked team would be the winner of the Japan-Chinese Taipei game.
And note that point differential (aka "the quotient") is NOT even in the criteria for tiebreaking teams. FIBA has used this tiebreaking formula ever since they conducted tournaments involving league ladders.
So to reiterate: whatever happened earlier, and later in the day, the Philippines will finish third in Group E. The only relevant game for us is the Jordan-China game which will decide which team will face us in the quarterfinals. The winner avoids us and goes to the bottom half of the bracket (which we won't play until the final, if we get there), while the loser faces us.