COACH Tom Wisman tormented his former team as Qatar rallied for a 75-74 win over Japan on Thursday in the Fiba-Asia Men's Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Former NBA player Jarvis Hayes paced the Qataris with 20 points including five of the team's last 10 that completed the team's comeback win - Wisman's first against the team he handled in the 2011 edition of the biennial meet in Wuhan, China.
"I don't know if that was much of a factor," said the Australian coach when asked if his familiarity with the Japanese team somehow helped Qatar in pulling off the victory.
The Qataris trailed by double digits and were behind 61-53 entering the final quarter.
They didn't take control the match until the 3;56 mark when Erfan Ali Saeee hit a trey and Hayes scored a basket to make it a 70-66 Qatar lead.
The victory was the first for Qatar over the last two editions of the biennial event as it went 0-6 in Wuhan when six of its players failed to suit up owing to eligibility issue.
Of the six, only Mansour Atif Elhadary was left to play for the team here.
Hayes also had six rebounds as the former NBA first-round pick made a rousing Fiba-Asia debut as Qatar's naturalized player.
His jumper with a minute left gave the Qataris a 74-70 lead, and he added a free throw to make it a five-point spread in the last five seconds before Keijuro Matsui hit a three-pointer for the marginal score.
Saeed added 14 for Qatar including the last of the team's 10 three-pointers.
Shooting 10-of-13 from the field and 4-of-5 from beyond the arc, Kosuke Kanamaru finished with 27 points in a losing cause for Japan.
Qatar (75) - Hayes 20, Saeed 14, Musa 12, Abdi 9, Daoud 9, Elhadary 8, Ali 3, Mohamed 0, Saleem 0, Mohammed 0.
Japan (74) - Kanamaru 27, Sakuragi 13, Takeuchi 10, Kurihara 7, Hiejima 5, Ichioka 4,Matsui 3, Sakurai 3,Tanaka 2, Ota 0.