A strong second half on offense helped erase a six-point half-time deficit, as Team Taiwan defeated Kazakhstan 77-69 for a ninth-place finish in the Federation International de Basketball Amateur Asian Championship at Doha, Qatar on Thursday.
Following a dismal first half that had Taiwan trailing the Kazaks by as many as 16 points, shooting guard Yang Yu-ming decided to take matters in his own hands with 12 second-half points (20 for the game) to rally Taiwan for the win.
The game was not supposed to be as close as it was, with Kazakhstan losing by 20 in its last meeting with Taiwan during the Jones's Cup tournament at Taipei two months ago.
But with its top scorer Tien Lei out of the lineup due to an injury and big man Tseng Wen-ding spending a great deal of time on the bench after early foul trouble, Taiwan found itself scrapping for points for the first time in the four-game, consolation round.
Point guard Chen Chih-chung also chipped in 14 points, followed by Tseng's 13, swingman Yang Tseh-yi's 11, and center Wu Dai-hao's 10.
Taiwan 109, Malaysia 71
Seventeen three-pointers by the Taiwanese bombers sent Malaysia packing in a 109-71 blowout win on Wednesday.
In a game where not much defense was played by either team, Taiwan came out ahead on the strength of a far superior offense, converting 17 of 37 three-point attempts and nearing a 70 percent success rate on two-point attempts.
Taiwan took a 16-point half-time lead (59-43) and then built up a 40-point lead early in the fourth quarter.
Six different Taiwanese scored in the double digits, headed by Wu's game-high 18 points. Reserve point guard Wang Chih-chun also made the most of his floor time by sinking four "three's" in a 14-point night.
Taiwan 106, India 90
Tuesday's 106-90 decision in favor of Team Taiwan was not the walk in the park that some had expected.
Team India actually took a 50-46 lead into half-time before the Taiwanese rediscovered their shooting touch and tightened their defense in the second half to secure the win.
Yang and Tseng, Taiwan's potent inside/outside scoring tandem, led the way in a second-half turnaround with a combined 35-point effort.
Tseng also did an excellent job on defense by holding India's top scorer, Sozhasingarayer Robinson (19 points in the first half), to only seven second-half points.