Wed, Jul 12, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Last-gasp three-pointer helps US defeat Taiwan

THRILLER In a match billed as a potential title-game matchup, the Americans managed to pull off an 86-83 win by dialing long-distance for a buzzer-beating basket

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Taiwan's Lin ``the Beast'' Chih-jeh goes up strong for a basket with Arwind Santos of the Philippines defending in Sunday's 77-72 win at the Taipei Physical Education College Gymnasium.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CTBA

Josh Carter's baseline three-pointer with time expiring broke an 83-all tie as Team USA topped the Taiwanese squad 86-83 at the Taipei Physical Education College Gymnasium on Monday night to remain undefeated with a 3-0 mark in the 2006 William Jones' Cup Basketball Tournament.

It was only Carter's second made three-pointer in eight attempts, but that did not matter much, as the entire team immediately stormed the floor to celebrate the thrilling victory.

The contest that was considered a potential title-game matchup lived up to its billing in front of a sellout crowd of 3,500 with both teams demonstrating their ability to overcome sizable deficits by playing sound defense and hitting clutch shots.

Team Taiwan actually fell behind by as many as 13 points early in the fourth quarter before power forward Chen "Airman" Hsin-an (Yulon Dinos) erupted for four three-pointers in the quarter to bring his team back, while the American crew overcame deficits as large as seven points against the hosts earlier in the game.

After an evenly-fought first quarter that ended in a 19-19 tie, Taiwan managed to shift into another gear during the second quarter with big man Tseng Wen-ding (Yulon Dinos) tearing up the middle of the paint to take a 40-36 lead into the halftime intermission.

Trailing after the first half, Team USA opened the third quarter with several deadly perimeter shots against a zone defense that not only helped the Americans take a seven-point lead in a 13-2 run, it forced Taiwan into a sudden panic with numerous defensive breakdowns that led to a series of second-chance baskets and an eventual double-digit lead for Team USA.

With its back against the wall, Team Taiwan was able to adjust midway through the fourth quarter with Chen leading the attack and Tseng securing the defensive front to pull off a 14-1 run that forced an 83-83 tie with 52.2 seconds left on the clock, bringing the entire building to an instant frenzy.

But with the shot clock winding down, Chen's rushed long-range three-point attempt bounced high off the rim and over the top of the backboard to give the Americans one last possession of the ball with six seconds remaining, setting the stage for Carter's late-game magic.

"I still think I could've made it [the final three-point attempt]," Chen said after the game.

"We [Chen and Carter] each took one [three-point attempt]. His went in and mine didn't; that's the difference between a hero and a goat," he added.

Taiwan 77, Philippines 72

Chen Chih-chung's (Yulon Dinos) timely steal off an inbound pass by Team Philippines with Taiwan leading 75-72, and his ensuing lay-up with the clock expiring gave the hosts a 77-72 win on Sunday in Game 2.

Tien Lei's (Dacin Tigers) hard drive to the basket that resulted in a two-point bucket with 11 seconds left in the game put Taiwan up 75-72 after the Filipinos had rallied from being down as many as 12 points to come within a point of the Taiwanese, avoiding what would have been a devastating letdown had Team Taiwan actually ended up losing the game.

With several breaks going its way in a very physical game, Team Taiwan managed to close out the first half with a slight 40-35 lead, which it would add to by as many as a seven for a 12-point cushion, thanks to Tien and fellow forward Lin "the Beast" Chih-jeh (Taiwan Beer), who picked up the bulk of the scoring burden in the second half for Team Taiwan.

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