Fri, Jul 06, 2007 - Page 24 News List

`The Beast' saves Taiwan from defeat against Lebanon

By Marc Langer  /  STAFF REPORTER

After a quiet night offensively, Lin "The Beast" Chien-chieh saved Taiwan from bitter defeat in the Jones Cup in Hsinchuang last night, banging a buzzer-beating three-point shot off the glass to send the match into overtime.

Taiwan went on to hand Lebanon its first loss of the tournament by winning 78-77 in a nail-biting victory.

After Lebanese star El Cheikh Fadi el Khatib missed two free throws with the score at 70-73 and just seconds on the clock in the fourth quarter, Taiwan got the ball down the court quickly to Lin, who sunk the hail mary even with two defenders in his face.

In overtime, it was Tseng Wen-ting's turn to be the hero, knocking in a layup in the paint through tough defense to stave off another demoralizing defeat and even Taiwan's record in the tournament at 2-2.

Taiwan had appeared to be destined to fulfil its normal pattern of dominating the first half and then completely collapsing in the second.

In the first quarter Tseng Wen-ting and Wu Tai-hao, who have been the foundation of Taiwan's offense throughout the tournament, stepped up once again to give Taiwan an early lead.

Lebanon took the lead 18-17 in the last minute, but Yang Che-yi banged a three-point shot off the glass at the buzzer to give Taiwan a 20-18 lead and some momentum going into the second quarter.

Despite strong play from Khatib, Lebanon found itself in a 36-49 hole at the half.

But Lebanon kept chipping away and Taiwan's lead had shrunk to just 63-59 going into the fourth quarter.

Both teams struggled offensively in the fourth, shooting just more than 20 percent from the field. But the missed free throws from Khatib that would have sealed the victory proved pivotal in the end, and Taiwan has new life going into its game against Kazakhstan tonight.

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