Sat, Jul 07, 2007 - Page 20 News List

Taiwan too good for Kazakhstanis

COMFORTABLE WIN The Jones Cup hosts got off to another fast start but unlike in previous games managed to maintain their momentum until the end of the match

By Marc Langer  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan needed no buzzer-beating theatrics last night to earn its third win of the Jones Cup, after the team apparently finally exorcized its second-half demons and kept firm control of the entire match against Kazakhstan to earn a comfortable 72-64 win in Sinjhuang.

The victory earned Taiwan a five-way tie for second place in the tournament with a 3-2 record, while the scuffling Kazakhstan squad joined Japan in the basement of the standings with a 1-4 record.

fast start

Once again, Taiwan got off to a fast start in the first, shooting 60 percent from the field, including going 3-5 in three-point shots.

But Kazakhstan gave itself plenty of shooting chances by pulling down 13 rebounds to Taiwan's five and the home team had a slim 23-21 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The contest remained close in the second as stars Lin Chieh-chih and Tseng Wen-ting ran into foul trouble with three apiece just four minutes into the quarter.

However, Kazakhstan helped out by going cold offensively, including making just two of nine three-point attempts, to end the half trailing by 35-38.

For the first time in the tournament, Taiwan got stronger in the second half. The team accelerated the pace of the game with a series of breakaways and crisp passing.

The scoring became even more strightforward as Taiwan's lead expanded and the tired-looking and demoralized Kazakhstan squad stopped putting up much resistance to Taiwanese players driving through the lane.

high-percentage shots

Taiwan finally discovered it could score more points by taking high-percentage shots instead of constantly trying to score from outside the arc, and maintained a comfortable double-digit lead throughout the fourth quarter.

In the overall tournament, Jordan snatched the lead from Lebanon by beating the Philippines 74-70 to boost its record to 4-1, while Lebanon lost to the US 70-81. The US, Lebanon, Iran, Qatar and Taiwan are all tied for third place with 3-2 records.

Taiwan takes on Qatar today at 7:30pm.

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