Fri, Oct 17, 2008 - Page 20 News List

AUB: Team Iran beat Taiwan to claim 2008 AUB title

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Team Iran proved too hot for Taiwan to handle in the title game of the 2008 Asian University Basketball Championship as it rolled past the home squad in a 78-71 final at the Chinese Culture University in Taipei last night.

Ball-handling errors by Taiwan, especially in the closing minutes of the game, led to several costly turnovers that virtually gave the game away.

They dampened an otherwise valiant comeback by the hosts who trailed Iran by as many as nine in the third quarter and actually led the game briefly at 57-56 early in the fourth quarter before letting the game slip away in the end.

The sellout crowd saw neither team feeling comfortable with its offense in the early going as a low-scoring first quarter came to an end with Taiwan leading 18-16.

Then came a patient Iranian offense that slipped into the groove in the second quarter to narrow leave the scored tied at 32-32 at the half before Taiwan found itself falling behind by nine in the early part of the second half.

Strong play by top center Wu Dai-hao inside the paint gradually chipped away at the deficit to help Taiwan claim a brief lead early in the fourth

But that was as close to winning the game as the home side got with Iran turning its defensive intensity up a notch to force four straight turnovers in the closing minutes of the game to seal the victory.

It was the second straight time that his team have had to settle for the silver medal after last year’s second-place finish.

Leading the attack for Taiwan was Wu who netted 13 points and ten rebounds with a dominant inside presence despite being frequently covered by at least two opposing defenders.

Fellow forward Lin Jin-bang also scored eleven and grabbed eight boards on the night.

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