With Kazakhstan in hot pursuit in Friday night’s Jones Cup play at the Taipei County Sinjhuang Gymnasium, a gutsy 28-point effort by Chang Chih-fong (Dacin Tigers) enabled Taiwan Team A to pull away in the second half for a 85-78 win.
Playing with discomfort in his right ankle, this year’s Super Basketball League MVP gave it his all by netting 15 of Taiwan’s 23 fourth-quarter points to keep Kazakhstan from pulling off a late-game comeback.
“This is what playing for your country in front of a home crowd is all about,” Chang said after the game.
The win not only nipped a two-game slide for the hosts, who had won three straight prior to dropping back-to-back games to Jordan and Lebanon earlier this week, but also avenged a tough loss from last year’s Jones Cup play that denied Taiwan a chance to finish in the top five.
In addition to Chang’s outstanding effort, Taiwan also had a great outing from big men Tseng Wen-ding and Wu Dai-hao as the “twin towers” dominated inside the paint against a short-handed Kazakhstan crew that dressed only eight for the game.
Tseng and Wu combined for 26 points and eight boards.
JORDAN 76, TEAM B TAIWAN 69
Taiwan Team B proved to be no match for a superior Jordan squad, which extended its record to 1-5 on Friday.
Even though the outcome of the game did not favor the young locals, it was a tremendous moral victory for them, as they kept the margin of loss well under 10 points, a remarkable accomplishment given that the defending champs had beaten Taiwan Team A by 47 points on Tuesday in one of the ugliest losses ever in the tournament’s 31-year history.