Saving its best for last, Team A for Taiwan humbled the visiting South Koreans by an 81-74 margin in the final game of this year’s Jones Cup at the Taipei County Sinjhuang Gymnasium on Sunday.
The win over the all-stars from South Korea’s KBL not only restored the faith of hoop fans who had questioned the national team’s work ethic and its desire to win, but also earned the hosts a respectable fourth-place finish in the annual mid-summer basketball classic.
Chang Chih-fong (Dacin Tigers) followed his performance against Kazakhstan on Friday with a game-high 21 points in the tournament finale, while Saturday night’s hero against a heavily favored Iran squad, Tseng Wen-ding (Yulon Luxgens), chipped in 17 on the night.
Also contributing was Taiwan Beer forward Lin “the Beast” Chih-jeh, who nailed several clutch shots from the field and played great defense down the stretch to help his team pull off the minor upset win.
TAIWAN TEAM B 97 JAPAN 91
Team B for Taiwan topped Japan with a valiant second half to pocket a 97-91 win earlier on Sunday, earning it a surprising seventh-place finish with a 2-6 record.
The local boys took advantage of a shorthanded Japanese crew who dressed only eight and played all five of their starters for the entire game because three other players had been sidelined by stomach flu.