Experience came through in a big way for Taiwan as they overcame an eight-point deficit in the third quarter to top the Taiwan College All-Stars 74-64 in the second round of Jones Cup games at the Taipei County Gymnasium in Sinjhuang last night.
What should have been an easy win for the national squad against a weaker college All-Star crew turned into a dog fight through the first three quarters, before an all-out 22-point fourth quarter saved the day.
“They [Taiwan College All-Stars] really gave us a scare tonight,” national team coach Chang Hsueh-lei said.
PHOTO: LIU HSIN-DE, TAIPEI TIMES
The College All-Stars surprised even themselves by opening the contest by takign a 14-8 lead over the first five minutes of play, but the national team regained their composure to keep the deficit to five points by the end of the first quarter, before skidding ahead with a 12-5 run to close out the first half with a narrow 36-35 advantage.
After the two teams traded leads smaller than three points for a good part of the third quarter, the College All-Stars pulled off a late 9-1 run to lead 57-49.
It took three three-pointers by Chen Tzu-wei over the next two minutes to bring the national team back from eight points down to lead 62-60 at the 5 minutes, 15 seconds mark in the fourth.
Following a timeout called by the College All-Stars that set up Lin Tsung-han’s game-tying reverse layup with less than four minutes remaining, the scales suddenly tipped the national team’s way as an unsportsmanlike foul called against the young guard triggered what ended up being a six-point swing for Taiwan.
The six-point cushion eventually turned into a double-digit one as Taiwan held off the All-Stars to win it by 10 in an otherwise close match.
Taiwan will take on defending champions Iran this evening in an attempt to up their record to 3-0.
JAPAN 97, TOWNSVILLE CROCS 69
Japan had little trouble against the Crocs, humbling the team from Australia in a 97-69 blowout yesterday for their first win of the tournament.
IRAN 81, PHILIPPINES 68
The Philippines proved no match for Iran, falling to an 81-67 decision in a very physical game yesterday.
Samad Bahrami’s game-high 27 points championed an Iranian attack that held leads as large as 17 points in the third quarter.
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