Tue, Nov 23, 2010 - Page 20 News List

Taiwan out-sized by Iran in close game

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Taiwan’s Sung Wan Jung, in yellow, is grabbed by Iranian opponents during a women’s game of Kabaddi at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, yesterday. Iran defeated Taiwan.

PHOTO: EPA

A no-call by the referee on Tien Lei’s (Dacin Tigers) final--second attempt at a shot that would have given Taiwan a chance to tie or a win the game led to a disheartening 73-72 loss to Iran in Game 4 of the basketball preliminaries at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, late on Sunday night, dropping Taiwan’s record to a disappointing 1-3 in Group F play.

It was the Dacin forward’s -second-straight final-second attempt that he has been unable to convert following Friday night’s 72-70 defeat to a Qatar team that was also quite “winnable” for the Taiwanese.

FOUL PLAY

“I was fouled on the play, but he [the referee] didn’t want to call it” Tien said after Sunday night’s contest.

A foul call would have sent him to the free-throw line for a chance to tie or win the game.

The late-game drama negated what was an otherwise valiant effort by Taiwan as they rallied from 10 down at one point early in the first quarter to lead it by as many as four in the third, before faltering in the final minutes to lose by a deuce.

SIZEABLE ADVANTAGE

Iran took advantage of their superior size against a smaller Taiwanese lineup, scoring 34 of its 73 points from inside the paint, led by center Asghar Kardoustpoustinsaraei’s 10-for-13 shooting from close range and enjoyed a 34-16 rebounding edge.

However, Taiwan were able to counter Iran’s inside attack with a dozen three-pointers that kept the Iranians on their toes during most of the game, highlighted by Lin Chih-chieh’s (Taiwan Beer) game-high five three’s.

It took a 9-0 run by Taiwan early in the third to turn a 33-36 deficit at the half into a 48-44 lead midway through the third.

The size disparity, however, ultimately proved insurmountable as Iran continued to pound the ball inside the paint to draw in the Taiwanese defenders, which opened up the perimeter for guard Hamed Afahg, who scored eight of his team’s final dozen to help the Persians prevail.

SLIM CHANCE

Taiwan’s slim chance for advancement hinge on the outcome of their match against the Philippines, scheduled for late last night.

A win against the Filipinos would give Taiwan the fourth and final spot from Group F for advancement into the next round, while a loss would end their quest for a medal at this year’s Asian Games.

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