Chen Hsuen-shiang’s (Bank of Taiwan) timely three-pointer as the shot clock wound down with less than 40 seconds remaining in the game gave Taiwan a 89-85 lead as they went on to defeat the United Arab Emirates 92-87 at the Sinjhuang Sports Complex in New Taipei City last night in this year’s Jones Cup International Basketball Tournament.
The narrow win not only avoided what would have been an embarrassing loss for Taiwan to the previously winless United Arab Emirates, but it gave the home team a valiant come-from-behind victory that improved their record to 4-1, second only to undefeated South Korea (5-0).
What should have been an easy victory for Taiwan, according to the teams’ win-loss record, turned into an unexpected uphill battle as the United Arab Emirates took a -surprising 23-10 lead after the first quarter and maintained an eight-point advantage (40-32) at the half, with Ibrahim Ahmad and Rashed al-Zaabi combining for 17 points to lead the way.
It took some strong words from Taiwanese skipper Chou Chun-san at the halftime break to corral his troops back into their usual form as they chipped away at the deficit in the second half, before erupting for 36 points in the final quarter to prevail in the end.
Back-to-back three’s by Lu Cheng-rue (Yulon Luxgens) in the fourth quarter sparked an all-out rally by Taiwan, who had fallen behind by as many as a dozen, before a 21-10 run midway through the fourth.
Chen ended the game with 15 points, while guard Chang Tsung-hsien poured in a game-high 24 to lead the victors.
Next up for Taiwan will be the defending champs from Iran, with tip-off scheduled for 7pm this evening.