Trouble continued for Team Taiwan as they were defeated 110-68 by South Korea at the Sinjhuang Sports Complex in New Taipei City last night to finish the preliminary round of this year’s William Jones Cup International Basketball Tournament with a 4-3 record.
With Iran having beaten Jordan 68-67 prior to Taiwan’s match against top-ranked South Korea to assure the home hosts a bid in the semi-finals as the fourth, and final, seed, skipper Chou Chun-san opted to rest his top three starters Tseng Wen-ding, Chen Hsin-an and Lin Chih-jeh, in the interest of conserving their strength.
This move meant more floor time for reserve center Chien Chia-hung (Pure Youth Constructions), who made the most of the opportunity by scoring 29 to lead a Taiwan attack that managed to hang with South Korea for only one-quarter of play.
Also starring was guard Doug Creighton (Taiwan Beer), who netted 11 on the night behind Chien’s 29 to account for the bulk of Taiwan’s offensive production.
Despite playing without their top three starters, Taiwan were able to put up a good fight against the visitors in the opening quarter with guard Chang Tsung-hsien and Chien combining for nine of their team’s 16 points to trail South Korea 19-16.
That was the extent Taiwan could handle the bigger and stronger South Korea squad, who roughed up the Taiwan defense with 10 easy points from close range by 2.21m center Seung Jin-ha to spearhead a 30-point scoring spree in the second quarter to close out the first half with a commanding 49-33 advantage.
South Korea sat out most of their starters in the second half, but that still did not keep them from piling on the points as they exploded for 61 points in the second half en route to the blowout victory.
Next up for a full-strength Taiwan lineup in the semi-finals is the same South Korea team who finished out the preliminaries with a 6-1 record. Tip-off is scheduled for 5pm this afternoon.