Failure to contain the Philippines’ inside attack cost Taiwan dearly as they fell short in an 82-72 loss in the fight for a third-place finish in this year’s William Jones Cup International Basketball Tournament at the Sinjhuang Sports Complex in New Taipei City last night.
The absence of star center Tseng Wen-ding to a hamstring injury, coupled with the Philippines big man Marcus Douthit’s outstanding inside play, made all the difference in the game as the hosts struggled with their interior defense as they allowed Douthit to rack up 28 points and 11 rebounds in less than 28 minutes of play (he sat out most of the fourth quarter) to settle for a fourth-place finish in a game that was over long before the final buzzer sounded.
In a game in which they always led, the Philippines fully utilized their height advantage from the get go by exploiting Taiwan’s low block with nine quick points by Douthit in the opening quarter to lead it 22-16.
After a brief 4-0 run by Taiwan in the early minute of the second quarter that shaved the Philippines lead to two, the visitors countered with an 11-6 run to reclaim a seven-point lead before finishing off the half with a strong 43-34 advantage.
After that, it was an uphill battle for Taiwan to keep up with the Philippines as the home squad fell behind by as many as 13 in the third against a well balanced Philippines attack that connected from both inside the paint and the perimeter by shooting an impressive 7 for 15 from the floor to lead 62-49 after three quarters of play.
The Philippines pushed their lead to as many as 20, before Taiwan finally awoke in the final four minutes of play with a meaningless 16-6 run to make the final score somewhat respectable.
Douthit led a Philippines foursome, who all finished with scores in double-figures, with a game-high 28, while Taiwan answered with Chien Chia-hung’s team-best 26 points and seven boards. Chien’s solid play in the tournament should earn him another spot on the national team as they prepare for the upcoming Asian Championship in Wuhan, China, in middle of next month .
IRAN 66, SOUTH KOREA 59
Iran took home the gold in the title game that followed Taiwan’s contest against the Philippines by topping South Korea last night.
The victory gave Iran their third straight title in the summer classic.