Failure to shut down the outside attack by the Philippines in the fourth cost Taiwan the game as the hosts wasted a slim lead after three solid quarters of play with a dismal final quarter to settle for a 76-72 loss at the Taipei Physical Education College Gymnasium in Tianmu last night, falling to 4-3 in William Jones Cup play.
The zone defense implemented by Taiwan was consistently a step behind the Filipino shooters with the game on the line in the final three minutes of game, allowing the visitors to dampen what would have been valiant comeback attempt for Taiwan, who trailed by as many as nine points in the fourth.
Taiwan’s Tseng Wen-ding’s game-high 18 points nearly helped the home team upset the favored Filipinos in front of a sellout Tianmu crowd.
After a hard-fought first quarter that ended on a 16-all draw, the Philippines erupted for 21 points in the second quarter behind three three-pointers by Jeffrei Chan to take a 37-29 lead at the half.
After a 5-2 run by the Islanders that made it a three-point game, Tseng scored five straight points to give his team a 41-40 lead with seven minutes remaining in the third.
The two teams traded leads smaller than five points until early in the fourth, before an 8-0 run by the Philippines midway in the quarter, highlighted by back-to-back three-pointers by L.A. Tenorio, boosted their lead to a game-high nine to seal the victory.
Next up for Taiwan will South Korea, fresh off a big win over Iran yesterday afternoon. It is a must-win for the home hosts if they wish to finish among the top four.
Yesterday’s other results:
‧ Lebanon 70, United States 67
‧ Jordan 85, Taiwan Guan-hua 71
‧ South Korea 82, Iran 73