Taiwan’s second team, Team Guan Hua, proved no match for Jordan in yesterday afternoon’s match, despite an all-out rally in the fourth, dropping their fourth straight in an 86-77 loss at the Sinjhuang Sports Complex in New Taipei City last night to fall to 1-4.
With the national team idle on a scheduled off day, it was Team Guan Hua’s chance to take center stage for the day against a Jordanian squad that had lost to Taiwan the night before in a 30-point blowout.
However, the visitors were simply too fundamentally sound and experienced for Team Guan Hua to pull off what would have been a huge upset as they took an early 20-16 lead after the opening quarter and steadily added to it to build leads as large 18 points, before settling for the nine-point win.
Liu Cheng and Chen Ying-chun teamed up for 24 points of Guan Hua’s 31 points in the fourth that brought them to within two of Jordan in the closing minutes. However, the visitors were able to hit their free throws down the stretch when Guan Hua opted to freeze the clock by fouling, which kept the hosts from pulling off an upset.
EGYPT 64, LEBANON 62
Egypt bounced back from a 36-point loss to Iran on Tuesday with a narrow 64-62 win over Lebanon in the early game in Sinjhuang yesterday to improve to 3-2 for the tournament.
Haytham Khalifa’s backdoor cut that led to an easy basket in the closing moments of the game was the difference as the Egyptians overcame a fourth-quarter deficit to defeat Lebanon in a critical victory that will likely net them a top-five finish.
IRAN 71, SOUTH KOREA 68
Iran showed off their size advantage with big man Hamed Ehadadi (2.18m) dominating inside the paint from the get go to top South Korea 71-69 last night.
The win was a costly one for the Persians as they lost key scorer Mohammed Samad Nikkhah Bahrami to injury to allow South Korea back in the game. South Korea, who trailed by as many as 20 points in the second half, rallied to pull within two before faltering in the final seconds to suffer their first loss of the tournament.
US 64, JAPAN 56
Previously winless Japan held a potent US team to an unusually low 64 points in a classic battle between East and West, but that could not prevent the US from escaping with a 64-56 win to deny Japan their first win of the tournament.