Taiwan made the most out of an otherwise disappointing showing at the FIBA Asia Championship in Changsha, China, closing out the Classification Round with a 99-69 win over Kuwait at the Central South University of Forestry and Technology gymnasium late on Monday evening to settle for a 13th-place finish.
Taiwan did not exactly start off the game on the right foot, as they took more than two minutes to get on the scoreboard.
However, the early-game jitters soon went away as Taiwan rolled off a 17-10 run midway through the first quarter to grab a 23-16 advantage by the end of the period.
That set up an improved effort on both ends of the floor in the second quarter to help Taiwan build a double-digit lead, reaching 46-32 at the half.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Kuwait’s Hamad Hasan carried the underdogs to within nine points of Taiwan with less than five minutes to play in the third, but Lu Cheng-ju quickly returned the favor by downing a pair of three-pointers to give Taiwan a double-digit cushion for good.
All 12 Taiwan players saw floor time in their final contest of the tournament, with Liu Cheng netting 17 to lead a pack of four double-digit scorers.
As for Kuwait, Hasan’s game-high 26 was the lone highlight on a night they fought well against a heavily favored opponent for nearly three quarters before faltering in the fourth.
TAIWAN 111, SINGAPORE 65
Taiwan dominated Singapore in the Classification Round of the competition with a 111-65 rout late on Sunday evening to earn the chance to take on Kuwait.
Heading into the contest as heavy favorites, Taiwan opened with a 10-0 run in the early minutes, thanks to a pair of three-pointers from Tien Lei, to take a 22-14 lead after one quarter of play.
Taiwan followed the first quarter with a strong second behind the stellar play of Tsai Wen-cheng and Lu to widen their lead past 20 points.
With the outcome of the game all but certainly determined, skipper Chou Chun-san cleared his bench to give the reserves extra floor time in the second half, as Taiwan steadily built their lead past 40 en route to a lopsided victory.
Five players scored in the double-digits for Taiwan, with Tien leading the way with 21 points on a night no Taiwan player spent more than 24 minutes on the court.
As for Singapore, Ng Hanbin’s team-high 17 led a trio of double-figure scorers for the city-state, who struggled from the get-go against a superior opponent.
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