Sun, Jul 24, 2016 - Page 12 News List

Taiwan B lose in William Jones Cup

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan B Team’s Fan Shih-en, center, grabs a rebound in their William Jones Cup match
against Iran at the Sinjhuang Gymasium in New Taipei City yesterday.

Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times

Taiwan B Team kept it close against a more experienced Iran side, but faltered in the second half, as Iran secured a 73-61 victory over the hosts yesterday, while Egypt showed they could be the surprise package by edging South Korea 74-73 in opening-day results from the William Jones Cup.

Taiwan B Team, consisting of youth players who are to compete in next year’s Universiade Games, knew it was going to be tough to overcome Iran, whose lineup had a height advantage and more experience under their belt.

At the start, forward Huang Tsung-han and point guard Wu Chia-chun paced Taiwan with fast breaks to go ahead 18-13 in the first quarter.

However, Iran tightened their defense and fought back to lead 35-30 at halftime.

In the second half, Iran’s physical superiority and teamwork gradually widened the gap against the hosts. Iran’s star duo of Behnam Yakhchali and Sajjad Mashayekhi led their team with 18 points and 16 points respectively to a 73-61 victory.

Earlier yesterday afternoon, Egypt started brightly and led South Korea 43-25 at halftime.

South Korea mounted rallies through the third and fourth quarters to close within two points at 74-72 with 50 seconds left in the match.

Following a foul, South Korea’s Lee Seoung-hyun only sank one of two free throws with 31 seconds left. They then missed two field goal attempts in the dying moments to suffer an agonizing 74-73 defeat to Egypt.

As of press time last night, Taiwan A Team were beating Japan 43-33 at halftime.

There was also action outside the Sinjhuang Gymasium in New Taipei City on the first day of the 38th Williams Jones Cup, an annual summer basketball competition hosted by Taiwan.

A coalition of civic groups and activists advocating Taiwanese identity and national independence protested in front of the venue yesterday afternoon, calling for the national squad’s official team name to being changed to “Taiwan.”

More than 100 people attending the protest, holding banners and flags, called on the government and sports authorities to stop the use of “Chinese Taipei.”

The protesters shouted: “Taiwan is Taiwan,” and “Taiwan and China are two different countries.”

Free Taiwan Party Chairman Tsay Ting-kuei said that if the organizers continue to use “Chinese Taiwan” for the William Jones Cup, then his party would call on the government to withhold funding, adding that the nation might as well not hold the tournament, because it goes against the aspirations of most Taiwanese.

“We must not degrade ourselves in front of media and foreign teams at the William Jones Cup. Why can we not use ‘Taiwan’ as the name for our national squad?” Tsay said.

Today, the US take on South Korea, while Japan play India in afternoon games at 1pm and 3pm respectively. At 5pm, Taiwan B Team take on Egypt, with a packed house guaranteed for the Taiwan A Team late match against the Philippines, as tickets are sold out.

Tomorrow sees Japan take on Egypt, while Iran are to play the US in afternoon matches.

Later tomorrow, a tight contest is expected between South Korea and the Philippines at 5pm, and later at 7 pm, Taiwan A Team play India.

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