Wed, Jun 07, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Taiwan advance to basketball final against S Korea

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

The national men’s team yesterday upset hosts Japan 78-73 in the East Asia Baskeball Championship, while South Korea prevailed over China 106-104 in an overtime victory in Nagano, Japan.

Taiwan and South Korea advanced into today’s final, while Japan and China are to fight it out for third place.

The tournament doubles as qualifier for the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup, scheduled for Aug. 8 to 20 in Lebanon.

Taiwan center Quincy Davis was pivotal to yesterday’s win with his all-rounder skills wrapping up a double-double, with a game-high 29 points and 17 rebounds.

The two starting guards Chou Yi-hsiang and Chiang Yu-an contributed 10 points each for Taiwan, and forward Liu Ching added 9 points and had 6 steals to disrupt Japan’s offense.

Buoyed by their home crowd support, Japan was not prepared for Taiwan’s tough defensive play, as the hosts managed only 15 points in the first quarter, trailing Taiwan’s 25.

The 203cm-tall Davis rallied his teammates to play even more stingy defense by limiting Japan to 11 points in the second quarter, for Taiwan to 40 to 26 at the intermission.

Japan mounted a comeback in the second half, to outscore the visitors 21-15 in the third quarter and 26-23 in the final quarter, as Taiwan held on for a five-point victory.

Point guard Makoto Hiejima was the high-scorer for Japan with 20 points, followed by point guard Tanaka Daiki who netted 13 points.

Taiwan had made the semi-final when they pummeled Hong Kong 92-57, in the last match of Group A play on Monday.

South Korea needed overtime to edge out China by a narrow one-basket margin 106-104, condemning China to play Japan in today’s third place game.

It was all tied up at 93 each at the end of regulation time, as South Korea battled hard to outscore China 13-11 in overtime to seize the win.

In the other game, Hong Kong eliminated Macau from the Asia Cup qualifier, with a 96-81 win.

Macau is the only team without a win in the tournament, as they were disposed off by Japan 119-47 on Sunday, and then crushed 109-58 by South Korea on Sunday.

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