Taiwan Blue yesterday prevailed over Canada 89-86 in an exciting seesaw battle whose outcome was in doubt until the final moments, with captain Liu Cheng and forward Lu Cheng-ju making clutch shots to win the game and send the packed crowd into celebration at the William Jones Cup in Taipei.
In the dying seconds, Lu drained a three-pointer from the left side and Liu made two free throws, followed by Canada shooting guard Garrett Williamson missing both of his free throws, leaving Canada unable to level the score with another missed shot before the buzzer.
“It was a great result for us, because Canada are a very tough team and they were undefeated before this game. I also want to thank the fans, who were really into the game with boisterous support for us. They gave our team the home-court advantage for the win tonight,” Liu said after the game.
Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times
With the loss, Canada, led by head coach Kyle Julius, remained on top of table, but had to share first place with Taiwan Blue, Lithuania, South Korea and the Philippines.
Earlier, Taiwan White put on a solid display to get past Iraq 87-79, while Iran routed India 88-44.
Lithuania downed previously undefeated South Korea 95-80 in yesterday’s other prominent matchup. The outcome put both teams into a tie for first place, with three wins and one loss each after four days of the competition.
Sarunas Beniusis, the 2.06m-tall big center for Lithuania, had an outstanding double-double performance with 24 points and 11 rebounds.
Fellow starter forward Eigirdas Zukauskas also did major damage to South Korea, posting 20 points and pulling down six rebounds.
South Korea spread around their scoring, with four players into the double digits led by sharpshooter Jeon Jun-beon, who netted 21 points, including five of seven from three-point range.
The Philippines, represented by Gilas Pilipinas, joined the other teams at the top when they scored an even 100 to down Japan 100-85.
Taiwan Blue head coach Chou Chun-san confirmed that Quincy Davis — a US-born naturalized citizen — would sit out rest of the tournament after sustaining a vertebra injury in Monday’s game.
Davis will require a few months of medical treatment and recuperation after aggravating an old injury, Chou said, adding that he would rely on veteran Tzeng Wen-ding, who was earlier this year recalled to play for the national team after playing for the Shanghai Sharks for the past few seasons.
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