Sat, Jun 30, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Philippines defeat Taiwan in World Cup qualifier

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Despite putting on a good fight, Taiwan were yesterday defeated 71-93 by the Philippines in their Asia Zone Group B qualifier for next year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup.

With the support of a boisterous home crowd, Taiwan started off with hot shooting for a quick 12-4 lead and led 19-16 at the end of the first quarter.

However, visiting Gilas Pilipinas seized the momentum and settled down with a pressure defense to deny the hosts, then surged ahead with 28 points in the second quarter to take a 44-37 lead at halftime.

After the break, Taiwan tried to hit back, but the Philippines maintained their advantage and dominated under the posts, leading the close game 68-60 at the end of the third quarter.

However, the hosts faded in the final quarter, as they were unable to overcome the Philippines defense, and the visitors steadily built up their attack to outscore Taiwan 25-11 to finish with a 22-point overall margin.

Quincy Davis — a naturalized Republic of China citizen playing at center — top-scored for Taiwan with 17 points and seven rebounds.

Starters Lu Cheng-ju and Chen Ying-chun also scored in the double digits, contributing 13 and 11 points respectively.

June Mar Fajardo led the visitors with 22 points, one of four Philippines players who scored in the double digits.

One key difference was the visitors’ strong defense, which caused Taiwan to commit 22 turnovers, compared with 12 for the Philippines.

Taiwan entered the match with a 1-3 record, which placed them third in Group B behind leaders Australia and the Philippines, with Japan in fourth place.

In yesterday’s other Group B game, Japan pulled off a surprise 79-78 victory against Australia in Chiba, Japan.

After suffering two defeats to Australia and an earlier loss to Gilas Pilipinas, Taiwan recorded their only victory in February, when they narrowly edged the hosts 70-69 in Yokohama, Japan.

Despite yesterday’s defeat, Taiwan can still advance, as the top three teams in the group can progress to the second round of Asian Zone qualifiers.

To qualify for the next round, Taiwan have to defeat Japan in the final group match at the Taipei Heping Basketball Gymnasium on Monday.

Both teams now hold a 1-4 record.

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