Sat, Jul 14, 2018 - Page 16 News List

William Jones Cup set to begin in New Taipei City

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan’s summer hoop fest the William Jones Cup, in which nine nations are participating, starts today with the opening ceremony and four games at Sinjhuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City.

Canada and Lithuania, the top-placed finishers last year both with 8-1 records, are once again the favorites to seize the title, while strong challenges are expected from Iran, the Philippines, Japan and South Korea.

As always the local fans have high hopes for Taiwan’s teams, especially as the tournament is marking its 40th anniversary.

However, the tournament comes during a low point for Taiwanese basketball after national squad coach Chou Chun-san resigned earlier this week to take responsibility for the side’s recent string of dismal performances, including their failure to get past the first round of the Asian qualifiers for the FIBA World Cup.

In their first Group B qualifier last week, Taiwan got thrashed by 40 points at home in a 108-68 defeat to Japan, before Taiwan were eliminated after finishing bottom of the group after claiming only one win in six games.

Chou’s job has been handed to American coach Henry Charlie Parker, who is to take charge of a Taiwan Blue side composed of senior national players.

Parker was the head coach of Taiwan men’s team at the Universiade in Taipei last year.

He was formerly an NBA assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks and the New Orleans Hornets.

The hosts’ other team at this year’s William Jones Cup is Taiwan White, which is composed of younger players and is to be coached by Hsieh Yu-chuan, the former female player now a college team coach.

Canada are being led by head coach Brad Campbell, who is in charge of the Western Mustangs of the University Conference in Ontario.

The Philippines are being represented by the Ateneo Blue Eagles of Ateneo de Manila University under the leadership of veteran American-New Zealand head coach Tab Baldwin.

The men’s competition starts today and runs until July 22, before the women’s competition takes place from July 25 to July 29, with two Taiwanese teams battling against Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and India.

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the tournament, the organizers have put together photographs, souvenirs and special items in a William Jones Cup exhibition at the Sinjhuang Gymnasium.

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