Lin “the Beast” Chih-jeh scored a game-high 30 points, while Quincy Davis boosted the defense with his inside presence as Taiwan went on to defeat the US in an 89-84 final at the Sinjhuang Sports Complex in New Taipei City last night and win their second game in this year’s William Jones Cup International Basketball Tournament.
It was one of the best efforts that the Beast has turned in in recent years as he shot a solid 9-for-15 from the field, including three three-pointers, to show his long-due maturity and leadership on the court as the team captain for the hosts. His timely surge could mean trouble for the opposing teams because he is one of just a few players with great penetration ability and a deadly perimeter game.
Heading into the contest as the underdogs against a US squad with several former National Basketball Association (NBA) players, the Islanders showed no signs of being intimidated as they opened the game strong with an 11-4 lead in the first three minutes.
Even though the US came back to take a brief lead by the end of the first quarter, the Taiwanese were able to answer with a 15-7 run in the second quarter, highlighted by a pair of three’s from Yang Ching-min to help them close out the first half with a surprising 42-36 advantage.
Thirteen points by the Beast led the way for Taiwan against the resilient US, who looked to Curtis Marshall and Mychal Kearse for the bulk of scoring burden in an evenly fought third that saw the home hosts led by as many as 13 points before settling for a 64-57 led by the end of the quarter.
The US erased the deficit altogether with Eric Hicks and Ed Horton hitting their marks to grab a 72-70 lead four minutes into the fourth quarter before an 8-0 run by Taiwan put the hosts ahead for good.
All but one player scored in the game for Taiwan, with skipper Hsu Jin-tseh opting to play his reserve players heavily in the interest of giving the starters some rest, while Marshall and Hicks picked up the scoring slack for the visitors with 51 combined points.
S KOREA 81, TAIWAN GUAN HUA 60
Taiwan’s second team, Guan Hua, proved no match for a faster and more experienced South Korean team as they fell short to the visitors in an 81-60 final in the fourth game in Sinjhuang yesterday to even their record at 1-1.
‧ Egypt 89, Jordan 65
‧ Lebanon 79, Japan 72