Quincy Davis poured in a game-high 26 points with 17 rebounds, Tien Lei followed with 21 points, and Taiwan pulled off a major upset by defeating South Korea 73-60 in the final game of this year’s William Jones Cup International Basketball Tournament last night to claim a second-place finish.
The sellout crowd at the Sinjhuang Sports Complex in New Taipei City saw the hosts open the contest with a surprising 11-2 run in the first five minutes of play, thanks to three quick buckets by Davis.
The newly naturalized Taiwanese, who was brought in to improve the interior play for the Islanders, did just that to allow his teammates to be more aggressive on defense.
After the favorable 11-2 start, Taiwan were able to hold the potent South Korean attack to a tournament-low eight points in the first quarter, before finishing the first half with an unassailable 33-17 lead.
An 8-0 run by the South Korean offense to start the third quarter, led by four baskets from Cho Sung-min, quickly cut Taiwan’s lead to less than 10.
However, Tseng Wen-ding, Davis, and Tsai Wen-cheng teamed up for 12 of Taiwan’s next 16 points to keep a double-digit cushion at the end of the third.
In came Tien, who accounted for 13 of Taiwan’s 19 points in the fourth quarter with a pair of three’s that prevented South Korea from any realistic chance of a comeback.
JAPAN 96, GUAN HUA 81
The previously winless Japan finally earned a victory on the final day of play with a convincing 96-81 triumph over Team Guan Hua in Sinjhuang late yesterday afternoon.
With the pressure to win on the Japanese, the samurai warriors took it strong to Guan Hua.
The local boys hung with their opponents in the opening quarter thanks to stellar play by Liu Cheng, whose seven points sparked what ended up being a 22-point night.
After a sub-par second quarter that saw Guan Hua fall behind 30-36 at the half, it was all-Japan from then on as they erupted for 31 points in the third to pull away with the big win to close out the tournament.
Kosuke Kanamaru’s team-high 20 led a Japanese attack that had its way against a rattled Guan Hua squad in the second half.
TEAM USA 81, JORDAN 71
Team USA took care of business in their battle against Jordan by outscoring their opponents 28-14 in the decisive fourth to escape with an 81-71 win yesterday afternoon.
The Americans kicked off the contest with a bang, big man Eric Hicks attacking the basket with three monstrous slams to open a 23-10 cushion through the first ten minutes of play.
Jordan quickly regained their poise by switching to a zone defense that helped them reduce the deficit to 41-33 at the half.
A 24-12 run by the Jordanians in the third actually put them ahead in the third quarter, before Team USA turned on the afterburner with an unstoppable fourth to earn a 10-point win.