Spoiling first-half leads as large as nine points, Taiwan completely fell apart in a dismal second half to drop their quarter-final contest against the Philippines 95-78 at this year’s FIBA Asia Championship in Wuhan, China, last night.
The loss not only denied Taiwan a chance to compete for the gold, but it also earned them a very tough meeting against two-time defending champions Iran, who were upset by Jordan in their quarter-final match earlier yesterday — virtually bumping Taiwan out of contention for a fifth-place finish.
A successful defensive scheme against Philippines center Marcus Douthit, coupled with a smooth start by the offense, gave Taiwan a surprising 23-14 lead late in the opening frame.
However, the hard-earned lead would dwindle to only four by the end of the first (23-19), with the Philippines netting five unanswered points in the final two minutes of the quarter.
Taiwan were able to fend off the Philippines after their lead fell to a single point two minutes into the second quarter with a 12-5 run on the inside play of Tseng Wen-ding and the three-point shooting of Lin Chih-chieh to reclaim a 39-31 lead with four minutes remaining in the half.
However, that was as long as they could hang with the Philippines, with the Philippines offense getting into their groove from that point on, rolling off a 14-3 run to close out the half with a 45-42 advantage.
Trouble continued for Taiwan in the second half with Douthit showing off his inside moves to help his team build a commanding 15-point lead.
To make matters worse for Taiwan, they would lose point guard Lin Hsueh-lin to injury midway through the third quarter and eventually Tseng to five personal fouls in the fourth, sealing their fate long before the final buzzer sounded.
Tseng left the game with a team-high 20 points and five rebounds, while teammates Chen Hsin-an and Lu Cheng-ju chipped in 14 and 12 points respectively.
As for the Philippines, Douthit’s game-high 37 points was the difference in the game as the former US standout (naturalized to Philippine citizenship earlier this year) dominated inside the paint by converting 13 of 24 from close range (eight of 10 from the free-throw line) with 10 rebounds to send his team into the semi-finals.
Next up for Taiwan in the consolation round will be a tough Iranian squad who will look to alleviate their frustration with a win.
Tipoff is scheduled for 1:30pm at the Wuhan Sports Complex.
Kanako Murata seemed destined to represent Japan at the Tokyo Olympics as a freestyle wrestler, but that all changed when she saw MMA icon Ronda Rousey fight. “It was then that I knew what I wanted to do and I have never regretted it for a moment since,” said Murata, now a rising star with the Las Vegas-based UFC. First inspired by Japan’s Olympic wrestling queen Saori Yoshida, Murata had by her early 20s emerged as a junior world freestyle wrestling champion. Then came the night in 2015 that Murata saw the explosive American former UFC bantamweight champion Rousey in action, and
ADVANTAGE: The world No. 4, who has physiotherapist Victoria Kao as his mentor, cheerleader and critic, said he was lucky Taiwan kept COVID-19 at bay for so long It is an unorthodox approach, but Taiwan’s Chou Tien-chen is hoping his decision to go without a coach will help him win badminton gold at the Tokyo Olympic Games. The world No. 4 has flourished since parting ways with a full-time coach in 2019, with his physiotherapist Victoria Kao filling the role of mentor, cheerleader and critic. With Kao in his corner, Chou won his first Super 1000 title at the 2019 Indonesia Open, and lifted the Taipei Open trophy for a record third time. Now Chou, who reached the last eight at Rio 2016, has set his sights on winning Taiwan’s first
‘A LITTLE EUPHORIA’: Germany managed to turn things around before halftime, to stave off a defeat that would have left them at the brink of elimination in Group F Germany on Saturday breathed life into their Euro 2020 campaign with a stunning 4-2 win over holders Portugal in Munich, despite Cristiano Ronaldo moving closer to the all-time international goals record, after world champions France were forced to settle for a draw with Hungary. Saturday also saw Spain stumble to a 1-1 draw with Poland in Seville, as the second round of group games at the tournament drew to a close. Germany knew a defeat against Portugal at the Allianz Arena would leave them on the brink of being eliminated from Group F, following their failure to make it beyond the group
At least two people were hospitalized on Tuesday after a Greenpeace protester crash-landed on the pitch before the Germany-France match at UEFA Euro 2020 when his powered parachute microlight struck spidercam cables atthe Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany. The pilot flew over the pitch just before kick-off in the Group F clash with “Kick out oil” written on the canopy of his parachute. However, when the pilot hit television cables above the pitch, it knocked his microlight off balance and he landed on the turf after clipping one of the stands, where the casualties happened. The pilot was arrested soon after landing. A Munich