Taiwan rallied from as many as 11 down in the second half with a brilliant fourth quarter to defeat South Korea 80-73 at the Sinjhuang Sports Complex in New Taipei City last night to close out this year’s William Jones Cup International Basketball Tournament with a third-place finish.
Hung Chih-shan and Tsai Wen-cheng saved the best for last by combining for eleven of Taiwan’s 20 points in the final quarter to rally the hosts from deficits as large as 11 on the way to one of the biggest wins over South Korea in the tournament’s history.
Tsai’s timely surge on both sides of the ball, coupled with Hung’s clutch three’s with the game on the line championed Taiwan to a 10-point lead late in the game to seal off the victory.
With the top two places already secured by Iran and the Philippines respectively, Taiwan needed a win over South Korea to secure a third-place finish — a loss would have resulted in the hosts finishing fifth.
Taiwan led 9-0 early on, but deadly perimeter shooting by South Korea soon took over, with Lee Seung-hyun and Lee Jung-hyun combining for five three’s against a sluggish Taiwan defense in the first half to give the visitors a 45-41 lead at the half.
A series of missed shots by Taiwan led to several easy baskets for South Korea stretching the deficit to eleven before an all-out rally by Taiwan that started late in the third and carried into the fourth finally tied the game at 63-63 with 8 minutes, 40 seconds remaining.
Taiwan then went on a 17-10 run to deny the visitors any chance of a comeback.
PHILIPPINES 96, TAIWAN B 67
Taiwan Team B ended the nine-day tournament with a 96-67 hammering by the Philippines to finish with a 0-8 record.
Eight quick points by Jayson William in the opening quarter helped the Philippines take a 24-21 lead. That was also the smallest deficit for Taiwan, who mustered only eleven points in a disappointing second quarter to trail the visitors 50-32 at the half.
Four players scored in double-digits for the Philippines, led by Gary David’s game-high 22 points, compared with Taiwan’s Chien Wei-ju and Hsiao Hsun-yi, who netted 18 and 14 points respectively.
RUSSIA 76, JAPAN 63
Russia improved to a 5-3 mark for the tournament with a 76-63 win over Japan in their final contest to leave with the fourth-place finish.
Japan led for a good part of the first half after briefly trailing Russia in the first quarter, thanks to the brilliant play of Takatoshi Furukawa, who scored eleven of his team-high 18 points in the first half.
However, Russia closed in on Japan, who led 37-33 at the half, with a solid third quarter to even the score at 52-52 before outscoring their opponents 24-11 to pull away in the end.
In yesterday’s other Williams Jones Cup match, New Zealand recorded a 91-89 overtime victory over the US.
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