South Korea battled to an impressive 83-72 victory over the Philippines in a key match-up yesterday, while top-ranked Canada and Lithuania picked up wins to stay on top of the table at the 39th William Jones Cup tournament in Taipei.
The result put South Korea, Canada and Lithuania into a tie for first place to vie for the title this weekend. The three teams have a 4-1 win-loss record.
Taiwan Blue yesterday lost to Iraq 80-76 in a game where punches were thrown in the scrum for a rebound under the board. In the closing seconds, the hosts narrowed it down to one point, but Iraq made their shots and held on for the three-point victory.
Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times
Taiwan White came close to their second triumph in the competition when they played Japan, with the game hanging in the balance late in the fourth quarter.
However, White faltered as Japan rallied to take a 91-86 win. Japan’s power forward Yusei Sugiura sank a three-pointer and then, in a change of possession, guard Shuta Hara drained another trey for Japan to reverse the deficit and take the lead.
Taiwan White wilted under pressure missing three attempts from the three-point range.
Hara and Sugiura were top scorers for Japan with 26 and 19 points respectively.
Starter Chen Guan-quan led Taiwan White at 18 points and was among four players on the team to finish with double digits.
Lithuania clobbered India 102-79, with Lithuania shooting guard Zygimantas Jocys producing a stellar performance with 21 points and six rebounds.
Canada point guard Diego Kapelan had a game-high 29 points to lead Canada past Iran 105-71.
Four of Canada’s five starters scored in double-digits, while Iran’s Navid Khajehzadeh came off the bench to net 16 points, the most for his team.
South Korea avenged their Jones Cup defeat to the Philippines last year by beating them 83-72.
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