Led by tournament MVP Hur Jae's 18 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists, South Korea NT edged Taiwan NT 70-67 in front of 4,000 screaming crowds and won their first ever William Jones Cup title. Taiwan NT finished second for the second year in a row, losing to Philippines in 1998.
Dubbed as Asia's most dangerous shooting team, South Korea scored 15 of its first 20 points on 5 three-pointers and led by 32-19 with 6 minutes remaining in the first half. Cheng Chih-Lung, who scored 14 points in the first half, remained the most reliable scorer for Taiwan. Lo Shing-Liang scored 9 points to lead a closing 14-4 run before the halftime buzzer, when Taiwan trailed 33-36.
Taiwan opened the second half with an 8-4 spurt in 3 minutes to taste its first lead, 41-40. The ensuing 15 minutes became the dual of South Korea's Hur Jae and Taiwan's Yen Shin-Shu. Hur Jae exploded for 12 points while Yen answered with 8 points, including two three-pointers. South Korea still led 67-61 with 2 minutes left.
Taiwan found its shooting touch in time and made its last push. Cheng Chih-Lung and reserve Hsu Chih-Chao consecutively swished two three-pointers within 30 seconds to tie the score at 67 with 1:12 remaining.
Taiwan then toughened up its defense, leaving South Korean 0.22 seconds away from 30-second violation. But South Korea executed a brilliant backdoor play after timeout with Hyun Joo-Yup laying in the decisive basket for 69-67 lead. Taiwan NT collapsed in the final 30 seconds, committing two turnovers and finally let South Koreans walk away with the victory.
Seo Jang-Hoon, KBL's best center last season, led South Korea with 20 points and 6 rebounds. Clearly he was too strong in the paint for Taiwanese frontline to handle. Hyun Joo-Yup contributed 15.
Cheng Chih-Lung's 19 lead Taiwan NT and Lo Shing-Liang scored 17. Yen Shin-Shu, who scored 30 in last win vs New Zealand, managed 11 points and dished out 6 assists.
New Zealand 62-60 Costa Rica
New Zealand again used its balanced scoring to bounce back from 26-27 halftime deficit and finished 3rd in the Jones Cup. PG Kent Mori led with 11 points. Costa Rica's Henry Martinez tallied 22 points and tournament scoring leader Jorge Arias scored 13.
Taiwan National Second 74-47 Bahrain NT
Taiwan National Second's transition offense made Bahrain one step slow for the whole game. 195cm Center Shan Wei-Fan played his best game in the tournament, tallied 15 points and 10 rebounds. Guard Chang Hsien-Ming scored 14. Taiwan National shot 56 percent from two point range and limited Bahrain to a miserable 11-49 shooting.
1.South Korea NT
5.Taiwan National Second
MVP: Hur Jae(South Korea)
NOKIA Most Smart Player Award: Cheng Chih-Lung(Taiwan NT)
STATS LEADERS(based on tournament totals)
Scoring: 80,Jorge Arias(Costa Rica)
Rebounding: 40,Andres Leandro(Costa Rica)
Assists: 33,Hur Jae(South Korea)
Steals: 10,Orlando Daly(Costa Rica)
Blocked Shots: 5,Lee Chih-Yi(Taiwan National Second)
Three-pointers: 14,Cho Sung-Won(South Korea)