Saturday, July 29, 2000

Day 6 Report : South Korea, New Zealand to Meet in Final

South Korea upset home team Taiwan NT 87-78 in the July 28 semifinal of the 23rd William Jones Cup and advance to the championship game, where they will face New Zealand NT, which trounced Philippines 67-37 in the other semifinal action.

205cm center Kim Joo Sung and 185cm shooting guard Kim Byong Chul combined for 58 points, 20 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals to lead the Koreans' attack. Kim Joo Sung single-handedly ripped Taiwanese interior defense with 36 points and 11 rebounds, while Kim Byong Chul, one of the two professional players on Korean side, connected 5 of 7 three-pointers and scored 22.

South Korea, which sent its collegiate all-star team to Taiwan instead of national team, jumped to a 10-4 lead in the opening minutes on consecutive three-pointers and led most of the game on small margin. Taiwan managed to even the score at 52 all early in the second half, but South Korean again pulled away on a 7-0 spurt.

With 6 minutes remaining, home crowd favorite Chen Hsin-An returned to the court after suffering a minor cut above his right eyebrow before halftime. Chen tried to bring the Taiwanese into the game with a high-power baseline driving dunk, but Kim Joo Sung again silenced the crowd with three consecutive baskets to boost the lead to 11 points.

Taiwan failed to scored on 4 consecutive possesions afterwards and again was stopped by their long-time rival South Korea. Taiwan also lost to South Korea NT in the Jones Cup final last year.

In the other action, Andres Barrantes and 34 year-old veteran Hernan Robertson scored 18 each to lead Costa Rica to a 87-59 victory over Malaysia and took home the seventh place. Malaysia finished eighth.

Taiwan NT 2nd, whose poor play being harshly criticized by local media and fans, finally defeated Hong Kong 77-46 and finished 9th in the tournament, thanks to SG Chang Chi-Fung's all-around performance of 22 points(5-7 3PTs), 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Yung Kam Wah scored 20 to lead last-place Hong Kong.

Taiwan NT 2nd will head for Dohar, Katar next month for the Asian U-20 Basketball Championship. NT player Chen Hsin-An will join the U-20 team after the Jones Cup.