Friday, July 28, 2000

Taiwan Junior NT finished 3rd in ABC Championship

Taiwan Junior NT escaped with a 77-76 victory over Japan and finished third in the 16th ABC Championship for Junior Men on July 27.

It's the best finish for the Taiwanese in the tournament since 1989, when they took home the runner-up trophy. And for the first time in 11 years, Taiwanese squeeze in the top 3 in ABC Junior Men Championship.

Facing Japan for the second time in three days, Taiwanese again held off a furious comeback by Japanese. PG Huang Chih-Chun made three clutch three-pointers in the final ten minutes, when Japan cut the 11 point halftime deficit to two(72-74) with one minute remaining. Huang scored 12 points.

199cm center Tien Lei finished with team-high 16 points, while forward Lin Chih-Chieh contributed 12. 15 year-old 6-8 center Wu Tai-Hao collected 11 points and six rebounds in 11 minutes.

The victory also marked the farewell to Korean head coach Chung Kwang Suk, whose contract with CTBA(Chinese Taipei Basketball Association) will be expired in September. Chung is not expected to be re-signed and probably will go back to South Korea.

Surprisingly, South Korea routed traditional power China 120-94 in the championship game and won for the third time in tournament history. Koreans led 60-54 in halftime.

1. South Korea
2. China
3. Taiwan
4. Japan
5. Saudi Arabia
6. Hong Kong
7. Katar
8. Kuwait
9. Iran
10. Lebanon
11. Malaysia
12. India
13. Yemen
14. Thailand
15. Sri Lanka
16. Singapore

*In 16 tournaments to date, China and Philippines led with six titles. South Korea followed with 3, while Japan won only once. Taiwan had never won the tournament.