Tuesday, May 29, 2001

Taiwan NT Goes Home with Silver

After a sluggish start, Taiwan NT pounded Japan in the final three quarters as the youngest ever Taiwanese National Team beat Japan 87-68 in the third-place game in the 3rd East Asia Game on May 27. Australia beat China 105-93 in the title game and finished undefeated in the tournament.

Technically speaking, the Aussies won the championship. However, since they participated this event as an OBSERVER, Australia team would not receive any medal. Therefore China is the OFFICIAL champion in men's basketball. Taiwan took home the silver and host Japan settled with bronze.

Taiwan NT trailed 18-21 after the first quarter, but SG Yang Yu-min, who emerged as a big-time scorer out of nowhere, again tallied 17 points in the second quarter as Taiwan pulled away for a 10-point lead (48-38) in halftime. Taiwan's youngsters dominated the second half with their energy and explosiveness, again worn out their opponents and outscored the Japanese 39-30 to finish with a 19-point win.

Yang Yu-min led with 22 points on 8-11 shooting. 201cm F-C Tien Lei pulled down an astonishing 22 rebounds, including 8 on the offensive end, and scored 12 points. Chen Hsin-an made 3 of 5 three-pointers and finished with 18 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Chou Hong-yu had 13. Japan was led by Takuya Kita's 23 and Atsushi Ono's 14. Satoru Furuta had 10 boards.

No one expected Taiwan NT to finish in the top 4 prior to the tournament, let alone winning silver medal. But these youngsters, collectively averaging a shade under 22 years-old, surprise almost everyone, from local fans and coaching staff to their opponents. China and Japan's coach both used the word "shock" to describe how they feel about the Taiwanese team. Taiwan's Big Three - Tien Lei, Chen Hsin-an and Yang Yu-min - are now no longer unknowns around the Asia.

In the meaningless title game - China already clinched the gold medal even if they lost the game - Australia used its balanced attack to finish the Chinese. The Aussies outscored China in every quarter with Brett Maher scored a team-high 20 points. Benjamin Melmeth had a solid game with 19 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Paul Rogers and Matt Nielson scored 13 respectively.

Obviously, China's head coach Wang Fei once again used the game for preparation for the upcoming Asian Games. 7-6 center Yao Ming had 11 points, 8 rebounds and 5 blocks in 28 minutes while Wang Zhi-zhi scored 13 in 24 minutes after sitting out the previous game nursing ankle injury. Lee Nan led the team with 25 points. PF Liu Yu-dong had 18.

■Final Results for the 3rd East Asia Games
1st - Australia
Gold - China
Silver - Taiwan
Bronze - Japan
5th - Korea
6th - Kazakstan
7th - Mongolia

Sunday, May 27, 2001

Day 5-7 : Taiwan NT in Semi ; Australia Undefeated

201cm forward Tien Lei had 19 points and 10 rebounds as Taiwan NT defeated South Korea 94-85 on May 24 and grabbed its most impressive victory in the tournament. With the inspiring win, Taiwan advances to the semifinals, where no one thought they would be prior to the tournament.

Coming into the tournament, no one thought Taiwan have a chance finishing in the top 4, let alone defending the title it won two years ago in Pusan, Korea, with its inexperienced roster. Obviously Taiwan NT shocks a lot of people, even coaches from Japan, Korea and China.

Excluded games versus China and Australia, Taiwan NT stays competitive and energetic in every game. If not for the 78-83 loss to Japan, a game which they faced the home team in huge disadvantage (Taiwan received only two FT attempts in the game, while Japan shot 19-22 at the free-throw line), they would finished the preliminaries 4-2, instead of 3-3.

As expected, Australia cruised past the preliminaries with a perfect 6-0 record and an eye-popping +37.3-point winning margin.

■Game Summaries
Korea 91-74 Mongolia (Korea - Son Gyu-wan 16p, Kim Joo-sung 14p+5rb ; Mongolia - Tserenjanhar Sharavjamts 42p)

Australia 123-82 Kazakhstan (Australia - Matt Nielson 20p on 10-10 shooting, Brett Maher 19p ; Kazakhstan - Andrey Strebkov 22p)

Japan 83-78 Taiwan (Japan - Takuya Kita 21p, Yuki Orihara 19p, Satoru Furuta 17p+18rb ; Taiwan - Chen Hsin-an 25p+7rb+5a, Chen Chih-chung 10p+6a)

Australia 148-81 Mongolia (Australia - Paul Rogers 22p, Benjamin Knight 19p ; Mongolia - Tserenjanhar Sharavjamts 32p)

Taiwan 94-85 Korea (Taiwan - Tien Lei 19p+10rb, Yang Yu-min 17p, Chiu Chi-yi 17p, Wu Chih-wei 14p+12rb ; Korea - Kim Joo-sung 37p+13rb)

China 96-81 Japan (China - Yao Ming 18p+13rb, Hu Sher-feng 17p+7a+4s ; Japan - Kazuhiro Shoji 12p, Yuki Orihara 12p)

Kazakhstan 92-83 Mongolia (Kazakhstan - Yevgeniv Issakov 19p ; Mongolia - Tserenjanhar Sharavjamts 24p)

Korea 88-87 Japan (Korea - Kim Dong-woo 19p, Song Young-jun 18p ; Japan - Kazuhiro Shoji 16p, Satoru Furuta 10p+10rb)

China 127-91 Taiwan (China - Liu Yu-dong 23p, Menk Batere 23p+9rb, Yao Ming 19[+14rb ; Yang Yu-min 28p, Chen Hsin-an 20p, Tien Lei 17p+6rb)

Semi : No Surprise, Australia Meet China in Finals

The result surprises no one. Australia and China routed opponents in the East Asia Games semifinals on May 26 and will meet in the title game as most observers predicted. Taiwan, which lost the semi 75-121 to the Aussies, will have a rematch with hosting team Japan in the third-place game. Japan lost to China 69-86 in the semi.

China handled the Japanese with ease as head coach Wang Fei distributed playing times among all players. Lee Nan scored a team-high 23 points and 8 rebounds. Chang Wen-chi had 16 points. Yao Ming had 13 points, 7 rebounds and 8 blocks in limited minutes. Another big man Wang Zhi-zhi did not play because of ankle injury. Takuma Watanabe led japan with 12 points.

With no hope defeating Australia and the important third-place game coming, Taiwan NT head coach Chien Yi-fei decided to put the leading scorer Chen Hsin-an on the bench for the whole game and send in his second unit. SG Yang Yu-min led Taiwan NT with 22 points. 18 year-old sensation Tien Lei again turned in a solid game with 19 points and 5 rebounds. Chiu Chi-yi had 14. High school sophomore Wu Dai-hao collected 8 points and 9 rebounds.

Glen Saville led Australia with 22 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists. Scott McGregor had 21 points.

East Asia Games Preliminary Results

China - 96-81 97-100 131-52 127-91 108-105 77-105
Japan 81-96 - 87-88 129-68 83-78 100-76 82-96
Korea 100-97 88-87 - 91-74 85-94 92-121 86-120
Mongolia 52-131 68-129 74-91 - 104-109 83-92 81-148
Taiwan 91-127 78-83 94-85 109-104 - 84-75 67-107
Kazakhstan 105-108 76-100 121-92 92-83 75-84 - 82-123
Australia 105-77 96-82 120-86 148-81 107-67 123-82 -

Preliminary Games Standings


Semi-finals Matchup : #1 Australia - #4 Taiwan ; #2 China - #3 Japan (May 26)

Championship : Australia - China (May 27)

Third-place Game : Taiwan - Japan (May 27)

Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Chen Hsin-an Score 71 in Two Wins

Chen Hsin-an found his shooting touch that's lost for quite a while and scored an astonishing 71 points in consecutive victories over Kazakhstan and Mongolia, lifting Taiwan to a 2-1 record in East Asia games preliminaries. Meanwhile, Australia kept dominating the event and topped the standing with 4-0. South Korea, which comprises of college players, pulled out the biggest upset so far when they edged China by three points.

■Game Summaries
Taiwan 84-75 Kazakhstan
Taiwan - Chen Hsin-an 35p (6-10 3PT, 12-23 FG), Tien Lei 6p+19rb, Chiu Chi-yi 15p, Wu Chih-wei 14p...Taiwan controlled the game after a 30-17 first quarter and made 10 of 19 three-pointers as a team
Kazakhstan - Andrei Shpekht 18p

Australia 92-86 Japan
Australia - Paul Rogers 29p+10rb, Benjamin Melmeth 11p+13rb, Brett Maher 19p+5a
Japan - Takuya Kita 18p, Yukia Orihara 16p, Kazuhiro Shoji 15p

South Korea 100-97 China
S.Korea - Kim Joo-sung 28p+7rb+4a, Son Gyu-wan 25p, Hwang Sung-in 17p+11a
China - Wang Zhi-zhi 38p+7rb+4a, Hu Wei-dong 17p, Yao Ming 8p+7rb (20min)

Taiwan 109-104 Mongolia
Taiwan - Chen Hsin-an 36p (14-24 FG)+5rb+6a, Tien Lei 20p+15rb, Chiu Chi-yi 26p (10-10 FG), Chen Chih-shung 8p+6a
Mongolia - Tagirvaa Tuvshinbayar 42p, Tserenjanhar Sharavjamts 37p

Australia 120-86 South Korea
Australia - Paul Rogers 15p, Brett Maher 15p...8 players scoring in double-figure
S.Korea - Hwang Sung-in 26p+8a, Son Gyu-wan 17p

China 108-105 Kazakhstan
China - Liu Yu-dong 24p, Yao Ming 14p+13rb+7blks, Hu Wei-dong 20p
Kazakhstan - Vitaliy Strebkov 33p

Australia 4-0
Taiwan 2-1
Japan 2-1
China 2-2
South Korea 1-2
Kazakhstan 1-3
Mongolia 0-3

Monday, May 21, 2001

Han-min Tech Wins UMC Cup

PG Chen Huei had 20p, 8rb, 8a to lead Han-min Tech edged Taiwan Beer in an intense 80-76 overtime victory and won the corporate-sponsored UMC Cup title on May 20. SINA defeated Military 76-71 in the third-place game.

The mini tournament is sponsored by local electronic company UMC. Therefore, it's not a CTBA-sanctioned event. A total of eight A-League teams enter the tournament. BCC Mars temporarily changed its name to Han-min Tech because it receives sponsorship from Han-min Technology. SG Yang Che-yi scored 21 in the title game.

Taiwan NT Lost to Australia by 40

As expected, the young and inexperienced Taiwan NT was shell-shocked in its international debut, losing to Australia 67-107 in the first preliminary game of East Asia Game in Osaka, Japan.

Though totally outplayed by the Australians, Taiwan NT shows some glimpse of the future. 193cm wing guard Chen Hsin-an led with 13 points while incoming college freshman Tien Lei (201cm, F) had 11 points and 6 rebounds in his international competition debut. Tien's fast-break dunk wowed the crowds, even the Australians.

Taiwan NT's real game will not begun until today when they face dark horse Kazakhstan, who shocked South Korea earlier and is Taiwan's primary roadblock onto the final four.

■Game Summary
Kazakhstan 121-92 South Korea
KAZ - Andrei Shpekht 31p ; Vitaliy Strebkov 30p
KOR - Son Gyu-wan 27p

Australia 105-77 China
AUS - Brett Maher 25p ; Glen Saville 18p ; Darryl McDonald 6p, 10a, 5s ; Matthew Nielson 15p
CHN - Yao Ming 18p, 6rb in 18 min ; Wang Zhi-zhi 15p

Japan 129-68 Mongolia
JPN - Takuya Kita 27p...7 Japanese players in double-digit

Australia 107-67 Taiwan
AUS - Paul Rogers 23p, 12rb ; Benjamin Melmeth 14p...56% team FG%
Taiwan - Chen Hsin-an 13p ; Tien Lei 11p, 6rb...RB 31-64...35% team FG%

China 131-52 Mongolia
CHN - Yao Ming 20p, 9rb ; Wang Zhi-zhi 16p, 5rb ; Chang Wen-chi 19p ; Du Feng 17p
MGL - Tserenjanhar Sharavjamts 37p

Japan 100-76 Kazakhstan
JPN - Kazuhiro Shoji 20p ; Satoru Furuta 17p, 9rb
KAZ - Andrei Shpekht 19p ; Vitaliy Strebkov 21p

Japan 2-0
Australia 2-0
China 1-1
Kazakhstan 1-1
Taiwan 0-1
South Korea 0-1
Mongolia 0-2

Saturday, May 12, 2001

Taiwan NT Complete Warmup Trip in China

Taiwan NT lost 82-86 to Shanshi Dongshen in the Shanshi Invitational Tournament, finishing as runner-up and wrapping up their final warmup games before the upcoming East Asia Games. Taiwan NT will fly directly from China to Osaka, Japan, for the 3rd East Asia Games, which will be held from May 19-27.

Taiwan NT tournament Results: lost to Beijing, 90-100 ; beat Tienjin 90-61 ; beat Hebei 70-61 ; lost to Shanshi 82-86.

Cheng Chih-lung, Chu Chih-chin Leave for China

Loaned by Dacin owner Wang Jen-da to the Chinese Division II Shanshi Dongshen, Taiwanese players Cheng Chih-lung and Chu Chih-chin left for China on May 10. With the addition of Cheng and Chu, Shanshi hopes for a top 2 finish in the Div-II that will place them in the Division I next season.

Cheng(192cm, wing guard) and Chu(198cm, PF) both are still at the top of their game at 32 years-old and among the best in Taiwan. They will stay in China for two months for the Division II season, which starts on June 15.

This is Cheng's second trip to mainland China as a player. Cheng played with Shanghai Sharks in 1999-2000 season, helping Shanghai to the first CBA Finals appearance in franchise history. Released by Shanghai after the Finals, Cheng returned to Taiwan and signed with Dacin Constructions, where he reunited with long-time friend Chu Chih-chin.

Chu Chih-chin signed with Dacin after his ball club, Hong-fu Rams, folded after the CBA (Chinese Basketball Alliance) collapsed once again following its operation suspension.

Monday, May 07, 2001

EAG Games Re-Scheduled

East Asia Games revised its basketball preliminaries schedule due to the absence of North Korea, which never completed the final registration to enter the games. The total number for men's team is now down to six.

Defending champion Taiwan NT will face Australia, which participate the event as an observer and will not be ranked in the final standings, in the first game on May 20. The remaining preliminaries will be vs. Khazakstan on May 21, Mongolia on May 22, Japan on May 23, South Korea on May 24 and China on May 25.

For Taiwan NT to be in the semi-finals, the first two games vs. Khazakstan and Mongolia are must-win games, especially Khazakstan.

Taiwan Women's NT will take on their opponents in the order of South Korea, Khazakstan, Japan and China in the 5-team round-robin preliminaries.