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)