Friday, July 20, 2001

Day1: Taiwan, China, South Korea Cruise

No surprise, heavily-favored China and South Korea cruised in the first day of the 21st ABC Championship, both defeating their opponents by more than 70 points. Taiwan NT also beat India, 85-55, in its first preliminary game and virtually secured its spot in the second round (quarterfinal).

180cm SG Yang Yu-min scored 20 points (8-11 FG, 3-4 3PT) in the victory, while 18 year-old forward Tien Lei collected 14 points and 8 rebounds. Taiwan used a 14-0 rally to go ahead in the first quarter and again pulled out a 16-0 run in the third quarter to put the game away, leading by as many as 34 points. Tien Lei, who was adjusting switching from PF to SF after leading the East Asia Games, made two consecutive three-pointers in the third quarter run.

Taiwan NT made 8 three-pointers and committed only 10 turnovers in the game but was outrebounded 40-47 by India, which drew a few negative remarks from head coach Lee Yun-kwang. Taiwan won for the 10th time in the last 11 games with India. This is the first game between both sides since the 1991 ABC Championship in Kobe, Japan.

Home team China cruised by Thailand 121-46 with every player contributed. Wang Zhi-zhi scored 17 and Yao Ming collected 16 points and 17 rebounds in just 20 minutes.

Minor surprises came from Group B & D. Japan, suffering from the absence of four star players, managed to beat Kuwait by only 9 points, 86-78. Three players from both sides --Takahiro Setsumasa, Hejras and Al-Sarraf -- even threw punches with 17 seconds remaining. However, with this important win, they should be able to squeeze into the quarterfinal, even if they lost to Syria.

Lebanon also edged UAE in a thriller. UAE almost overcame an 11-point deficit but Fadi Khatib, who scored a game-high 27 points, made two free-throws with 8 second remaining and sealed the victory for Lebanon. 210cm C/F Joe Vogel scored 16 points and pulled down 17 rebounds for Lebanon.

▓Game Summaries
Japan 86-78 Kuwait
Qatar 72-42 Hong Kong
South Korea 124-51 Singapore
Taiwan 85-55 India (Half 39-27)
Lebanon 70-69 UAE
China 121-46 Thailand

▓Preliminary Standings
Group A
China 1-0, Qatar 1-0, Hong Kong 0-1, Thailand 0-1
Group B
South Korea 1-0, Lebanon 1-0, UAE 0-1, Singapore 0-1
Group C
Taiwan 1-0, Uzbekistan 0-0, India 0-1
Group D
Japan 1-0, Syria 0-0, Kuwait 0-1