Sitting on the bench for 38 1/2 minutes, PG Yen Shin-shu made the most of his playing time. Yen hit his only attempt and iced the victory in waning moments as Taiwan overcame a 34-point outburst from Christopher Clay, last year's Jones Cup leading scorer, and edged Philippines 84-79 yesterday to win their third consecutive game. The sad part is the game raised several controversial issues between both teams - again.
Memory of the bench-clearing brawl in 1999 Jones Cup between Taiwan NT and Philippines Iloilo Megavoltz is still vivid among most local fans. Once again, yesterday we saw Taiwan SG Yang Yu-min engaged in an altercation with Philippines PF Richard Melencio with 5 minutes to go. Fortunately the coaching staff of both sides control the situation immediately and asked their players to tone down their act.
By the way, Philippines surprisingly did not put both their imports - Clay and Jeffrey Flowers - on the floor together for the whole game, with Clay playing 32 minutes and Flowers only eight. It is said that Philippines did so under the request from the Taiwanese side. Also, the officiating of the game, which obviously favors Taiwan NT, is highly questioned. After the game, Philippines coach Johny Tam denied he received any request from Taiwan. But even for most local basketball observers and media, it seems Taiwan has taken the "home court advantage" too far.
The momentum went back and forth for the entire 40 minutes in this exciting game. Philippines jumped to a 16-10 lead early in the first quarter, but Taiwan rebounded and led by as many as 9 points (42-33) in the second. Taiwan led 47-43 in the first half.
With 5 minutes remaining, the scored still tied at 71 all. Philippines was still in the game after Christopher Clay's two free-throw, trailing by three with 1 1/2 minutes to go. Yen Shin-shu then replaced Chen Chih-chung, who failed to cover Clay all game long and left with five fouls. Yen immediately scored the game winner with a high-arching finger roll on the drive and dashed Philippines' comeback hope.
Taiwan 84-79 Philippines
TW - Yang Yu-min 19p ; Chen Chih-chung 15p ; Lee Chi-yi 11p, 6rb ; Tien Lei 11p ; Wu Chih-wei 10p, 7rb ; Lin Jia-huang 10p
PHI - Christopher Clay 34p (5-6 3PT) ; Ranidel De Ocampo 21p, 14rb ; Jeffrey Flowers 2p, 1rb
South Korea 76-71 Honduras
KOR - Son Gyu-won 18p(6-12 3PT)
HON - Pedro Ferron 31p
Russia 82-45 South Africa
Rebounding - Russia 49:25 S.A.
South Korea 2-0
South Africa 0-3