After a 24-year wait, Taiwan finally wins its first ever Jones Cup title when they defeat South Korea 69-58 in the final game yesterday. Lin Jia-huang, who has been a backup SG before starting in the game, again surprised everyone with an 18-point performance.
In a game that drew almost 10,000 fans - I guess it's the best single-game attendance record in 15 years - and the deafening sound flying all game long, Taiwan NT successfully defended Korea's three-point shooting and pulled ahead after a slow start, leading 34-24 in halftime.
South Korea tried to rally in the second half, but after the third consecutive offensive foul calls, Koreans realized they had no hope against the home court advantage. Korean coach Choo Il-seung pulled his starters out of the game in the last 6 minutes and had virtually given up the game.
Ditto the wild celebration after the game, officiating that favors the home team drew criticism. In fact, it's been the talk of the tournament.
In the third-place game, Russia put five players in double-digit while making 14 three-pointers in the game and defeated Philippines 81-71. Andrei Endropov led Russia with 16 points on four three-pointers. Philippines totally relied on its two imports Christopher Clay and Jeffrey Flowers, who scored 33 and 18 points respectively.
Honduras edged Canada 70-67 in the fifth-place game. Francisco Trochez, who scored 23 points, secured the win when he sinked a game-clinching three-pointer and was fouled.
Taiwan's previous best finish in the Jones Cup is runner-up, when they lost to - guess who - South Korea NT in 1999 Jones Cup final.
Taiwan 69-58 South Korea (Half 34-24)
TW - Lin Jia-huang 18p (4-10 3PT) ; Chen Chih-chung 13p, 6rb, 3a ; Tien Lei 9p, 6rb ; Chou Hong-yu 8p, 7rb ; Shan Wei-fan 8p, 7rb ; Chen Hsin-an 2p, 6a
SK - Son Gyu-wan 10p ; Yoon Young-pil 10p
Russia 81-71 Philippines
RUS - Andrei Endropov 16p (4-10 3PT), 4a, 4s ; Alexandre Chernov 10p, 5a ; Vladimir Pevnev 12p ; Evgeni Shatokhin 11p, 7rb
PHI - Christopher Clay 33p, 6rb, 4a ; Jeffrey Flowers 18p, 9rb ; Ranidel De Ocampo 4p, 14rb
Honduras 70-67 Canada
HON - Francisco Trochez 23p ; Pedro Ferron 20p, 8rb ; William Waterhouse 11p, 10rb
CAN - Keith Bustard 18p ; Josh Payne 12p
1. Taiwan 7-0
2. South Korea 6-1
3. Russia 5-2
4. Philippines 4-3
5. Honduras 3-4
6. Canada 2-5
7. Mongolia 1-6
8. South Africa 0-7