Sunday, July 14, 2002

Day 1 - Japan upset Taiwan on buzzer-beater

Takahiro Setsumasa's buzzer-beating three-pointer lifted Japan NT to a 74-72 upset over Taiwan NT tonight before a sellout crowd in Taipei Physical Educatin College Gym. Japan's stunning victory also marks the first time ever that Taiwan NT lose an opening game in Jones Cup's 25 year history.

Trailing 71-72 with 20 seconds remaining, Takahiro Kita's driving pass finds Setsumasa perfectly in the left corner. Setsumasa, who scored only 5 points in the game, calmly swished his game-deciding three-pointer before the buzzer sounded.

Taiwan NT managed a small-margin lead thru out the game, but they were apparently out of sync tonight. The offense was miserable. 30 of their 72 points came on three-pointers. They played almost the entire game one-on-one, and shot only 35%(24 for 69).

Chen Hsin-an and Tien Lei, Taiwan's most powerful duo, were almost non-factors in the loss. Chen scored only 5 poiints on 2-8 shooting. Tien had only 3 points and two quick fouls in 8 meaningless minutes.

South Korea's Military team (Sangmu) beat Russia, 90-79, for the second straight year in the Jones Cup. South Korea didn't shoot the lights out but still pull the game away after a 33-23 third quarter.

Taiwan NT won the first ever Jone Cup title last year. South Korea and Russia ranked second and third respectively. Japan NT did not enter the tournament last year.

*Game Summary
South Korea 90-79 Russia (Cho Sang-hyun 18, Yoon Young-pil 17, Son Gyu-wan 15, Sin Ki-sung 14+5a ; Denis Sevastianov 17+11, Vladimir Pevnev 13)

Japan 74-72 Taiwan (Takahiro Kita 20, Takuma Watanabe 14, Satoru Furuta 13+13 ; Chiu Chi-yi 17, Yang Yu-min 15, Wu Chih-wei 13)