Led by teenagers Lee Chi-ming and Tsun Wen-din, Taiwan NT pulled out a 12-0 run in the closing minutes to beat Qatar, 71-61, in the opening game of 2002 Asian Games. The surprising victory almost guarantees Taiwan NT a place in the second round -- if they win or lose by no more than 18 points vs. Kazakhstan tomorrow.
Utilizing a SMALL 2-3 zone defense with no one guarding the three-point line for almost the entire game, Taiwan NT head coach Lee Yun-kwang decided to lock down Qatar's interior offense and let their opponents shoot from outside. The strategy works for the Taiwanese, with Qatar shooting an disappointing 8 for 43 from three-point territory.
Trailed by as many as 14 in the third period, Qatar dominated the offensive boards to pull ahead by two later in the final period. Surprisingly, Taiwan closed out the game by scoring the last 12 points, including two fastbreak baskets by two 18-year-olds, Lee Chi-ming and Tsun Wen-din, to upset Qatar.
Lee Yun-kwang surprised everyone from the first minute, starting tiny PG Lee Chi-ming (175cm) instead of veteran Chen Chih-chun. Lee Chi-ming did not disappoint, collecting 6 points and 8 boards. 204cm C Tsun successfully limited Qatar's star center Mahmoud Ismail Yasseen to 4-15 shooting and 13 points.
180cm SG Yang Yu-min, who had a team-high 19 points, found his long-lost shooting touch by making 8 of 17 shots. Qatar defense couldn't match up Yang's quickness and stop-and-pop jumper all game.
202cm F Tien Lei silenced his critics by becoming his old self. He had 10 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. Chou Hong-yu did not miss a shot in five attempts and scored 10.
In another surprising game, Hong Kong shocked Kuwait by the final score of 77-57. 180cm combo guard Poon Chi-ho, who was signed by SINA Lions recently, had 21 points.
Japan had seven players scoring in double-digit and easily got past Mongolia, 125-75. But Japanese-American star forward Michael Takahashi did not play.
#Hong Kong 77-57 Kuwait (Half 39-26)
HK - Poon Chi-ho 21p, Tam Wei-yeung 20p+9rb, Li Wei-lun 18p+7rb ; KUW - H. Alshemmari 13p, O. Mubarak 10p
#Taiwan 71-61 Qatar (Half 34-32)
TAI - Yang Yu-min 19p(8-17 FG)+6rb+5a, Chou Hong-yu 10p(5-5 FG), Tien Lei 10p+12rb, Tsun Wen-din 10p+5rb, Wu Chih-wei 7p+8rb, Lee Chi-ming 6p+8rb ; QAT - M. Yasseen 13p+12rb, O. Mohd 15p
#DPR Korea 85-64 UAE (Half 49-33)
PRK - Pak Chon-jong 30p(10-32 FG)+8rb, Ri Myong-hun 13p+17rb, Pak Kyong-nam 10p+10rb ; UAE - M. Salem 14p, A. Ibrhim 14p
#Japan 125-75 Mongolia (Half 62-28)
JAP - Shunsuke Ito 20p(10-12 FG), Takuma Watanabe 18p+5a, Takashi Shinohara 16p(8-8 FG), Takehiko Orimo 15p, Yuichi Kan 14p ; MGL - M. Otgonbayar 28p