Sunday, September 03, 2006

Taiwan women's NT head for Brazil without center Cheng

Taiwan women's NT left for Brazil for the 2006 FIBA World Championship for Women Saturday without starting center Cheng Huei-yun, who made the painful decision to sit out the competition because of a severe knee injury.

Cheng's absence will hurt Taiwan a great deal, as she was basically Taiwan's only inside presence with international experience. Without Cheng, the team will have rely even heavier on its outside shooting and speed.

What's worse. Veteran Chien Wei-chuan (Rosa Chien), one of the most respectable guards in Asia, sustained a left hand injury and had six stitches on the eve of departure. Chien's injury obviously caused another concern.

Taiwan women's NT is bracketed in the same group with Czech Republic, Cuba and France. Head coach Hung Ling-yao said Czech will be the toughest opponent in the group and her team will have to beat either Cuba or France in order to go to the next round.

In its 4th appearance in the prestigious event, Taiwan women's NT will try to go for its best finish in history. Taiwan finished 12th, 14th and 14th respectively in 1986, 1994 and 2002.