Sunday, August 05, 2007

Sixth place finish for Taiwan in Asian Championship


Taiwan lost to Jordan 97-74 in its final game in the 2007 Asian Championship and finished sixth place in the tournament. It's not a good result, but it's Taiwan's best Asian Chamiponship finish since 2001.

In the championship game, Hamed Ehadadi had 31 points and 10 rebounds and led Iran to a 74-69 victory over West Asia foe Lebanon. Iran won its first ever Asian Championship title and a ticket to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Jordan, which broke open the game after 15 minutes, was led by Zaid Abbas' 24 points and 13 rebounds. Zaid Alkhas had 15 points. Enver Soobzokov added 14 and Sam Daghlas had 12.

Chen Hsin-an had 13 points for Taiwan, which ranked 11th in 2003 and 9th in 2005. Lin Yi-huei had 12 points. Chen Shih-nian and Lee Chi-yi each scored 11 points while Wu Dai-hao had 10 points and 5 boards.

Taiwan was 3-5 in the tournament, head coach Chung Kwang-suk's first major tournament with the team since taking over in May. It remained to be seen whether the CTBA will keep Chung, an experienced Korea veteran, after the tournament.

For the whole tournament, Taiwan has been short-handed due to injuries and untimely suspensions. Tien Lei, Chen Chih-chun, Su Yi-chieh and Ho Sho-jen all sat out because of various injuries. Starting center Tsun Wen-din was added to the injured list after the Jones Cup.

Wu Dai-hao became the lone big man on the roster. Chung was forced to move Chen Hsin-an to the power forward position and Lin Chih-jay as the small forward. Feeling the pressure of the short tournament, Chung played his starters for almost the entire game in most games and drew criticism back home from some observers and press.

Still, Taiwan NT had its best finish since 2001, when it ranked 7th. Relatively speaking, Chung successfully installed an inside-outside system and make Taiwan more than a three-point shooting team. Wu and Lin, both of whom have been ignored by former NT head coach Lee Yung-kwang, blossomed because of the change. Taiwan's zone defense also saw improvement.

Which is why I think CTBA should keep Chung as the NT head coach. He got the O.K. sixth place finish and improved the overall toughness and performance of the team.




**Taiwan NT game-by-game (3W-5L):
Beat Syria, 90-66
Lost to Korea, 70-85
Beat Hong Kong, 98-81
Lost to Iran, 64-76
Lost to Lebanon, 64-95
Lost to Qatar, 74-87
Beat Japan, 85-80
Lost to Jordan, 74-97

5/6 place: Jordan 97-74 Taiwan
7/8 place: Qatar 86-82 Japan
3/4 place: Korea 80-76 Kazakhstan
Championship: Iran 74-69 Lebanon

**Final placing:
1. Iran
2. Lebanon
3. Korea
4. Kazakhstan
5. Jordan
6. Taiwan
7. Qatar
8. Japan
9. Philippines
10. China
11. Syria
12. Indonesia
13. Hong Kong
14. Kuwait
15. India
16. UAE