Thursday, June 12, 2008

Taiwan women's NT kisses goodbye to Beijing

Taiwan women's NT lost to Belarus 81-65 in the second group game of the 2008 Olympics Qualifiers and crashed out of the tournament with no chance of securing a spot in the Beijing Olympics.

Nobody really gave this team a chance in the qualifiers, and the draw was not in Taiwan's favor, but losing two games by a combined 33 points looked like unacceptable to me -- especially when you know that the CTBA scrapped the whole women's basketball season so the national team could progress with its training schedule.

As was the case in the Asian Championship, this team was able to give you a very good 20 minutes but was always unable to hold on to a lead or hang in there with its opponents in both games.

Teams with at least one win in the group games advanced to the quarterfinal and will have to fight for the five remaining spots of the Olympics.

Final eight: Latvia, Czech, Brazil, Cuba (all 2-0), Angola, Japan, Spain, Belarus (1-1)
Out: Taiwan, Fiji, Senegal, Argentina game recap:
BLR/TPE – Belarus advance to quarter-finals with win over Chinese Taipei
MADRID (FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament) – Chinese Taipei made things awkward, but Belarus prevailed 81-65 to progress to the quarter-finals of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women.

Upset by Cuba in their first Group D game, Belarus had to win on Wednesday to avoid elimination.

Chinese Taipei, who led Cuba in the second half before running out of steam, hit back from an early 7-2 deficit to lead 14-10.

A jump shot in the lane by Volha Padabed sparked an 8-2 run for Belarus and put them on top for good although they did not pull away.

A jumper by Lin Chi-Wen with 7:24 to play cut the Belarus advantage to 57-52.

They would get no closer.

Belarus out-rebounded Chinese Taipei 50-30.

The winners got 13 points apiece from Olga Masilionene, Yelena Leuchanka and Tatyana Troina.

A win against Brazil on Friday in the quarter-finals will give the Belarus women a spot in the Olympics for the first time.