Friday, July 25, 2008

Taiwan wins Jones Cup, MVP goes to Chiang

Taiwan 55-54 Australia U-19 NT

The win was not pretty. Taiwan's senior women's NT barely got past Australia U-19 NT 55-54 in the 2008 Jones Cup title game -- after Australia lost 203cm center Elizabeth Cambage in the second quarter.

But a win is still a win. The thrilling victory gave Taiwan NT its sixth title in the Jones Cup and the first champion since 2005.

Australia, which trailed almost the entire second half, rallied behind Stephanie Cumming's 12 points in the final quarter. Cumming scored seven straight points as Australia took the lead 54-53 with 20.7 seconds to go.

Taiwan showed its poise and experience down the stretch. Center Cheng Hui-yun hit Chu Yung-hsuan, who was left wide open at the baseline, and Chu knocked down her only field goal in the game with 6.1 seconds left to put Taiwan on top, 55-54.

Australia tried to let Cumming take the last shot but Taiwan forward Tsai Pei-chen fouled Cumming to stop the game clock. Australia had to hurry a desperation shot with time running out.

The result could've been different if Elizabeth Cambage did not sprain her ankle early in the second period. Cambage did not play again.

Forward Chiang Feng-chun, the tournament MVP, scored 10 straight as Taiwan surged past Australia 29-26 and maintain the advantage until the final two minutes.

Chaing had 19 points and 14 rebounds. Cheng Hui-yun and Tsai Pei-chen had 10 points each. Chu Yung-hsuan had three points, four steals and six rebounds. Taiwan's defense held Australia to 31% shooting.

Australia was led by Cumming's 17 points. Without Cambage, it was outrebounded by Taiwan 45-36.

Woori Bank 84-62 Malaysia NT

The joy of observing Korean basketball is their ability to shoot the lights out, which was the case Friday night when Woori Bank made 17 threes in a 22-point rout over the Malaysia NT in the third-place game of the 2008 Jones Cup women's group.

Nobody expected Malaysia to win, actually, although everyone agreed that the Malaysia team has shown much improvement over the years.

Kim Eun-hye had 20 points, including six three-pointers, and 12 rebounds while Kim Sun-hye and Kim Eun-kyoung had 15 each for Woori Bank.

Thoh Chai-ling scored 16 points for Malaysia, the only winless team in the four-team tourney.