Saturday, June 13, 2009

Taiwan cruises past Mongolia by 40

Last-minute replacement Chou Shih-yuan scored 14 points off the bench to help Taiwan cruise past Mongolia 99-59 in the East Asia Basketball Championship Friday. Taiwan advanced to EABC semifinal where it will face South Korea tomorrow for a seed in the Asian Championship.

Taiwan finished 1-1 in the preliminary round and ranked second in Group B behind Japan (2-0), who will meet China in the semi.

With the score tied at 28 all in the middle of the second quarter, Taiwan ignited a 20-7 run to break open the game, leading 48-35 at the half.

Another 13-4 run in the third quarter boosted Taiwan's lead to 20 points.

Chou Shih-yuan, who replaced injured Yang Yu-min at the last minute and did not play in the opening game vs. Japan, knocked down three 3-pointers and scored much-needed 14 points.

Tien Lei turned in team-high 16 points and 9 rebounds after a disappointing opener. Tseng Wen-ting added 13 points, 7 boards and 5 assists.

Taiwan is scheduled to play South Korea at 1 p.m. Saturday on less than 24 hours' rest. It will be a big challenge for the players, said assistant Chou Jun-san.

Chou also said that it's possible for Taiwan to beat South Korea, who beat Hong Kong 92-71 today, because this year's South Korea team does not enjoy much height advantage and is not as strong as in the past. If Taiwan NT does a good job boxing out, plays good helping defense and controls the tempo, it is capable of winning this game.

Chou observed that South Korea's perimeter shooting is not as good but plays solid defense, which is why it is always in the game and kept its opponents in check even if it's trailing.

Group results:
Group A
South Korea 2-0
China 1-1
Hong Kong 0-2

Group B
Japan 2-0
Taiwan 1-1
Mongolia 0-2

Taiwan vs. South Korea
China vs. Japan