Thursday, August 12, 2010

Stankovic Cup - Rebounding hurts Taiwan again

Taiwan lost to Iran 86-67 in its last preliminary game of the 2010 FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup, finishing with 2 wins and 2 losses and a third-place in Group A. It will meet Qatar in the quarterfinal.

Taiwan was outrebounded once again by a large margin, this time trailing 57-31. "Since it's always not easy to gain rebounding advantage against taller West Asian opponents, perimeter shooting holds the key to winning. Unfortunately, our shots didn't fall this time, " Taiwan head coach Zhang Xuelei was quoted by the United Daily News as saying.

Taiwan shot 10 for 29 from the three-point range and 7 for 16 at the free-throw line. It trailed by as many as 20 points in the game.

Jet Chang scored a team-high 13 points and Yang Ching-min scored 12. Lee Hsueh-lin had 10 points and 5 rebounds. Tseng Wen-ting had 7 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.

Zhang was partially right. Taiwan has been having trouble with taller opponents, especially with so many injuries at this stage (Wu Tai-hao and Tien Lei did not play) but that still wasn't enough to explain why it was humiliated by their opponents on the glass.

Taiwan only had 13 defensive rebounds against Japan. Is Japan that much taller? My observation is that Zhang did not fully prepare and motivate his players for the tournament. And that's not good for a team which has already lost many core players to injuries.