Taiwan beat the Philippines 81-64 in the quarterfinal of the FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Men Wednesday in Sanaa, Yemen and advanced to the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in four years.
Taiwan, which is awaiting its semifinal opponent -- the winner between Japan and South Korea, as of press time, will be able to at least duplicate its fourth place finish in 2006 and make a strong bid to surpass its best record in the history of the biennial tourney -- silver medal finishes in 1972 and 1989.
Defensive-minded Taiwan limited the Philippines to 38 percent field goal percentage, including 1 for 12 behind the three-point line, and controlled the boards (46-33) for the victory. On the offensive end, Taiwan had five players scoring in double-figures as Hu Lung-mao paced the team with 13 points and 13 rebounds and Chen Ying-chun also added 13 points.
"I think the boys were nervous early on. But once we found our rhythm, there was no stopping us," Taiwan head coach Huang Wan-lung was quoted as saying by the FIBA Asia Web site.
Taiwan closed out the third quarter with a 8-2 run before scoring the first six points in the fourth quarter to put the game away, leading by 17 with five minutes left in the game.
The top three teams in the tournament will represent Asia in the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship, which will be played in Latvia from 30 June-10 July 2011.