Taiwan lost to defending champion Iran 67-56 in overtime in the opening game of the 2010 FIBA Asia U18 Championship for Men Wednesday in Sanaa, Yemen.
Taiwan trailed by as many as 15 points in the second quarter before bouncing back to take a six-point lead entering the last three minutes of the game, Taiwan national team head coach Huang Wan-lung said.
The game went into overtime with the score tied at 51-51 in the end of regulation, Huang said, but foul trouble finally took its toll on Taiwan in the extra session as three core players -- Hu Lung-mao, Hung Kang-chao and Chen Ying-chun -- all fouled out of the game.
Taiwan, which dropped to ninth place in 2008 after finishing fourth in 2006 in the biennial tournament, is scheduled to meet Malaysia Thursday and Sri Lanka Friday to complete the preliminary round. It is expected to rank second in the Group A, behind Iran.
According to Huang, Taiwan was hurt by foul trouble. The team failed to pressure Iranian point guards and had difficult rebounding against taller Iranian players.