Taiwan NT will meet Korea on June 14 in the semifinal of the 2011 East Asian Basketball Championship, the qualifying tournament for the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship, after winning the Group B in the preliminary round.
Group A winner China will meet Japan, which finished second in Group B, in the other semifinal game.
Regardless of the results, all four teams in the semifinal round have secured berths in the FIBA Asia Championship, which will be held in Wuhan, Hubei, China from September 15 to 25, as the three best teams, excluding China, qualify for the tournament.
Since the EABC is only a qualifying tournament and the competition level is not as good (China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan were already favored to win the tickets to the Asian Championship prior to the tourney), most countries, excluding perhaps Japan, did not send their strongest squad to Nanjing, China.
Stories published by Taiwanese newspaper today are interesting though, saying that Bob Hill, a former NBA head coach who was hired as Taiwan's technical advisor, blasted Taiwan's starters in the locker room during the intermission of the team's game versus Mongolia.
Hill was quoted as saying that the starters "played like s**t" and "blew up two games they have played, forcing the backup players to clean up their messes."
Wow, I don't think a Taiwanese head coach will ever be this "honest" with his players. Local head coaches were usually "too nice" with players in fear of damaging his relationships with them.
And this is why I've been advocating the hiring of foreign coaches. A foreign head coach, such as South Korean coach Chung Kwang-suk who led Taiwan to the fifth place in the 2009 Asian Championship, only focuses on getting his job done no matter what it takes.
Results of the preliminary round:
Korea 134-47 Hong Kong
China 104-43 Hong Kong
China 61-54 Korea
Taiwan 75-74 Japan
Taiwan 85-71 Mongolia
Japan 94-73 Mongolia