Taiwan beat Uzbekistan 81-71 Friday for its first win in the 2011 Asian Championship following a loss to Iran the day before, but head coach Chou Jun-san, who's making his international debut as a coach, was not a happy man.
Leading by as many as 22 points with seven minutes left in the game, Taiwan only came up with a 10-point win at the end. The 12-point differential could cost Taiwan a berth in the second round if it loses to Qatar.
Sixteen teams are divided into four groups of four in the first round with the top three teams in each group advancing to the 12-team second round. The first-round scores will carry over to the second round, where teams will be divided into two groups of six and the top four teams of the groups advance to the quarterfinal round.
Five Qatar players who were suspended by FIBA Asia over nationality issue reportedly could be allowed to play in the game versus Taiwan.
Chou was not happy with his players, saying that he had warned them against being "too relaxed" with the Uzbekistan team.
Jet Chang led Taiwan with 15 points while backup forward James Mao surprised with 13 points. Chen Hsin-an and Lu Cheng-ju finished with 11 points each.
FIBA Asia report:
TPE/UZB - Taipei take charge early, cruise past Uzbekistan
WUHAN, China (26th FIBA Asia Championship): Chinese Taipei scored the first nine points of the game and then cruised along to an 81-71 win – their first in Group B – against Uzbekistan on Friday.
Both Chinese Taipei are Uzbekistan are now locked at one win and one loss each, and with one game in hand – against Qatar and Iran respectively.
“We knew we had to win this game to stay alive (for a place in the Second Round),” said Taipei coach Chou Chuan-San.
“We began well, but then lost concentration. This is what I’m worried about when we play bigger teams,” the coach said.
“We can do a lot better on the free-throws. Overall I think we need to move to the next gear if we have to do well,” he added.
(Photo: FIBA Asia)