Taiwan gains first win in FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers

2018/02/23 18:27:42 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Taiwan's center Quincy Davis overpowers his opponents in the paint and takes the ball to the basket at a game Thursday at Yokohama International Swimming Pool arena against Japan during the first round of the Asian qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup (photo courtesy of Nike Taiwan).

Taiwan's center Quincy Davis overpowers his opponents in the paint and takes the ball to the basket at a game Thursday at Yokohama International Swimming Pool arena against Japan during the first round of the Asian qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup (photo courtesy of Nike Taiwan).

Taipei, Feb. 23 (CNA) Taiwan gained its first win, beating Japan by one point Thursday night, during the first round of the Asian qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Taiwan won the game, which was played at Yokohama International Swimming Pool arena, by a score of 70-69, after losing to Australia and the Philippines on Nov. 24 and Nov. 27, respectively.

The starting line-up for Taiwan was Chen Ying-chun (陳盈駿), Su I-chieh (蘇翊傑), Chou Yi-hsiang (周儀翔), Hu Long-mao (胡瓏貿) and Quincy Davis (戴維斯).

Taiwan's guard Chen Ying-chun (陳盈駿, center) takes the ball to the hoop at a game Thursday at Yokohama International Swimming Pool arena against Japan during the first round of the Asian qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup (photo courtesy of Nike Taiwan).

In the first period, Davis hit all four of his two-point shots and Taiwan took an early lead, with a score of 17-11.

The second period saw Japan come back strong, scoring 24 points to Taiwan's 12, ending the first half trailing Japan 29-35.

Three minutes into the third period, Davis worked his magic in the paint for Taiwan to retake the lead 40-39. For the remainder of the period, the lead see-sawed back and forth between the two teams with Taiwan ahead 51-49 at the buzzer.

The score remained tight in the fourth period with Taiwan players making powerful drives into the lane and across the baseline.

Taiwan's forward Chou Yi-hsiang (周儀翔, center) working hard in the paint at a game Thursday at Yokohama International Swimming Pool arena against Japan during the first round of the Asian qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup (image taken from FIBA website www.fiba.basketball).

With only six seconds left to play, Taiwan was up by four points 70-66 until Japanese sharpshooter Naoto Tsuji hit a three pointer from downtown to reduce the deficit to 70-69.

Taiwan quickly responded by running the remaining 2.5 seconds and securing the win.

The top performers for Taiwan and Japan were Davis and Tsuji, respectively, with Davis scoring 12 points and grabbing 11 rebounds; and Tsuji scoring 26 points and taking 4 rebounds.

In a report by The Japan Times, Tsuji said "I felt pretty good on my shooting throughout the game," adding "But if we don't get a win, it doesn't mean anything. We truly wanted to win."

Taiwan which is currently in third place in Group B after undefeated Australia and the Philippines, next faces the mighty Boomers on Sunday in Melbourne.

(By Lee Chin-wei and William Yen)
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