by rick olivares
Chinese Taipei outlasts Jordan was on the verge of pulling off a huge win against Chinese Taipei. No Sam Dahgles. No Islam or Zaid Abbas. No Rasheim Wright. No Enver Soobzokov.
Jordan, last FIBA Asia’s finalist where they lost to eventual champion China, was up 67-57 after a Wesam Al Sous triple at the 3:30 mark of the third period. But Chinese Taipei came roaring back in no time behind Chen Shih Chieh, Lin Chih Chieh, and Douglas Creighton to come within a bucket of tying the game, 67-65, with three quarters to play.
Then six-foot-eight power forward Tseng Wen-Ting came in the fourth and provided a huge spark for Chinese Taipei. Tseng played only seven minutes in the first three periods. But his six fourth periods points and two rebounds added inside muscle to the sparkling outside game of Lin who scored 27 points including four triples.
Lin’s 16-point fourth quarter explosion and Tseng’s contributions offset naturalized player Quincy Davis III’s quiet crunch time game. Davis, tallied 18 points after three quarters while trying to keep up with Jordan’s Jimmy Baxter. However, Baxter suffered a power outage in the fourth period managing only three points. In contrast, Davis was help scoreless as well in the payoff period.
Jordan crumbled from an offensive foul called on Khaidon Abu Ruqayah (setting a moving pick for Al Sous), a technical foul called on head coach Evangelos Alexandris, and a miscue between Baxter and As Sous who contested a loose ball before totally losing it along the sideline. The damage? An 81-72 deficit with 4:31 left in the match.
Jordan tried to battle back but Chinese Taipei held them off for a 91-87 win.
Aside from Lin, Chinese Taipei’s sleek naturalized player, Davis, added 18 points and 11 rebounds including an inside presence for coach Hsu Chin-Che. Tien Lei 12 while Chen contributed 10 points.
“We were lucky because we were down 10 points,” said Hsu after the Group A match. “But we got more rebounds and that helped us.” Chinese Taipei owned a 41-32 rebounding edge over Jordan.
“Quincy helped us inside and our inside game was important,” added Hsu who team shot 38 times from the free throw line (against the 21 of Jordan). Lin attacked inside and that was good for us.”
Jordan launched a furious comeback in the last three minutes but they fell short in the final minute of the game.