CHINESE-TAIPEI posted the biggest upset in the 27th FIBA-Asia Men’s Basketball Championship by dethroning China, 96-78, in their quarterfinal game on Friday.
Davis Quincy 3rd, Lee Hsue-Lin and Lin Chih-Chieh and Tsai Wen-Cheng combined for 77 points, which was more than three-fourths of Chinese-Taipei’s output in ousting the defending champion.
Chinese Taipei thus earns a semifinal round showdown with Iran on Saturday.
What was expected to be close contest turned out to be a rout as the Iranians showed no mercy in forging a 94-50 victory against Jordan.
”In the second half, we played well and our shots were coming in. It was a nice win for us. Hope to win again tomorrow,” said Chinese-Taipei coach Hsu Chin-Chi.
Quincy led the scoring for Chinese-Taipei with 26 points on top of 10 rebounds and one assist. Lee Hsue-Lin had 13 and Lin Chih-Chieh, 17. Tsai Wen-Cheng finished with 21 points and 11 from Hungf Chi-Shan.
”We played more individually rather than as a team. Anything can happen in basketball and that what it is now for us,” reasoned-out China coach Giannakis Panagiotes, a native of Greece.
So overpowering were the Iranians led by Phoenix Suns 7’2” center Hamed Hadadi and Hamed Afagh, who combined for 38 points and 11 rebounds for their seventh straight win in the tournament which will send the top three teams to the 2014 FIBA World Championship in Madrid, Spain.
The fired-up Iranians tightened defense, holding Jordan to only 11 points, while scoring 31 in the first period. They went on to shatter Jordan’s offense en route to a 53-28 lead at the half, which later ballooned to 74-36 going into the fourth quarter.
”We played good defense since the start of the game. My players were so concentrated, that is why were able to put up a good offense,” said Iranian coach Alexandris Evangelos, who like Panagiotes is from Greece.
Iran, which lost to Jordan in the 2011 quarterfinal match in Wuhan, China, dominated all departments in the game, outrebounding the Jordanians (41-24) and dishing off more assists (21-11).
Iran also led in steals (8-6) and committed fewer turnovers (15-17).
“We did well in scoring, rebounding and all other departments. We will continue to play with more concentrations especially in our semifinal game tomorrow,” added Evangelos.
The classification matches saw Japan surviving a 73-64 win over India and Hong Kong crushing Bahrain, 87-79.
”If we still can play good defense, we can win our semifinal game tomorrow. Whether it may be China or Chinese-Taipei it does not matter who,” said Iran point-guard Aren Davoudichegani.