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Taiwan loses to unbeaten Aussies in FIBA Asian qualifiers

2018/02/25 16:31:52

The photo shows Chen Ying-Chun (陳盈駿, center, file photo) taking the ball to the basket at a game against Japan at Yokohama International Swimming Pool arena Thursday/photo courtesy of Nike Taiwan

Taipei, Feb. 25 (CNA) Despite steller performances by point guard Chen Ying-Chun (陳盈駿) and center Quincy Davis, Taiwan fell to Australia 88-68 in a first round Asian qualifier for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Melbourne on Sunday.

Chen, the 24-year-old point guard of the Guangzhou Securities Longlions of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), had a game high 22 points along with five rebounds and three assists, while Davis had a double-double, with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

But it was not enough to overcome a dominant first half by Australia, which opened a 20-point lead late in the second quarter after a 12-0 run and led 47-25 at halftime.

Mitchell Creek starred for Australia, scoring 18 points on 9-of-9 shooting and grabbing nine rebounds in just 15 minutes. He exited for the final time with 6:40 still left in the third quarter and his team leading 56-29.

Taiwan never got closer than 17 in the second half.

The loss left Taiwan with a 1-3 record in the four-team qualifying Group B but still in position to qualify for the second round.

Teams in each group play home-and-home games against each other between November 2017 and July 2018, and the three teams with the best record in each group advance to the next round.

Australia improved to 4-0 with its win Sunday, and is assured of finishing in the top three. The Philippines (2-1) was to play Japan (0-3) in Manila later Sunday, also looking to clinch a place in the final 12.

Taiwan's only win so far came on Thursday when it edged Japan 70-69 in Yokohoma, after losing to Australia 104-66 in Taipei on Nov. 24, 2017 and to the Philippines 90-83 in Manila on Nov. 27, 2017.

It still has home games left against the Philippines on June 29 and Japan on July 2, with the latter likely to decide Taiwan's fate.

(By Joseph Yeh)