Taipei, Feb. 21 (CNA) Taiwan's national men's basketball team overran the visiting Malaysians by more than 100 points in their first matchup in the qualifying round of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup in downtown Taipei on Friday.
Taiwan's hot shooting, especially from behind the three-point arc where it sunk 24 of 49 attempts, delivered a 152-48 win at the Taipei Heping Basketball Gymnasium, which was closed to fans to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Taiwan forward Huang Jhen (黃鎮) led all scorers with 22 points, including six three-pointers, followed by captain Chen Ying-chun (陳盈駿) with 20 points.
The win gave Taiwan a 1-0 record in Group B, which also includes Malaysia, Japan, and China.
A total of 24 teams are competing in six groups, with the top two teams in each group qualifying for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup. Each team will play the other teams in their respective groups on a home and away basis between now and February 2021.
Teams finishing third in each group will also have a chance to play a qualifying tournament to qualify for the Asia Cup.
The Malaysians stayed close for half of the first quarter, taking a surprising 12-11 lead, but Taiwan went on a 16-7 run to end the quarter, and the team never looked back.
The hosts built a 108-40 lead by the end of the third quarter.
Malaysian head coach Teng Chong Siew attributed the loss to having put a team together in a rush and not having enough time for practice.
"Today we played a really hard game, but I will have to say in terms of physical strength we couldn't compare with Chinese Taipei and the same goes for the skills," Siew said.
Charles Henry Parker, who has been Taiwan's head coach for about four years, said he was proud of his team because it played with plenty of effort.
"I know we had a great three-point shooting team, but I didn't know they were going to be this great. Make 24 and shoot 49 percent, almost 50 percent from the three-point line, that's just incredible," Parker said.
Taiwan will next face Japan at Taipei Heping Basketball Gymnasium on Monday.