Taiwan's men's basketball team was trounced by Japan 89-49 at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers on Sunday, suffering its fifth defeat in the tournament in Australia and losing any chances of going forward to the next round.
Having lost all of its five games so far in the qualifiers, Team Taiwan, competing under the name Chinese Taipei, is now at the bottom of the four-team group B.
Although the Taiwan team has one more game to play -- against China on Monday -- they will not be able to advance to the next round, as they are too far behind and only the three top finishers can go forward in the competition.
Taiwan was defeated by Australia 98-61 on Feb. 25, by Japan 76-71 on Feb. 26, and again by Australia 90-71 on Feb. 28. On Friday, Taiwan lost to China 58-94.
In the game against Japan on Sunday, the Taiwan team had only 11 players, as center William Artino was out due to COVID-19.
Except for a brief spurt in which the Taiwan team pulled ahead 11-7, the game was dominated by Japan, which bounded forward on a 15-0 stretch with three-pointers. At the end of the first quarter, Japan had a 25-14 lead.
In the second quarter, the Taiwan team still could not find their groove, and Japan widened the gap to 42-27.
Team Taiwan managed to edge forward 32-46 in the third quarter, with a three-pointer by Lu Chun-hsiang (???), a layup by Yu Ai-che (???), and some other plays, but the Japanese soon went on a 16-4 run and ended the quarter 60-36.
In the fourth quarter, Taiwan was again outplayed, and at the final whistle the score was 89-49 in favor of Japan.
For the game, Taiwan's two-point and three-point percentages were 38 percent and 18 percent, respectively, compared with Japan's 70 percent and 28 percent.
Japanese shooting guard Keisei Tominaga led with 17 points, including two from beyond the arc, and had a perfect 5 for 5 from the free-throw line.
Meanwhile, Taiwanese guard Tang Wei-chieh (???) led the team, with a double-double record of 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel