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Taiwan outhustle Bahrain by 18 points at FIBA Asia Cup – Focus Taiwan

Taipei, July 12 (CNA) Taiwan’s basketball team came out blazing in the first game of the 2022 FIBA Asia Cup in Indonesia on Tuesday, squashing Bahrain by 18 points, after squeaking through the qualifiers for the tournament last year.
Competing under the name Chinese Taipei, the Taiwan team racked up a 102-84 win against Bahrain in Group B of the competition, which also includes regional powerhouses China and South Korea.
In each of the four groups, four teams are competing for the top spot, which will put them through directly to the quarterfinals of the Asia Cup. The second- and third-place teams in each group will have to play on in a “qualifications to quarterfinals” round.
In Tuesday’s game at Istora Stadium in central Jakarta, Bahrain won the starting jump ball and took an early five-point lead but could not hold onto it.
Taiwan turned up the tempo with their defense, making Bahrain turn over the ball five out of six times when the East Asian team played full court press in the remainder of the first quarter.
By the end of the first half, Taiwan had shot ahead 45-33, backed by a successful defense.
After the break, Taiwan continued to dominate and never looked back. With 1 minute and 10 seconds left on the clock, Taiwan center Chen Kuan-chuan (陳冠全)sank a two-point jump shot, vaulting the score into triple figures 100-81.
As the clock ticked down to the final buzzer, Taiwan scored another two points to clinch the game 102-84. Taiwan’s defense was a clear factor in the game, as they tallied a total of 31 points from turnovers.
Leading the all scorers was Taiwan forward Liu Cheng (劉錚), who shot 11-17 from the floor, including 50 percent from beyond the arc, recording 29 points and two rebounds.
Answering back with 10-20 from the floor, including 1-6 three-pointers, Bahrain forward Devon Dwayne Chism posted a double-double of 24 points and 18 rebounds.
In their next games, the Taiwan team will come up against South Korea on Thursday and China on Saturday.
Last year, Taiwan were the last team to qualify for the 2022 FIBA Asia Cup, barely edging past Guam in a last chance qualifying round in August.
As the Taiwan squad have been in a transition period, they started the Asia Cup Qualifiers at 62 in the FIBA world rankings and have since dropped seven spots to 69.
A pioneer of Asian basketball, Taiwan was among the seven countries that played in the first Asia Cup in 1960, and the team finished second to the Philippines.
Since then, Taiwan has made it into the Asia Cup almost every year, except for 1975 to 1983.
(By William Yen)



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