Taiwan to play for fifth after beating Japan

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Chen Hsin-an had 26 points and 9 rebounds and Wu Dai-hao had 22 points and 8 rebounds as Taiwan edged host Japan 85-80 Saturday and will meet Jordan Sunday for the fifth place in the 2007 Asian Championship. Win or lose, Taiwan is guaranteed to have its best finish in the tournament in the past six years.

In fact, the game was for Taiwan to lose as the second leading scorer on the team, Lin Chih-jay, was suspended for throwing a punch at Qatar’s Daoud Daoud in the previous game. Both were suspended for one game.

Starting center Tsun Wen-din was called for his 4th foul early in the second period. He was replaced by Lee Chi-yi and never played since.

Taiwan, which trailed by two at halftime, changed the momentum of the game in the third quarter and took the lead. A 27-of-33 performance on the free-throw line helped Taiwan to put down Japan’s furious rally in the last three minutes.

Head coach Chung Kwang-suk once again decided to let his starters finish off the game. Chen Hsin-an, Wu Dai-hao, Lee Hsueh-lin and Yang Che-yi all played 40 minutes. Yang had 14 points in the game and Lee had 12.

Japan suffered another setback following a disappointing loss to Jordan. J.R. Sakuragi and Tomoo Amino each scored 15 points. Veteran SG Takehimo Orimo added 14 while Joji Takeuchi had 11. Japan was outrebounded 33-24 and outscored 27-10 on the free-throw line.

Taiwan will meet Jordan, which beat Qatar 77-67 Saturday, tomorrow in the 5/6 place game. Japan has to play Qatar for the 7th place.

In the semifinals, Lebanon beat Korea 76-74 and Iran jumped on Kazakhstan early for a 75-62 win. Lebanon will meet Iran in the championship game while Kazakhstan will meet Korea for bronze on the final day of the tournament.

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Wu tried to stop Sakuragi.

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Daoud Daoud choked Lin Chih-jay.

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Both Lin and Daoud were ejected and suspended for one game.

Game results:
9/10 place game: Philippines 78-76 China
11/12 place game: Syria 108-79 Indonesia
13/14 place game: Hong Kong 72-66 Kuwait
15/16 place game: India 82-77 UAE
Taiwan 85-80 Japan
Jordan 77-67 Qatar
Lebanon 76-74 Korea
Iran 75-62 Kazakhstan

(photo source: apple daily and fiba.com)

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