FIBA Asia U18 Women – Taiwan to meet China in semi

Taiwan’s under-18 women’s national basketball team finished third in the preliminary round of the 2010 International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Asia U-18 Championship for Women in Thailand and is scheduled to meet China later Monday in the semifinals.

Opening the tournament with a three-game winning streak, Taiwan lost to China, 106-55, and Japan, 67-62, in the last two games and finished with three wins and two losses in the six-team single round-robin preliminary round, behind defending champion Japan (5-0) and China (4-1). South Korea squeezed into the final four with two wins and three losses.

Taiwan is scheduled to meet China 8 p.m. Monday Taiwan time after Japan takes on South Korea in the other semifinal game.

The biennial tournament, which is held in Surat Thani, Thailand, from June 23-30, serves as as a qualifying event for the FIBA World U19 Championship for Women to be held in Chile next year. The top three teams in the tournament will represent Asia in Chile.

Twelve participating teams of the tourney are divided into two six-team levels — the elite Level I and the qualifying Level II. Teams play all other teams in their group, with the top four in Level I qualifying for the semifinals, while the top two Level II teams will play the bottom two Level I teams for a chance to enter Level I competition in the future.

The competition had been dominated by China and South Korea, winners of 11 and seven U18 Asian titles, respectively, before Japan upset China to capture the gold medal for the first time in 2008. Taiwan has won silver and bronze three times each.

Malaysia (1-4) and Kazakhstan (0-5) failed to advance to the semifinal round in the Level I. Host Thailand (5-0) and India (4-1) emerged as the top two teams in the Level II.

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