Taiwan men’s basketball setback in Guangzhou goes unnoticed

Taipei, Nov. 24 (CNA) Taiwan men’s national basketball team dropped out of the quarterfinal this week, losing to the Philippines and finishing with one win and four losses in the preliminary round of the competition at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.

However, the loss was not widely reported in Taiwan, as it appeared to have been overshadowed by the controversial disqualification of Taiwanese taekwondo athlete Yang Shu-chun, an issue that has been the center of media attention for the past week.

Huang Chao-he, secretary-general of the Chinese Taipei Basketball Association (CTBA), said that the association was expecting non-stop calls from disgruntled fans the day after Taiwan lost 82-73 to the Philippines on Nov. 22.

However, the CTBA did not get any irate calls, despite the fact that it was the first time that Taiwan was knocked out of the final eight in Asiad men’s basketball.

Yang’s return to Taipei from Guangzhou on Nov. 23 probably eclipsed the basketball team’s loss, Huang said.

But while the CTBA may have gained some breathing space, it still has to figure out why its men’s team won only one game — against India — and lost to Japan, Qatar, Iran and the Philippines, Huang said.

The 2010 Taiwan’s men’s national basketball team was hampered by the absence of 2.04-meter starting center Tseng Wen-ting, who skipped the event because of injury.

The team’s poor showing marred the debut of Taiwan head coach Zhang Xulei, who grew up in China and played for the Chinese national team in his 20’s, and was a setback for the CTBA in its plan to nurture local coaches.

South Korean head coach Chung Kwang-suk led Taiwan to fifth place in the 2009 FIBA Asia men’s basketball championship, its best finish in the tournament since 1999.

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