Taiwan was down to six available players due to injury and lost to Japan 81-72 to finish for the eighth place in the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship for Men in Wuhan, China.
Taiwan, which had already lost four players — point guards Lee Hsueh-lin, Su Yi-chieh and forwards James Mao and Chien Chia-hung to injury — trailed 28-9 in the first quarter, when it again lost injured Wu Tai-hao after three minutes.
Lin Chih-chieh chipped in nine points in the second period and Lu Cheng-ju made two threes to ignite a 13-4 run as Taiwan cut the deficit to 47-36 at the half.
Taiwan tried to stay with the Japanese. Chen Shih-nian made one of two free-throws to narrow the score to 54-49. However, Chen Hsin-an was down with injury and Japan pulled away 66-53 at the end of the third period.
Japan wouldn’t stop, making nine three-pointers in the last period for the win.
Lin Chih-chieh had a team-high 18 points. Tseng Wen-ting had 17 while Jet Chang added 14.
Taiwan shot miserably in the game with only 3-of-19 from three and 17-of-28 from the free-throw line. Meanwhile, Japan made 11 threes in the game and was 12-of-14 from the free-throw line.
Taiwan dropped to the eighth place after finishing fifth and sixth in 2009 and 2007. In 2003, it finished for the all-time worst 11th place in Harbin, China. Taiwan hasn’t made the Asian final four since 1999.