Chinese Taipei was the better side in terms of offensive and defense rebounds in the 1st half. Its accuracy of two-point shots was also slightly higher than Japan (47 percent to 44 percent).
However, the Taiwanese did not manage to score a single three-pointer in the first 20 minutes, missing all seven of their attempts beyond the three-point line. They did not perform well in free throws either, scoring only two out of six.
Chinese Taipei was behind Japan for most of the time in the first two quarters, trailing by six to seven points in general. Things got worse for Taiwan, as Japan reeled off a 12-6 string and led 49-36 about six minutes into the 2nd half.
Being 13 points behind, however, the Taiwanese suddenly bounced back by capping a 23-4 run and took a 59-53 lead in the latter half of the 3rd period. Cheng Liu stole the ball from Japan and drove a fast-break, igniting the surge. Three-pointers made by Yingchun Chen, Yihsiang Chou, Chunyen Peng, and Douglas Creighton further helped the team get back into the game.
Leading for the first time in the 2nd half, Chinese Taipei maintained the momentum in the final quarter. Even as the Japanese tried to catch up, Creighton made a decisive three-point shot to increase the lead again with one minute to play. Taiwan beat Japan, 71-65, in the end.
In a post-match interview, Creighton noted that the Taiwanese must improve their defense and cooperate better in the game. Tougher defense is especially required, as Taiwan meets Qatar in the next fixture, he remarked.
Chinese Taipei will later face Qatar and Hong Kong in the preliminary round of the 2018 Asian Games basketball. Two of the best teams in the group will advance to the quarterfinal.
Reporting by Chi Jo-yao
Edited by Azizah Fitriyanti, Bustanudin