Taiwanese face knockout battle they fear most
With the unexpected turn of events that went against its way yesterday, Chinese Taipei has no other choice but to write its own piece of history to progress in the 27th Fiba-Asia Championship.
“We have never beaten China’s A-Team before,” a Chinese Taipei reporter told the Inquirer moments after his national side fell to Qatar, 71-68, and sent the Taiwanese on a collision course with the Chinese in the quarterfinals tomorrow.
“CT (Chinese-Taipei) has beaten many (second-tier) Chinese teams before, but the team they have here is their A-Team,” continued the journalist in halting English. “If we want to make (the World Championship), we must make history.”
There was so much pain in the voice of the reporter, a familiar fixture that follows the Taiwanese national team in its games all over Asia.
The journalist said that Chinese-Taipei’s campaign here already marked a first after the Taiwanese enlisted the services of a naturalized player in Quincy Davis III for the first time in a Fiba-Asia event.
Like the rest of the Taiwanese journalists, he felt miserable that Lin Chi-chieh, Chinese-Taipei’s top outside gun, reinjured his tender right ankle in a 79-76 victory over Japan Tuesday night.
“Had he (Lin) played, he would have made a lot of difference for us,” he said.
The journalist confirmed that Lin is the most popular player back home, enjoying a massive following from fans who are as young as 5 years old to senior citizens.
Lin earned the nickname “The Beast” back in Taiwan after dunking in one game and bringing down the entire backboard. It is this same “Beast” that the journalist is counting on to lead Chinese Taipei to its own piece of Fiba-Asia history on Friday. Musong R. Castillo
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