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Korea edge Chinese Taipei in cardiac game!
JongKyu hit the go-ahead free throws in 4 seconds left after he was fouled by Lee Te-Wei. Before that, it was a nip-and-tuck affair for both teams, with 5 lead changes in the fourth quarter before JongKyu’s heroics in the dying seconds. Korea also got good performances from the likes of Kim SunHyung and Heo IlYoung as they move on to the Semi-Finals and assure East Asia of an additional berth in the FIBA Asia Cup 2017.
Turning Point: No team led by more than 7 points here, and it had the makings of a classic heading into the final frame with Korea up just by a solitary point, 68-67. Lee’s foul at the end was ill-advised, and coach Yan Jia-Hwa is sure to replay that over and over again in his head before getting over it.
Stats Don't Lie: The telling statistic was in playmaking. Taipei were good all throughout, but Korea’s ball distribution was stellar. Coach Hur Jae’s wards handed out a total of 21 assists, which meant that all but three of their made field goals were products of very good playmaking. SunHyung led them in this department with 11 dimes.
Game Hero: Kim JongKyu had been having an inconsistent tournament before exploding for 22 points, 8 rebounds and 1 block in this game. The center from Changwon hit 7 of his 11 field goal attempts and more than held his own against Taipei’s naturalized player, Quincy Davis.
The Bottom Line: Korea were fortunate that Taipei star Liu Cheng were out because he would’ve certainly been a game-changer. Now Taipei have to win their two remaining assignments to finish among the top five and add another berth for East Asia next year. Korea recovered from their blowout loss to Iran two nights ago and now await the victor of the KO match between Iraq and China.