Hsiao Yu Wen locked in on U18 Semis after 39-point eruption
BENGALURU (India) - Chinese Taipei's Hsiao Yu Wen just keeps finding ways to get her name in the record books.
In the High School Basketball League (HBL) in Chinese Taipei, Hsiao is part of the powerhouse Tamsui Vocational High School. With Hsiao as one of the stars over the past years, Tamsui have won the past three seasons of the HBL to become only one of two schools to have ever completed the three-peat. Hsiao has been spectacular for Tamsui, and even though she has never won an HBL MVP, she's led the competition in rebounds for two straight seasons - making her only the fourth player ever to do so.
"It is a great pleasure for me to have our team, Chinese Taipei, being followed by other country's fans."
Here in Bengaluru at the FIBA U18 Women's Asian Championship 2022 Division A, Hsiao continues to turn heads with her on-court production. In her first game ever playing for Chinese Taipei and going up against 5-time consecutive U18 Women's Asian Championship finalists Japan, Hsiao erupted for 39 points and 15 rebounds. This resulted in a sky-high Efficiency rating of 48.
"Thanks to my teammates for helping me create a lot of scoring opportunities. I also thank the coaches for trusting my performance on the court," Hsiao humbly said of the performance.
You can count on one hand the number of players who have scored over 30 points at the U18 Women's Asian Championship Division A level since 2010 - and Hsiao is one of them. Her 39 points stands as the most points scored in a U18 Women's Asian Championship Division A game in that same timeframe, edging out China's Gao Song who scored 37 points in the 2010 Final.
It's most definitely a high honor to have your name placed in the record books alongside a star like Gao, but that is not enough for Hsiao.
Despite her heroinic performance, Chinese Taipei were unable to beat Japan. They were able to pressure the 2018 Finalists, but there was just not enough in their tanks to beat the well-round Japan squad.
Defeat is something that Hsiao will have to avoid in the remaining games with Chinese Taipei if she wants to accomplish her team-oriented goal for the competition.
"I hope I can continue to help the team in the next few games. I think it is the best to be able to advance to the Semi-Finals. If we are in, we will continue to play up to the results we want - to join in the FIBA U19 Women's Basketball World Cup next year," she said.
Because more than the individual records and statistical achievements, team success is what Hsiao values the most. It's why she values her HBL championships with Tamsui more than her rebounding titles. As a matter of fact, it's why she decided to take basketball more seriously after starting to play since the second year of middle school.
"The moment when the team wins the game is the most cherished and unforgettable for me," she said.
If Hsiao keeps performing at the level that she did against Japan, it's most likely that Chinese Taipei will experience more and more team success. They'll certainly need her to do so as they go up against China in their second game of the competition.
And if she does indeed go off for another big game - maybe she can be the first to top 40 points in the last decade? - there will definitely be more attention turned to Chinese Taipei women's basketball.
"It is a great pleasure for me to have our team, Chinese Taipei, being followed by other country's fans," said Hsiao.
It will always be about the team for Hsiao Yu Wen.