Meet the Asia Cup 2022 Teams: Chinese Taipei
JAKARTA (Indonesia) - Chinese Taipei were close to missing out their first Asia Cup in 37 years, but late-game heroics by a rising star lifted them through the finish line to make a return.
The team is still going through quite some changes, but there are a lot of things to like about the new pieces of Chinese Taipei basketball.
Let’s take a quick moment to meet Chinese Taipei in this "Meet the Teams" series!
World Rank according to FIBA World Ranking Presented by Nike: 69
As Chinese Taipei have been transitioning to a newer generation of talents, they’ve gone through quite a drop in the Ranking. They started the Asia Cup Qualifiers at 62 and have since dropped 7 spots.
In the Asia Ranking, Chinese Taipei were pushed out of the top 10 for the first time in a long while and are now at 11.
Asia Cup Debut: 1960
Chinese Taipai are another team among the original seven that played in the very first Asia Cup.
After going undefeated in the first five games of the inaugural edition of the competition, Chinese Taipei eventually lost to the also undefeated Philippines to end as runners up.
Asia Cup Appearances (including 2022): 25
Aside from missing 5 straight appearances from 1975 to 1983, Chinese Taipei have played in all other Asia Cups.
Asia Cup 2022 will be their 18th straight appearance, though they were so close to seeing that streak snapped during the Qualifiers.
Most Recent Appearance: 2017
Chinese Taipei were heading into Asia Cup 2017 coming off of a 13th place finish in 2015, their worst ever in the history of the competition. Of course, a key factor was that the team were missing a lot of their core players that had made the team so successful in the past which was a similar case in 2017.
Even with the likes of Chou Yi-Hsiang, Liu Cheng, and Chou Po-Hsun, Chinese Taipei were able to get only one win in the Group Phase before bowing out to Lebanon in the Qualification Round to the Quarter-Finals.
Best Position in Final Standings: 2nd place (1960, 1963)
As mentioned above, Chinese Taipei finished at second place in the first ever Asia Cup. While that is the highest placement in the Final Standings of the competition for Chinese Taipei, it wasn’t their only time doing so.
Asia Cup 1963 was another year where Chinese Taipei finished as runners up, though it had a much more dramatic finish.
In the Preliminary round, both the defending champions Philippines and Chinese Taipai started off with easy wins as expected. The first twist came when Korea beat the Philippines 62-59, dealing the defending champs their first loss. Chinese Taipei had earlier beaten Korea, so they had the uppe hand.
Or so it seemed. The Philippines ended up beating Chinese Taipei in the last game of the Preliminary Round to advance as first place.
It started getting weird in the second round.
Chinese Taipei, who had beaten Korea previously, lost to Korea in the Final Round.
Korea, who had beaten the Philippines previously, lost to the Philippines in the Final Round.
The Philippines, who had beaten Chinese Taipei previous, lost to Chinese Taipei in the final game of this Final Round.
It would have been a three-way tie had Korea not lost to Malaysia in their first game of the tournament, so instead the Philippines and Chinese Taipei dueled it out in a do-or-die clash for the Asia Cup title.
Chinese Taipei eventually lost, finally ending one of the most exciting races to the finish in Asia Cup history.
Notable Player(s): Lin Chih-Chieh
Chinese Taipei are another team that have a long and rich history in the Asia Cup, meaning that there are many, many players that have made noise in the competition.
It would be hard to argue anyone that singles out Lin Chih-Chieh as one of the best ever to play Chinese Taipei though. You don’t get a badass nickname like “The Beast” without earning it.
The multi-faceted forward played in a total of 46 Asia Cup games across 6 separate tournaments. During this span that lasted over a decade, Lin averaging 10.0 points per game using his exceptional athleticism to finish at the rim or finesse his way around opponents.
His best performance among the 6 appearances was at Asia Cup 2013. Not only did Lin come close to recording a triple-double with 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 12 assists against the Philippines, he was a major part in the memorable Chinese Taipei team that went all the way to the Semi-Finals by beating China in the Quarter-Finals.
How they got here:
Chinese Taipei almost didn’t make it to Asia Cup 2022.
From the start, they were placed in a tough situation as they had to play against both China and Japan in Group B. They were unable to beat neither of the two Asia Cup giants, leaving them to finish at third place.
Though they weren’t able to gain immediate qualification, Chinese Taipei still had a chance at the Qualifying Tournament for Third Placed Teams where they were matched up with Guam. The games were played in Guam in an aggregate score format of two games.
Guam won the first game by five points and the job seemed as if it was done. However, powered by the firepower of their rising star Lin Ting-Chien, Chinese Taipei conjured a late game burst to win by aggregate score with slim margin of only 2 points.
Current Outlook: Next Gen
Chinese Taipei are in the process of transitioning from the era led by Lin Chih-Chieh, where they had quite some success at the Asia Cup level. It’s been a bumpy road, but the structure looks solid right now.
The back court of Chen Ying-Chun and Lin Ting-Chien will definitely be one of the best in Asia, coupled with the recent addition of Will Artino who is stepping in to fill the role Quincy Davis used to play. With a few more talents on the wing here and there, Chinese Taipei should be able to return to be among the top teams in Asia soon.
They’ll have to start by playing with the effort of a top team in Asia and what better way to but that on display than at Asia Cup 2022 in Jakarta.