CHINESE-Taipei primed itself up for its highly-awaited showdown against Gilas Pilipinas behind a 90-67 drubbing of Saudi Arabia for its second straight win in the group stage of the 27th Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Taiwanese are now on top of Group A with a 2-0 record going to their Saturday showdown against the Philippine national team set at 8:30 p.m.
Winning coach Chin-Che Hsu said he expects the Gilas Pilipinas game as a barometer of the team’s performance considering the Philippine team has a slew of outside shooters to rely on.
“I think it’s just great because tomorrow, we play the local Pilipinas team,” said Hsu in halting English.
“Their 12 players can really play. They have many shooters and great post players, so tomorrow (Saturday) will be a tough game,” he added.
Against the Arabians, the Taiwanese played with a lot of discipline, were patient in their execution, and displayed a strong outside shooting to underscore their tag as the darkhorse team of the tournament that offers three tickets to next year’s Fiba-World Championship in Spain.
Chinese-Taipei came out firing from the opening bell to take a 12-2 lead, an advantage it never relinquished, thanks to a 16-of-32 shooting from three-point zone that proved to be the key to the win.
The Taiwanese booked their first win of the tournament following a come-from-behind 91-87 win over a revamped Jordan squad on opening day.
In contrast, Saudi Arabia surprisingly hung tough against Gilas Pilipinas before going down, 66-78, on Thursday night.
Sweet-shooting Lu Cheng-ju fired 25 points, including seven from beyond the arc to lead all scorers, while Douglas Creighton added 16, spiked by four triples.
Chinese-Taipei’s naturalized big man Quincy David added 14 points, 10 rebounds, and two block shots.
“We played a good game today. We had a tough time guarding their (Arabs) penetration, so against a team like that, we need to be more prepared,” said Hsu.
Chinese-Taipei (90) -- Lu 25, Creighton 16, Davis 14, Tsai Tan-Cheng 8, Lin 7, Yang 6, Tien 6, Chou 4, Hung 3, Cheng 1, Tseng 0.
Saudi Arabia (67) -- Almuwallad A. 15, Almuwallad M 14, Kabe 10, Alsager 6, Abo Jalas 6, Almarwani Mohammed 6, Almarwani Mathna 4, Abujabal 4, Belal 1, Alhwsawi 1, Almukhtar 0.
Quarterscores: 31-14; 48-34; 65-46; 90-67.