No Linsanity for Taiwan

SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson - The Philippine Star
No Linsanity for Taiwan
Quincy Davis is still serviceable as a naturalized player although at 41, he’s not the same roughhouser who terrorized opponents at the 2013 and 2015 FIBA Asia Cup.
STAR / File

Nine-year NBA veteran Jeremy Lin and brother Joseph won’t suit up for Chinese-Taipei against Gilas in the FIBA Asia Cup qualifier at the PhilSports Arena tonight. They’re not on the Taiwan roster for this window and only two players from the squad that took fourth place at the Hangzhou Asian Games last year were held over. Coach Sang Mao Sen isn’t even enlisting a naturalized import, an indication that either Taiwan may not be taking the FIBA Asia Cup seriously or it’s rebuilding for the future with a new nucleus.

Quincy Davis is still serviceable as a naturalized player although at 41, he’s not the same roughhouser who terrorized opponents at the 2013 and 2015 FIBA Asia Cup. Last year, Davis was suspended 20 games by the Plus League for domestic violence but allowed to play in the EASL for the New Taipei Kings. His suspension ended last week. Taiwan recruited another naturalized player Will Artino for Hangzhou and the 6-11 center from Creighton University averaged a double double. Artino would’ve been a credible test for Kai Sotto.

The two Hangzhou holdovers are 6-4 Cheng Liu, 33 and 6-1 Ya Hsuan Hsieh, 25. Liu scored 18 points against Hong Kong in the Asian Games while Hsieh averaged 4.3 points in seven outings. Four players are making their national team debut – 6-5 Yu Hsu Chen, 33, 5-7 Jin Wei Gao, 23, 6-2 Hao Chi Wang, 34 and 6-5 Chia Ho Chang, 27. Three saw action in the FIBA World Cup Asia qualifiers last year – 6-4 Sin Kuan Lin, 21, 6-7 Cheng Lin, 23 and 6-0 Ai Che Yu, 21. There are three pairs of teammates in the domestic league – Yu and Chang of Bank of Taiwan, Hao and Sin of Taiwan Beer and Hsieh and 6-8 Jonah Morrison of New Taipei CTDC. Morrison, 23, was born in Toufen, Taiwan and played two years with the University of British Columbia varsity. In 2019, he joined PBA player Taylor Browne on the Canadian team that competed in the Jones Cup.

Last Thursday, Chinese-Taipei lost an 89-69 decision to New Zealand in their FIBA Asia Cup qualifying opener. Taiwan was down by one at the half but could score just 21 points in the last two quarters compared to New Zealand’s 40. Cheng Liu was the only Taiwan player in double figures with 20 points, including four of eight triples. The starters were Cheng, 5-9 Chun Chi Lin, 6-7 Zong Rong Hsieh, Sin and Hao. Taiwan took 32 attempts from two and 32 from three, shooting a combined 42.2 percent while New Zealand hit 58.2 percent.

Gilas coach Tim Cone said he’s not taking the visitors lightly, pointing to Taiwan’s tough stand against New Zealand in the first half. Taiwan actually outscored New Zealand, 28-23, in the second quarter. Like New Zealand, Gilas struggled in the first half against Hong Kong last Thursday. In the second quarter, Hong Kong even led, 30-29. But a 30-9 blast in the third period put Gilas firmly in the driver’s seat.

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