TOKUSHIMA (FIBA Asia Championship) - Syria burnt the candle from both ends early in the encounter and went down to the wait-and-watch policy of Chinese Taipei, 99-60, in Group 'D' on Friday.
The result left Taipei on top of the preliminary groupings alongside Korea, who elsewhere were at their clinical best in disposing off Hong Kong challenge 107-67.
Syria, who managed to nudge ahead early in the encounter, thanks to Micheal Madanly's efforts, were dealt a blow when Ahmad Hekmat Hadad had to be carried off the court suffering a freak calf injury. That was with Syria 21-19 ahead and 7:58 left on the clock in the second quarter.
Seizing the opportunity, Taipei began to work out some attractive plays, as Yang Che-Yi and Chen Hsin-An began to strike from the paint as well as the perimeter. And with Lin Chih-Chieh -- with his crisp inside play -- and Lee Hsueh-Lin - with his opportunistic baskets from the outside - rising to the occasion, Taipei grew in composure and scoring.
"I think our defense took some time to settle down," said Taipei coach, of Korean origin Chung Kwak-Suk. "But once they found the rhythm, we grew in confidence.
Korea, who take on Taipei in the needle encounter on Saturday, won in quite a contrast.
They began with superb confidence, which only improved, a fact reflected in the progress of the scores. Against an opponent, who only got stronger as the match progressed, Hong Kong could do nothing but play the second fiddle.
Chinese Taipei 90 (Yang Che-Yi 30, Chen Hsin-An 20, Lin Chih-Chen 18) bt Syria 66 (Micheal Madanly 37). Quarterwise: 15-19, 35-37, 60-55.
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Korea 107 (Daniel Robert Sandrin 19, Ha Seung-Jin 18, Kim Joo-Sung 16) bt Hong Kong 67 (Lo Yi Ting 16, Li Wai Lun 12, Poon Chi Ho 12).