Taiwan loses to Philippines in buzzer beater at Jones Cup

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Taipei, July 22 (CNA) Taiwan lost to the Philippines in the final moment of the game on Saturday night after the latter's point guard stunned the national team and a full crowd of 7,000-plus fans with a game-changing three-pointer to steal victory with a score of 77-76, at the 40th William Jones Cup in New Taipei City.

Taiwan, playing under the name Chinese Taipei, was close to clinching the win at Xinzhuang Gymnasium when its point guard Chen Ying-chun got called for a reach-in foul as he attempted a layup by Thirdy Ravena.

He sank the go-ahead free-throws that gave the home squad a 76-74 lead with 3.1 seconds left in regulation.

The Philippines' point guard Joseph Matthew Nieto, however, was left wide open and he made a buzzer-beating triple that sealed the deal with 0.2 seconds on the clock, leaving Team Taiwan and a full crowd of 7,000-plus fans speechless.

Nieto led Team Philippines, consisting of Ateneo Blue Eagles of Ateneo de Manila University, with 13 points and two assists.

Taiwan's Liu Cheng led the home team with 24 points and 10 boards to complete the double-double. He also had seven steals.

It was Taiwan's third loss in the week-long tourney and the host team slipped to 5th place at 4-3.

Meanwhile, the Philippines remained in 4th place with a 5-2 record, behind Canada, Iran and South Korea, which are locked in a 3-way tie at 6-1.

Commenting on the loss, the Taiwan team's head coach Charlie Parker said he had asked Chen to intentionally miss the second free throw to run out the clock so that the Philippines would not have a chance for a comeback.

He said apparently there was some miscommunication during the process and Chen never heard that instruction. As head coach, Parker said, he would take full responsibility for the loss.

On the Sunday, the Philippines will face Iran, while Taiwan will come up against South Korea on the final day of the 9-team basketball tournament that also includes Lithuania, Japan Indonesia and a Taiwan B team.