Chinese Taipei the first stop on the road to the FIBA World Cup

Mitch Creek | Credit : FIBA

Australia will tip off its qualification journey for the 2019 FIBA World Cup against Chinese Taipei on Friday, November 24 at Taipei Heping Basketball Gymnasium.

It is the first of two games in this qualifying window for the Boomers, with the second to be played in Adelaide against Japan on November 27 at Titanium Security Arena.

Asia Cup Nightmares for Taipei

The Australians will be full of confidence knowing that they dismantled Chinese Taipei en route to winning a debut 2017 FIBA Asia Cup. The Boomers piled on 90 points in that match and managed to keep their opposition to just 50.

Mitch Creek (22 points), Brad Newley (9 points and 9 assists) and Angus Brandt (12 points and 7 rebounds) all performed well in that game and are set to feature again this time around.

There are nine players returning from the successful Asia Cup campaign, while Chris Goulding, Damian Martin and Nathan Sobey have been added to the roster.

Boomers a class above

A mixture of size, skill and athleticism should again be too much for Chinese Taipei when this exciting group of NBL talent hits the floor in the green and gold.

Ten of the players on the roster rank inside the top 15 in scoring for Australians in the NBL so far this season. Damian Martin is third in the league for steals and Matt Hodgson has shown glimpses of excellence in his limited court time.

Compare this to a Chinese Taipei side who managed just one win in the Asia Cup, knocking off the 82nd ranked Hong Kong, and it comes as no surprise that many are tipping this game to again get ugly.

Potential X-factor

Although he might not win them the game, one player Australian fans should keep their eye on is Yi-Hsiang Chou. The 6’3 guard illustrated during the Asia Cup that he can fill it up, averaging 16.5 points per game. That output was good enough to rank sixth in the tournament.

Chou currently plays for the Nanjing Tongxi Monkey Kings and is handy at creating his own shot off the dribble. He may need to do a lot of it against an intimidating Australian side.

The verdict

This should and will be Australia’s game for the taking. It wouldn’t be a Boomers’ match if they didn’t give us a little scare along the way, however, this team should be far too strong and talented for their Chinese Taipei opposition.

Matt Hickey

Written by

Ringwood Hawks forward, guitarist/singer/songwriter, and contributor to The Pick and Roll.

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