Yu Wen Hsiao has been the heartbeat of the Chinese Taipei team in the FIBA Asian women’s u-18 basketball championship here, though the 17-year-old will be the first to deny it.
In all three of Taipei’s matches in Group-B, the six-feet tall Hsiao, playing as a centre, has been the go-to hoopster whenever the situation has demanded.
Against Japan, Hsiao, who was making her debut for the National team, emerged the top-scorer with 39 points with 15 rebounds though in a losing cause. Against the 16-time champion China, Hsiao was the second-highest scorer. But more than that, it was her timely two-pointers in the third quarter that set the momentum for Taipei to upset China.
Moreover, she is the top-scorer in the championship so far, with a whopping 70 points from three games, averaging 23.3 per game. “I want to thank my coaches and players who assisted me in my performance,” Hsiao told The Hindu through a translator. She also holds the record of scoring the most number of points (39) against Japan in the FIBA Asian women’s u-18 championship history.
Defeating China after 20 years was a great moment for Taipei and Hsiao played a key role in the team’s triumph. “This is the first time I was playing against players (China) who were taller than I. I didn’t start well, but made some adjustments and did well,” she said.
Hsiao is not looking at anything other than the next match. “I have only two things in mind: do good defence and rebounds,” she said.
Taipei’s head coach Mei-i Chen was all praise of Hsiao: “She is our little girl on whom we have put in a lot of effort and time so that she becomes a great player.” Hsiao is definitely on the road to become one.