Chang-Chia Wang returns to the team, whilst the youngest member of the squad, 24-year-old Bing-Ci Ho, will make his international debut.
With only three qualifying spots for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games up for grabs in the men’s wheelchair basketball competition, Chinese Taipei’s Head Coach, Yi-Hua Lee, understands the challenge that awaits his team to qualify but is happy with their preparations. He said:
“After finishing the 2018 Asian Para Games with sixth place, we have been practicing for a few months now and get better each time. Our team has given everything into the preparations.
“Being asked to represent your country is a great honour. It’s going to be a tough qualifying tournament, but we will compete and give it our best shot every time on the court.
“It is the dream of every athlete to play at the Paralympics. This championship is a very big step up for our team to make it to the Paralympics Games and we are hoping to achieve this goal. We have to stay focused and ready for a real fight at the qualifying tournament.”
Chinese Taipei will compete in Pool A of Division 2 against Afghanistan, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia, and will be relying on some of their most influential players to make the top two of Division 2 for the chance to play in the quarter-finals of Division 1.
“Forward Chun-Yi Lu is the most talked-about and will be the scoring leader; our point guard Chun Su is an experienced playmaker and reliable shooter; and our shooting guard Chun-Nan Chi has already shown flashes of good offensive talent with an eye for the court and good defensive abilities.”
Chun-Yi Lu commentated on team preparations and his feelings going in to the tournament:
“We feel great and honoured to enter the qualifying, hoping to advance to the Paralympic Games in 2020. We will work as a team and do our best to help one another in order to participate in the Paralympic Games.
“We have been adjusting not only our skills, but also our minds during each practice, taking one step at a time. We think everything is on schedule. We definitely would love to represent Chinese Taipei to play in a Paralympic Games.”
With plenty of experience in the squad, Lu says the team spirit they have is essential:
“We have been playing for between 8 years and some almost 20 years. What we like most is to take care of each other, not only work out the strategies on court but take care of each other as a family. We want to unite the whole team and move forward to the next level.”
Chinese Taipei will open their Asia Oceania Championships against Afghanistan on Saturday 30th November at 10am (local time).
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Photo credit – INAPGOC/CHAARLY LOPULUA