TAIPEI CITY, Chinese Taipei (4th FIBA Asia Cup): At 38 years of age, Chinese Taipei coach Hsu Chin-Che won’t much be older than many of the top players in the competition at the 4th FIBA Asia Cup to be played in Tokyo (Japan) from Sept 14-22.
Therefore when he says “we are improving with every game” it sounds more like the coach himself is learning standing alongside his team.
Having led Pure Youth to their first ever SBL title in the Chinese Taipei domestic season earlier this year, Hsu Chin-Che now has the task of guiding the hard working National Team at the 4th FIBA Asia Cup.
“From the beginning of training camp through the William Jones Cup we’ve shown a lot of improvement both as a team and individually,” he said during a conversation with this website while giving finish touches to his team before leaving for Tokyo.
FIBA Asia: Take us through Chinese Taipei’s preparations for the 4th FIBA Asia Cup?
Hsu Chin-Che: Our preparation started in the beginning of July and will continue up until we depart for Japan on the 12th. We were able to hold some of our training camp in the Philippines and played against some of their local teams. We also used the Jones Cup as an opportunity to continue preparing and improving for the upcoming games in Japan.
FIBA Asia: Between last year’s FIBA Asia Championship and now, what is the change / difference in the team?
Hsu Chin-Che: This year we’ve had more time to practice as a complete team. Between players coming back from China, players returning from the US or players with commitments domestically, last year it was difficult to get the whole roster together to practice as a team. This year the players have gone out of their way to make it back to Taipei as soon as possible to start coming together as a team. Hopefully the results will show on the court.
FIBA Asia: What is your target in Tokyo?
Hsu Chin-Che: Our goal every day is to improve. Whether it’s practice or games, we are trying to get better every day. From the beginning of training camp through the William Jones Cup we’ve shown a lot of improvement both as a team and individually. If we can continue this, we should be in good shape come the FIBA Asia Cup and use that as a starting point in our preparation for the 27th FIBA Asia Championship next year.
FIBA Asia: How is the team coming up? Are there any injury worries? Will you miss any player?
Hsu Chin-Che: Other than a few nicks and bruises, we have a full, fairly healthy roster. Hopefully we can continue that for the next few weeks.
FIBA Asia: What will be the approach of the team in Tokyo taking into account your opponents in the Prelim Round – Iran, Qatar, India and Japan?
Hsu Chin-Che: We go into every game trying to emphasize the defensive side of the ball and take it from there. With so many opponents having different rosters and playing different styles it becomes a little more difficult to tailor-make a game plan for every player on every team. Because of this we need to bring intensity on defense that will give us a chance to compete against some of the best teams in Asia.
FIBA Asia: Any particular player/s you are looking for to provide the leadership?
Hsu Chin-Che: Some of our veteran players have done a great job leading both on and off the court. In particular, Tseng Wen-Ting and Lee Hsueh-Lin have taken the experience they have gained playing overseas and really impacted our team.
S Mageshwaran / FIBA Asia
Photo courtesy: CTBA