Sun, Feb 01, 2004 - Page 24 News List

Three-point machine turn up the heat


Luo Hsin-liang (羅興樑) did not win the three-point shootout contest as expected, but the Sina Lions' scoring machine was able to demonstrate his deadly accuracy from beyond the arc in the Super Basketball League's (SBL) first All-Star Game by draining six three-point shots en route to his 25-point, MVP performance.

The 32-year-old veteran's three pointer with 4.1 seconds remaining reclaimed the lead for the Scarlet Knights at 101-99, moments after the White Knights' Yen Hsin-shu (顏行書) found the basket to put his team up at 99-98.

Not to be outdone by Luo, Taiwan Beer's all-star power forward Lin "the Monster" Chih-jeh (林志傑) took matters in his own hands and scored the equalizer for the white squad with time expiring to force the 101-101 tie in this year's midseason classic.

"The play was designed for me to get the ball for the last shot, and I am glad that I was able to get a clear look at the basket for it [game-tying shot]." Lin said after the game. "I can only say it's awesome."

The game began with the White Knights taking an early 22-6 lead in a playful and festive atmosphere, as players from both teams showed off moves that they would dare not put on during a regular season contest.

Skipper Chien Yi-fei (錢一飛) for the Scarlet Knights even humored the crowd on a couple of occasions in the first half by placing five guards on the floor at once, having the six-foot Luo playing the center position to "mix it up" a bit. As the game progressed to the second half and the score narrowed to 75-69 in favor of the White Knights after three periods, Chien already had his game face back on and was all business from that point on.

Also starring for the Scarlet Knights was Dacin Tiger forward Chang Chih-fong (張智峰), whose 8-for-10 shooting from the floor netted 21 points for his team.

Offensively for the White Knights, Yen Hsin-shu and Yang Yu-ming (楊玉明) provided the firepower from the perimeters, scoring 22 and 20 points, respectively. The dynamic duo undoubtedly assured basketball fans around the nation that they are ready to assume the role as the nation's top backcourt, a distinction occupied by Luo and Lion veteran Chou Jung-san (周俊三) for the past decade.

In the highly publicized slam-dunk competition, Lions "spring man" Chen Shih-jeh (陳志杰) soared above the rest of the 12 contenders to take home the top honor, beating crowd favorite Tien Lei (田壘) with his patented one-hand jam off a bounce pass from a teammate. The 173cm guard seemed to defy the law of gravity at times with two perfect scores to reach the final round of the competition.

In addition to the winner's trophy, Chen received NT$16,888 in prize money from the organizers of the event. The number "16888" was chosen for its close phonetic resemblance to the auspicious "prosperity all the way" in Chinese.

As for the three-point shootout, it was an all-Bank of Taiwan final, where Wu Yung-ren (吳永仁) edged fellow teammate Chien Ming-fu (簡明富) by sinking the clincher in the one-shot, sudden-death extra session, after the two had settled for a 15-all tie in the final round. Wu also went home with the winner's trophy and NT$16,888 in prize money.

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