Mon, Apr 12, 2004 - Page 20 News List

Mars soar past Dinos to tie up basketball playoff

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Reserved center Lin Hsin-hua played his best game of the year in the BCC Mars' 89-69 win over the Yulon Dinos on Saturday night to tie the best-of-three series at one-game apiece and force a deciding Game 3 tonight to determine which team will advance to the championship round starting Thursday at the Taipei Sports Education College Arena.

His 15 points and 11 rebounds provided the Mars the missing spark on offense and helped fellow teammate Lee Chi-yi become more effective inside the paint to score a team-high 20 points for the contest.

Having lost Game 1 to the Dinos by six points, the Mars faced possible elimination in Game 2 on Saturday night in a must-win situation.

Despite the absence of their field general Yen Hsin-shu because of an injury, the Mars managed to execute their game plan to perfection by taking the ball strong to the hoop, something they rarely did in Game 1's six-point loss.

They intend to bring the ball inside to open up the outside for sharp shooter Lin Jia-huang, who silenced the Dino crowd with four three-pointers en route to his 19-point performance.

Coach Chung Chih-mong's decided to start Lin Hsin-hua in a two-guard lineup after Lin's outstanding showing in Game 1 that included a game-high seven blocked shots.

The move confused the Dinos, which had become familiar with the Mars' three-guard lineup in their perfect 5-0 record against the Mars (four regular games and one playoff game).

"The entire team was confident heading into the game," Chung said after the game. "Our refuse-to-lose attitude is what delivered the victory."

A poor showing at the charity line (10-for-28) was the main reason that the top-seeded Dinos failed to make it a two-game series.

"I didn't think missing foul shots could plague a team like it did with us tonight," Dinos assistant coach Lin Cheng-ming told local Chinese-language media.

The two teams will duke it out one last time tonight in a winner-takes-all situation.

While the key to victory for the Mars will be to continue with a three-big-man lineup, the Dinos will need to forget about the loss and find their winning form of the old in a hurry.

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