Tue, Apr 13, 2004 - Page 20 News List

Tigers mess up chances against Sina Lions

MISERABLE SHOOTING The deciding game, to be played tonight, was forced after the Dacin Tigers fouled their opportunities and didn't find their shooting touch


Two early first-quarter fouls by Dacin Tiger star Tien Lei limited the Tigers's ability to effectively defend against the Sina Lions inside the paint, and made life a breeze for Huang Chuen-hsiung and Liu Yi-shiang.

The two Lion guns combined for 33 points and 21 rebounds in the Lions' 62-54 victory over the Tigers on Sunday night to force a deciding Game 3 in the best-of-three series tonight at the Taipei Sports Education College Arena.

In one of the worst three-point shooting performances of the season, neither team seemed able to find their shooting touch from long range as they shot a miserable 4-for-42 combined from beyond the arc.

The game began with the Lions keeping the Tigers off the board for the first two-and-a-half minutes, leading to a 14-9 lead after the first quarter. The 32-25 halftime lead by the Lions would dwindle to just three points after the Tigers closed out the third quarter on a 6-0 run.

Luo Hsin-liang's only three-pointer for the game midway through the fourth quarter pushed the Lion lead back to eight was the difference in the game because the Lions made the free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

"We all knew that if we lose this one, we would be watching the finals on TV next week, so we just ignored the endurance problem," Liu Yi-hsiang reflected after the game on his team's tendency to run out of gas late in the game, an advantage that the Tigers never fully exploited.

"Our guys rushed too many shots during the game and let this one get away.It was a sloppy effort on our part all around," Tiger skipper Liu Jia-fa said after the game."It is now a one-game series and we will do whatever it takes to bring home the win."

Liu has his work cut out for him because the momentum will clearly be on the Lions' side in tonight's contest. His Tigers will not only have to face the Lions on the court, they will also have to take on a hostile crowd that will be behind the Lions every step of the way.

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