Videoland Hunters' small forward Yang Tseh-yi beat fellow big man Lee Chi-yi and Bank of Taiwan's Yang Jing-ming by an overwhelming margin for the Player of the Week honor in last week's Super Basketball League (SBL) action.
Yang Tseh-yi's 26-point night, ten of which came during the crucial fourth quarter, in Sunday's contest against defending champs, the Yulon Dinos, helped extended his team's winning streak to four straight, as the Hunters remained the only undefeated club in the seven-team league.
The 193cm graduate of Nan Shan Senior High School shot over 50 percent from the floor, while averaging 22.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.5 steals over the two-game weekend to confirm him as the constant scoring threat that he has become. His tremendous second-half surge in the game against the Dinos more than picked up the scoring slack for the Hunters as a heavily guarded Lee Chi-yi dropped his point production from the previous 24-point average to just twelve for the game.
"The addition of Huang Chuen-hsiung and Hsiung Ren-cheng (from the Sina Lions during the off-season) has really helped us improve the flow in our offense. Their presence has boosted my confidence immensely," the modest Yang attributed his recent success to his new teammates.
The Hunters will need to keep their game faces on over the New Year's weekend as they take on an explosive Taiwan Beer squad tonight that is looking to rebound from a disappointing loss to the ETTV Antelopes, after an emotional victory over the Dinos last week, and the Lions in Sunday's contest.
How well the Hunters can contain Taiwan Beer's Lin "The Beast" Chih-jeh, the league's scoring leader with 25 points per game, and maintain enough strength to play a weaker Lion team on Sunday will determine whether the men with the riffles will remain unbeaten or if they will falter for the first time this season.
Playing back-to-back games within an 18-hour span, Taiwan Beer will have the toughest physical challenge this week as it prepares for tonight's game against the Hunters and open the New Year with tomorrow afternoon's battle versus the new-and-improved Bank of Taiwan.
Power forward Ho Sho-cheng and point man Chen Shih-nian will have to come up with huge games against the Hunters by flashing in the paint more often for the open pass and pushing the ball up the court faster for some fast break baskets, respectively, to take the scoring burden off the Beast.
Elsewhere in the league, the Dacin Tigers will try to outrun the Antelopes in a game between two 1-1 clubs tonight before the big cats suit up again for tomorrow night's showdown against the Dinos. The Tigers, fresh off an impressive 99-79 triumph over the winless Lions last week, will aim to crack the century mark for the first time in team history, after falling one point short of the three-digit plateau in their last outing.
All eyes will be on the match-up in the low post between the Tigers' Tien Lei and the Dinos' Tseng Wen-ding, the two premier big men in the business.
Tien can silence his critics for complaining about his reluctance to play a more physical game inside if he can use his speed to his advantage by taking the ball strong to the hoop against Tseng, the league's top shot-blocker from last season.
This is a must-win game for the 1-2 Dinos, loser of two in row, as they deal with not having their top scorer Chen Hsin-an in the lineup. Chen, in search of a professional career in the US, left the Dinos late last month.