Chen Shih-nian's 14-foot floater with 13.4 ticks on the clock not only gave Taiwan Beer a 75-74 victory over the previously unbeaten Videoland Hunters last week, it also earned the second-year point guard the "Player of the Week" honor for the first time in his career.
Chen beat out fellow teammate Lin "the Beast" Chih-jeh by one vote in the closest voting result ever for his tremendous contribution in helping the beermen win back-to-back games for the first time this season to claim the second-place spot in the latest league standings.
"I guess I was just in the right place at the right time; much of the credit should go to my teammates for their outstanding effort on the court as well," a modest Chen told the Taipei Times in a telephone interview after learning about his selection to the weekly honor.
Next up for the brew masters in this week's action will be tonight's contest against a tenacious Dacin Tigers squad that is looking to rebound from an embarrassing 84-75 loss to the Yulon Dinos last Sunday, and Sunday's weekend finale against the ETTV Antelopes.
This is by far the toughest two-game weekend for the beermen thus far in that they will need an "A" game from both Chen and Lin, not to mention the all-important Ho Sho-cheng, who should get many open looks at the basket as the expected double-team on Lin by the Tigers' defense will leave an unguarded Ho open for uncontested jumpers from the perimeter.
How well the beer squad can preserve its energy after tonight's showdown against the Tigers will play a big part in the outcome of Sunday's high-scoring affair against the Antelopes. Both teams will have played a physically demanding game by then (Taiwan Beer versus the Tigers and the Antelopes versus the Sina Lions), but will still try to take advantage of their excellent team speed by outrunning the other team.
In addition to the Tiger-Taiwan Beer matchup, tonight's other contest between the Bank of Taiwan and the Dinos also deserves a second look simply because it has an upset written all over it.
The Dinos had just snapped their two-game losing streak with an impressive win over the Tigers, and could get caught in their game against the Videoland Hunters tomorrow.
The bankers, on the other hand, have lost two in a row to fall below .500 for the first time this season and are seeking the respect that they think they deserve. The battle on the glass will most likely determine the outcome of this game as the two physical lineups go at it, in what should be a hard fought game inside the paint.
This is a must-win for the bankers in that another loss would set them back to 2-4, a morale killer at this juncture of the season, especially after they had started off the season in sound fashion with a 2-1 mark.
The winless Lions could finally break into the win column in tomorrow's confrontation against the Antelopes if they can shut down the sharp-shooting off-guard Yang Yu-ming (楊玉明) of the Antelopes in the way the Tigers managed to do a week ago in their 87-68 blowout victory over the Antelopes.
Yang, who had averaged over 24 points per contest prior to last week's game against the Tigers, was held to just five points and could fall victim to another ball-denying style of coverage by the Lions on defense if the other Antelopes fail to pick up the scoring slack on offense again.