Impressive back-to-back victories over the Dacin Tigers and the ETTV Antelopes over the weekend have stretched Taiwan Beer's current winning streak to a team-high four games, giving the beermen a share of the lead with the Videoland Hunters in the Super Basketball League standings.
Big man Ha Hsiao-yuan's 9-for-16 shooting from the floor, en route to a 20-point night, nearly stole the spotlight from team icon Lin "The Beast" Chih-jeh in the brewmasters' thrilling 68-66 win, not that Lin's game-high 22-point effort with 11 rebounds was not crucial to his team's success.
The beermen's relentless defensive coverage on Tien Lei, the league's third highest scorer, to just 10 points for the game, well short of his 19.5-point average prior to the contest.
After limiting a potent Tigers' attack that had averaged well over 80 points per game to just 66 on Friday, the beermen defense held the ETTV Antelopes to 50 points on Sunday, a new low in total point production for any team in the league so far.
The Antelopes held a 30-29 lead at the half, but fell victim to a nasty beermen defense that allowed only eight points in the third quarter.
The beermen defense held the Antelopes to 0-for-6 shooting from beyond the three-point arc for the quarter and caused 21 Antelope turnovers during the game.
"When you shot as poorly as we did from behind the three-point line (1-for-19), you are not going to win too many games, and that's what happened out there today," Antelopes' interim skipper Liu Hua-lin said.
Dinos 96, Bank of Taiwan 83
Dinos 86, Hunters 63
Defending champs, the Yulon Dinos, appeared to have made all the adjustments necessary to cope with the loss of its top scorer, Chen Hsin-an, to the American Basketball Association at the start of the season, as they quietly bounce back from a 1-2 start to win three straight with an average margin of victory of 15 points.
Friday's 96-83 final against an overmatched Bank of Taiwan club was the prelude to Sunday's showdown against the league-leading Videoland Hunters.
The Dinos' offense put up 50 points on the board before halftime.
All 12 players made it into the score book for the Dinos as a 20-plus point lead in the fourth quarter enabled coach Lee Yun-kuang to rest his starters and play all of his reserve players in the interest of preserving the starters' energy for an upcoming battle against the Hunters.
Lee's strategy seemed to make a difference in Sunday's contest, as the Dinos crushed the Hunters, outplaying them in every facet of the game.
The Hunters fired blanks from the floor during the entire first quarter (0-for11) as all eight of their first-quarter points came from the free throws.
The 25-8 first-quarter deficit proved too much, even for the high-powered Hunters' offense to overcome an embarrassing 86-63 laugher, as the Hunters lost their second straight to fall to 5-2.
Antelopes 96, Lions 73
Tigers 102, Lions 89
Sina Lions' fans will have to wait at least another week for their teams first win.
Big man Wu Dai-ha and sharp shooter Yang Yu-ming, also known as the Antelopes' "inside-outside combo," each had 18 points on Saturday as the Lions found themselves on the losing end of the 96-73 disaster.
Dacin Tigers' point man Wang Chih-chun became the first player to register a triple double this season (19 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists) in the Tigers' 102-89 win over the Lions on Sunday.