Back-to-back double-double performances by Yulon Dinos' Tseng Wen-ding (17.5 points and 10.5 re-bounds) in last week's action earned the big man the nod from members of the voting press for this week's Super Basketball League (SBL) Player of the Week honor.
Tseng was simply awesome inside the paint against the frontcourt of the ETTV Antelopes and the Sina Lions, outmaneuvering his smaller and slower opponents in every aspect of the game. His exceptional low post moves literally made fouling him the only option to stop him from scoring at will in close range.
As for Tseng's dominance on the glass, his 10.5 boards per game in just 26 minutes of playing time could have easily upped his total rebounds in the 15's range had his team not held leads of 20-plus points in both contests to allow skipper Lee Yun-kuan to rest his all-star center more than usual.
Next up for Tseng and his mates is a tough Taiwan Beer squad that has won five in a row and could take the lead in the standings with victories over the Dinos (tonight) and the Videoland Hunters (tomorrow afternoon).
The Dinos-Taiwan Beer matchup is a crucial game for both clubs in that either team has not faced an opponent that has had as much momentum heading into a game as they have for this game, and a victory at this juncture in the season will provide the winner a big mental boost as well. How well the Dinos can contain swing man Ho Sho-cheng on defense and limit the number of fast break opportunities for the beermen to fewer than ten for the game will be the key to their success.
As for the brew masters, their ability to neutralize Tseng inside the paint by playing good "help defense" in the middle, and shut down the Dinos' perimeter game will determine if they are worthy of league-leading status.
Taiwan Beer's tough schedule, playing two games in an 18-hour timespan, will definitely play a role in the beer crew's ability to run the floor in full strength against the high-powered Hunters offense that averages a league-high 84.0 points per contest. As much as the men in green (Taiwan Beer) would like to slow down the tempo in this game in the interest of conserving energy, a too conservative style of play could hurt the beermen in that they are not accustomed to attacking the opposing defense from a set, half-court offense.
Tonight's other game, featuring the showdown between the Bank of Taiwan and the winless Sina Lions, should be the most evenly matched game of the week in that both teams have been on the losing end of several recent blowouts, and this is their best chance to make it into the win column.
For the Lions to be effective against the physical bankers, the big cats must sink their outside shots so that the bankers would not fully realize their overwhelming size and rebounding advantage. Solid outings by the young Lions' backcourt (not counting Luo Hsin-liang) will be essential in this game as the bankers will undoubtedly exploit the Lions' ball-handling ability by pressuring the guards whenever possible.
For the 4-4 Dacin Tigers, their relatively easy games against the bankers (tomorrow) and the Lions (Sunday) should keep them above the .500 mark to maintain pace with the top-tier squads in the league.
This is a good time for coach Liu Jia-fa to play his reserve players and work on the Tigers' motion offense as they prepare for two monstrous games versus Taiwan Beer and the Yulon Dinos the following week.