Tue, Jan 25, 2005 - Page 20 News List

Tigers narrowly defeat winless Lions in hoops

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTERAP

Hsu "birdie" Chih-chao's double-pump reverse layup with under a minute left to play gave the Dacin Tigers a four-point lead that would seal the victory for the Tigers in the 86-85 final over the Sina Lions on Saturday.

The win avoided an otherwise embarrassing distinction for the heavily favored Tigers to be the first club beaten by the Lions, still looking for their first win of the year after 10 contests.

The game began with the Tigers coming out firing, doubling up on the Lions with a 22-11 lead midway through the first quarter.

Both teams then settled down and finished the half with the Tigers hanging onto a 44-38 lead.

Foul trouble on two members of the Tigers' starting frontcourt, Tien Lei and Lee Fong-yung, kept the Lions in the game as power forwards Liu Yi-shiang and Kao Li-ming attacked the middle without much resistance from Tien and Lee in the second half.

But Hsu's late-game heroics proved to be just a tad more than the Lions could handle.

The loss by the Lions marked their second straight close defeat, losing both games for the week by a combined margin of four points.

Bank of Taiwan 99, Tigers 92

The Tigers' luck ran out in Sunday's battle against the Bank of Taiwan, where foul trouble on Tien Lei and defensive specialist Chang Chih-fong limited the Tigers' ability to play an aggressive game inside the paint, giving the Bank of Taiwan's muscle man Chu Yung-hung plenty of unchallenged shots from the close range in his 25-point effort.

Even though reserve shooting guard Hsieh Chang-jung's buzzer-beating deuce would force the game into overtime for the Tigers with the score knotted at 80, the bankers simply refused to go down in the extra session against a depleted Tigers' lineup that had fouled out four of its five starters in the 99-92 final.

The wild loss cost the Tigers (5-5) a chance to go two games above the .500 mark -- something they desperately needed in order to keep pace with the top-tier teams in the league.

Instead of tying Taiwan Beer for third place in the latest standings with a 6-4 record, the Tigers can only claim a fourth place spot with just a half-game lead over the fifth-placed bankers (4-5).

Hunters 80, Antelopes 77, OT

Free-throw shooting played a big role in both of the Videoland Hunters' victories against the ETTV Antelopes and Taiwan Beer over the weekend.

Saturday's 80-77 overtime win did not have to be as tough as it was, had the Hunters done slightly better from the charity line.

Their 19-for-34 shooting from behind the free throw line was even worse than their 23-for-40 shooting from two-point range.

Not having either Wu Dai-hao or Shang Wei-fang (the Antelopes' twin towers) available for the game did not help coach Liu Hua-lin's cause, as his troops nearly pulled off an upset against the top-ranked team in the league.

Hunters 93, Taiwan Beer 87

Lin Jia-huang's 11-for-11 shooting from the free throw line, including an 8-for-8 performance in the final minute of the contest, nailed the 93-87 victory for the Hunters against Taiwan Beer on Sunday.

The win not only gave the Hunters a one-game lead over the Yulon Dinos for the sole possession of the top spot in the standings, it avenged their earlier one-point loss to the beermen that ended the Hunters' perfect 5-0 start.

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