Tue, Feb 01, 2005 - Page 20 News List

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By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Hsu "Birdie" Chih-chao's baseline jumper with time expiring broke a 69-all tie in Sunday's showdown between the Dacin Tigers and the Yulon Dinos to give the big cats a thrilling 71-69 win over the defending champs.

For the second time in eight days, the veteran forward delivered the knockout punch for his team with the game on the line, recalling his double-pump reverse layup in the game's closing moments that gave the Tigers a critical four-point lead to seal the 86-85 victory over the Sina Lions on Jan. 23.

The Tigers have won three of their past four contests by a total margin of five points, making them the league's best finisher in close games thus far.

Sunday's narrow victory propelled the Tigers past Taiwan Beer for the sole possession of the third-place spot in the latest standings with a 7-5 record, a game and a half behind the second-placed Dinos (8-3) and three games behind the league-leading Videoland Hunters (10-2).

Tigers 106, Bank of Taiwan 64

After beating the beermen by a deuce in Friday's 91-89 nail-biter, the mentally drained and physically exhausted Tigers seemed anything but ready to take on the high-flying Dinos -- victors of a 106-64 blowout over the Bank of Taiwan on Saturday that stretched their winning streak to seven games.

But the Tigers managed to take advantage of the absence of the Dinos' all-star center Tseng Wen-ding, who had sat out the game to nurse an ankle injury, by pounding the middle of the paint for several key baskets, trailing the Dinos by just four points at the half.

The Tigers' relentless attack inside the paint ultimately translated into the fouling out of two key members of the Dinos' thin frontcourt, Wei Yung-tai and Chou Hung-yu, and a chance for the Tigers to upset the Dinos for the first time in team history.

The loss was a realty check for the Dinos, who had not lost a game in nearly a month. It also exposed their vulnerability in the middle should Tseng not be available for any extended period of time.

"Despite the loss, I am quite pleased with what our reserves were able accomplish," Dinos coach Lee Yun-kuan said.

"Even though A-Ding [Tseng] wasn't able to play, we still put up a good fight against a very good team."

Antelopes 83, Lions 71

Two more devastating losses by the winless Sina Lions over the weekend boosted their slide to a record-high 12 for the year.

The Lions missed their only realistic chance for a win before the annual all-star break on Feb. 19 in their loss to the ETTV Antelopes on Saturday when they failed to protect a three-point, halftime lead and fell into an all-too familiar second-half collapse that led to the 83-71 defeat.

Lions' scoring leader Luo Hsin-liang was held to 10 points -- well below his 17.2 points-per-game average prior to the game, as a result of tenacious defense by the Antelopes.

Hunters 83, Lions 64

Things went from bad to worse for Luo and company in their 83-64 result against the Hunters where the hapless Lions fell prey to a balanced Hunters' attack that placed all five of its starters in double-digit scoring.

Yang Tseh-yi, the Hunters' utility man, took every Lions' defender on him to school in his 22-point, six-assist outing.

He was able to shoot over defenders on the outside with his height advantage when the Lions put a smaller, quicker guard on him, or he would blow by a big man with his superb first step off the dribble.

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