Sat, Feb 12, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Hunters start holiday break on top


No games are scheduled in the Super Basketball League this week as all teams enjoy some much needed rest from nearly two months of heated competition during the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday.

In part one of a three-part analysis, we will review how the top two clubs have fared during the first half of the season and how the rest of the year may shape up.

Starting off with the league-leading Videoland Hunters, the most consistent offense in the league does not have much trouble putting up points on the board as it averages 82.7 points per game with a powerful inside game from big men Lee Chi-yi and Lai Guo-hung, and the solid perimeter shooting of swing man Yang Tseh-yi in the 14 contests so far.

What may keep Hunters coach Chung Chih-mong awake at night, especially following his team's recent two-game losing slump, is his ineffective defense against the Dacin Tigers and the Bank of Taiwan last week.

The Hunters' inability to get back on defense because of a lack of team speed has led to numerous fast break opportunities for their opponents and consequently easy hoops from the transition game.

Opposing squads will continue to push the ball hard up the court until the the Hunters start making the necessary adjustments to defend against quick, easy buckets.

Dinos show balance

As for the second-placed Yulon Dinos, arguably the most complete team in the league.

This is despite the departure of their top scorer, Chen Hsin-an, to the American Basketball Association in the US.

The Dinos lost just two early-season games before winning eight of their next nine games, with their average margin of victory is well over 12 points.

With all-star center Tseng Wen-ding patrolling the paint on defense, emerging small forward Chou Shih-yuan doing most of the damage on offense, and the league's top backcourt of Chen Chih-chung and Lee Hsueh-lin directing a transition game, the Dinos appear to be well on their way to a second straight league title.

If one must identify a flaw in Dinos coach Lee Yun-kuan's lineup, it would be the lack of depth on the bench.

Tseng's two-game absence because of an ankle injury translated resulted in a 71-69 loss against the Tigers on Jan. 30 as the Dinos fell victim to a low post attack that overwhelmed reserve centers Wei Yung-tai and Wu Chih-wei.

Chen Hsin-an's expected return in April for the postseason will make the Dinos' that much tougher to defend.

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