Tseng Wen-ding's tremendous play inside the paint, along with his exceptional field of vision on the court, landed the Yulon Dinos All-Star center the Most Valuable Player honor in the Super Basketball League for the month of February.
The second-year big man out of perennial High School Basketball League powerhouse Tsai Hsing Senior High School was the main reason that the Dinos remained undefeated last month (4-0) with his 19-point, 10.8-rebound, 3-assist, and 3.5-blocked shot monthly average.
Dominating the opposing clubs would be an understatement for the Dinos during their four-game run as they won all four contests by an average margin of 17.8 points, thanks to Tseng's stellar effort to remain a formidable force in the middle.
"What makes Tseng really special is the fact that he is the complete package. Ringing up 19 points and 10 rebounds per night is one thing, but averaging three assists and nearly four blocked-shots per game is hard to come by. He can single-handedly change the way a team approaches the Dinos," an opposing coach said in a recent interview under the condition of anonymity.
In addition to the coveted crystal trophy, Tseng also received NT$10,000 in prize money for his outstanding contribution to his team's overall success.
"It is an honor to receive this award," Tseng said at the award ceremony. "I would like to thank my teammates for their support, without which this award would not be possible."
"There is still a lot of room for improvement in my game and I will keep working to progress," he said.
Next up for Tseng and his high-flying Dinos mates tonight will be a tough Taiwan Beer squad that is looking for redemption after losing a 15-plus point, third period lead and the game to the Videoland Hunters in their last match.
How well can the Dinos shut down a frustrated Lin "The Beast" Chih-jeh, the beermen's lead scorer for the past two seasons, will be the key to whether the Dinos' current four-game winning skid will continue or if the beermen can keep pace with the top clubs in the league.
Sunday's contest against the Hunters could also have a bearing on the standings for the Dinos in that a loss, coupled with the Hunters' expected victory over the Sina Lions tonight could give the top spot back to the Hunters as they trail the Dinos by just 1-1/2 game at this time.
Aside from Sunday's highly anticipated battle between the Dinos and the Hunters, tomorrow's showdown between the third-place Dacin Tigers and the fourth-place Taiwan Beer should also draw a full house as the two very similar squads try to exploit each other's weaknesses.
Both teams have the tremendous speed and fire power to run up the score with top caliber offensive threats such as Tien Lei for the Tigers and Lin Chih-jeh for the beermen.
But neither club has the experienced ball-handling backcourt that can control the tempo or adapt to a given game situations to become a top notch club.
The Tigers and the beermen also have a common problem with their interior defense, namely the inability to stop opposing big men from pounding the ball inside for easy buckets in the low post area. This is due to the fact that neither team has a dominant center who can take charge inside by patrolling the middle of the paint like a Tseng Wen-ding (of the Dinos) or a Wu Dai-hao (of the ETTV Antelopes).