Strong backcourt play by Yang Yu-ming and Wu Jia-long propelled the ETTV Antelopes past YMY 91-78 at the Taipei Physical Education College Gymnasium on Friday for the Antelopes' first win of the season.
Winless in their five previous contests, the Antelopes went on a scoring spree.
The game began with a high-scoring first quarter that ended with the Antelopes enjoying a 24-20 lead.
Then came a tenacious Antelopes defense that forced seven turnovers by YMY to help the Antelopes build a commanding 47-29 advantage.
A 17-4 run by YMY early in the third quarter had the Antelopes fans thinking about another total collapse as YMY quickly closed the gap to within five (51-46) behind forward Wang Chuan-jian's eight-point run.
But that was as close as YMY would get as the Antelopes regained control midway through the third quarter, orchestrating a 15-7 run to push their lead back to 13 (66-53) by the end of the quarter.
Wu's team-high 24 points led an Antelopes attack that had three players with 20 or more points for the night.
Yang and fellow forward Hsin Jin-chan were the other two, chipping in 21 points apiece in the Antelopes' best offensive showing of the year.
As for YMY, two-time Player of the Week Luo Hsin-liang had his usual "A" game on with 27 points and five rebounds.
He was joined by Wang, who had 24 points and 14 rebounds in his best game of the season by far.
Taiwan Beer 89, Tigers 69
Four three-pointers by Lin "The Beast" Chih-jeh in the first quarter helped Taiwan Beer build an early lead, ending in a 89-69 win over the Dacin Tigers.
The loss ended the Tigers' four-game winning streak.
Both teams looked to their top point producer, with Lin racking up 16 first-quarter points for brew masters and Tien Lei ringing up 10 for the big cats.
A ball-denying defense by the Tigers on Lin limited his point total to just four in the second quarter. But in doing so, it gave the rest of the beer crew a chance to pick up the scoring slack, generating a nine-point halftime (43-34) lead.
With Tien out of the game because of a hand injury that he sustained while defending a shot in the third quarter and the Tigers not able to knock down the "threes," the second half was all Taiwan Beer.
The Tigers' 5-for-25 shooting from behind the three-point arc was their worst shooting performance of the season, not to mention the 18 turnovers that they yielded to a scrappy Taiwan Beer defense.
"There was not one good thing that I can say about our team tonight," Tigers coach Liu Jia-fa said. "We were simply out shot, out rebounded and out hustled."
Three highly anticipated contests are scheduled to kick off 2006 in grand style, with the Videoland Hunters taking on the Yulon Dinos in Game 1 this afternoon, a match between Taiwan Beer and the Bank of Taiwan to follow, and tonight's showdown between the Antelopes and the Tigers.
The Dinos should have an easy time against the Hunters, who have lost two of their last three in an early-season slump.
As for the match between the beermen and the bankers, the brew crew only has themselves to beat since the bankers have not found a winning formula since their season-opener on Dec. 10.
Tonight's showdown between the Tigers and the Antelopes should be a treat to every hoop fan as the Tigers look to bounce back from a blowout loss against a mentally sharp Antelopes squad that finally broke into the win column this week.