Solid showings by Wu Jung-hsiung, Liao Wei-cheng and Hsiao Yuan-chang brought the ETTV Antelopes past Bank of Taiwan 80-64 at the Taipei Physical Education College Gymnasium on Friday.
The front court trio for the Antelopes helped their team out rebound the bankers 42-30, with Hsiao's 10 leading the way, followed by Liao's nine and Wu's four.
Thirteen of the Antelopes' 42 total boards came off the offensive glass (compared to the bankers' eight), leading to several easy put-back baskets and other second chances on offense.
The Antelopes also showed more discipline on defense, keeping the number of fouls at season-low of 18 (with an average of 23.8 in their eight prior games), compared to the bankers' 23, sending the Antelopes to the free throw line 18 more times than the bankers.
After starting the game with a 13-4 run, the Antelopes stretched their 19-15 first-quarter lead to 14 points midway through the second quarter before Bank of Taiwan answered with a 15-0 run of their own to trail the Antelopes by one point at the half (36-35).
Both clubs played a more conservative third quarter that ended with the Antelopes boosting their lead by three before a total defensive collapse by the bankers led to an 18-4 run in the fourth quarter.
Dinos 99, Tigers 92
Without Tien Lei, their top offensive scorer, and defensive specialist Chang Chih-fong, the Dacin Tigers fell to the Yulon Dinos 99-92.
Sound shooting from the floor (52 percent) highlighted by point guard Wang Chih-chuin and forward Lin Yi-hui's combined 9-for-14 effort, kept the shorthanded Tigers in the game during the first half, as they trailed the Dinos only by 10 (49-39).
But the big cats could never manage to come within five of the defending champs, despite scoring a season-high of 30 points in the third quarter, because the Dinos nearly answered every Tigers basket with an equally impressive score on the other end of the court.
A balanced attack by the Dinos, which placed seven players in double-digit scoring, made it impossible for the Tigers to focus their defensive effort.
It was an encouraging performance for Tigers coach Liu Jia-fa while missing top players against the hottest team in the league -- winners of their past six straight.
"I like the fact that we hung in there for the majority of the game, even though we didn't have our big gun in there," Liu said. "If it hadn't been for their 28-point third quarter to match our awesome third quarter, we would have won the game."