Wang Chih-chuin's relentless pursuit of the ball and selfless leadership on the court landed him this week's Super Basketball League Player of the Week honor.
In only his second week of play since returning from a serious offseason injury, the Dacin Tigers' starting-point guard showed no sign of rustiness on either end of the floor to average 22.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 2.3 steals per game in last week's three tough matches.
Perhaps even more impressive than his offensive numbers was Wang's 3.7-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in last week's play, an outstanding figure for a healthy ball-handler in any league, and especially so after his recent return from injury.
"I wish everyone on the club can play with his [Wang's] level of intensity," Dacin coach Liu Jia-fa said.
"We were a little shorthanded last week, with Tien Lei and Chang Chih-fong out of the lineup, and that's why we didn't win as many games as we should have," he said.
The Tigers only managed a 1-2 record in the three games last week despite Wang's contribution because they were missing their top scorer Tien Lei in two of the three games and defensive specialist Chang Chih-fong.
Next up for Wang and his feline mates at the Taipei Physical Education College Gymnasium (TPEC Gymnasium) will be the Videoland Hunters, who eked out a 77-75 win over Taiwan Beer last Friday in a fight for respect before being blown out by the ETTV Antelopes in the following game.
The Tigers must establish their inside game early in the contest with Tien and fellow forward Lee Fong-yong if they wish to come out ahead in this game, because the Hunters will undoubtedly come out firing with their outside shooters Yang Tseh-yi, Lin Jia-huang and Chen Hui.
Defensively for Dacin, they will have to maintain constant pressure on the Hunters by either playing a straight man-to-man defense or a variation of matched-up zone, since the Hunters have on more than one occasion shown their ability to shoot over a zone defense.
There will be no time for the Tigers to rest after tonight's game, as they take on a high-flying Bank of Taiwan squad -- winners in their past two games, including a huge upset victory over the Yulon Dinos last Saturday -- tomorrow night.
It will be a major test for the Tigers in terms of their stamina, since they will be playing their second game in as many days, compared with a well-rested bankers' lineup.
Taiwan Beer vs YMY
Taiwan Beer should not have too much trouble in their game against YMY at the TPEC Gymnasium tonight, since YMY is going through some tough growing pains with veteran guard Luo "the Natural" Hsin-liang leading a group of young rookies without the help of longtime teammate Liu Yi-shiang (out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament).
The only thing that will keep the beermen from taking this game will be their tendency to play down to their opponents' level, as in the game against the Hunters last week, which ended in a disappointing loss.
Underdog YMY will have to play a flawless game by keeping the number of unnecessary mistakes down to a minimum, while engaging the big guns of Taiwan Beer early and often to collect some "cheap" fouls. With outside shooting threat Ho Sho-cheng out of the lineup indefinitely due to an injury, the beer crew could be vulnerable to early foul troubles if YMY pulls all the right strings.