Like his NBA idol Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns, Bank of Taiwan point guard Wu Yong-ren seldom talks trash on a basketball court because he prefers to let his playing do all the talking. And as of late, the speedy field general of the bankers has done just that by averaging 14 points, 5.5 assists and 6.5 rebounds per game in last week's play to earn him this week's Super Basketball League (SBL) Player of the Week honor.
"He [Wu] has really taken the lead role in our recent success," Bank of Taiwan coach Wei Cheng-ming said after learning of his star player's selection for the weekly honor.
"When he [Wu] is `on' with his game, the rest of the team tends to follow," Wei added.
Wu shot an amazing 12-for-17 (71 percent) from the floor, including 3-for-4 from behind the three-point line in the bankers' two contests last week. He also made seven of eight free throws to make him the last person that the opposing team would want to foul late in the game.
Wu said he hadn't expected to be named Player of the Week, "especially with the week that the Beast had."
Taiwan Beer's Lin "the Beast" Chih-jeh came in fourth in this week's voting behind the bankers' Lin Chuin-fong and the ETTV Antelopes' Hsiao Yuan-chang.
Next up for Wu and the financial wizards at the Taipei Physical Education College Gymnasium (TPEC Gymnasium) will be the Antelopes in a highly anticipated battle tomorrow afternoon, before the bankers take on Taiwan Beer in a matinee affair on Sunday.
Tomorrow's contest between the bankers and the Antelopes should be a treat for those who prefer a fast-paced game, because that is exactly what they will get. The two teams will undoubtedly look to run the ball up the court whenever possible.
The team with the rebounding edge will likely go home the winner in this game, since more rebounds translates into more possessions; and in a high-paced game, the club with more offensive chances will likely come out ahead.
However, the bankers should try to control the tempo of the game against the beermen on Sunday, because trying to run with the beer crew with its deep bench has not proven wise so far this season, especially right after the bankers have played a game the night before.
All three of Taiwan Beer's losses thus far have been low-scoring games, meaning the beermen are not quite as comfortable running a set half-court offense.
Two games are scheduled for tonight, starting with the Yulon Dinos taking on YMY in Game 1 and the Antelopes playing the Dacin Tigers in Game 2.
The heavily-favored Dinos should be able to rest their starters a bit in this game in preparation for their two other games -- against the Tigers tomorrow and the Antelopes on Sunday -- in a tough three-game week, since YMY has not been playing as a unit as of late.
Game 2 tonight is an interesting matchup, despite the Tigers' better record, in that the Antelopes have been playing great team basketball over the past two weeks, compared with the Tigers, losers of three consecutive games.
Turnovers will be the story in this game, since the Tigers have not protected the ball well during the three losses and point guard Wang Chih-chuin, last week's Player of the Week, cannot possibly do it alone for the Tigers.
Containing Tien Lei, Dacin's top scorer by far, may be a top priority for coach Lee Yun-shiang of the Antelopes in this game, but keeping the rest of the Tiger pack at bay will be what will make or break the game for the Antelopes.