Wang Jien-wei's two missed free throws with 2.8 seconds remaining in the game cost Taiwan Beer the win in a 72-71 decision against the Bank of Taiwan in SBL action at the Taipei Physical Education College Gymnasium on Sunday.
The loss dropped the brew crew back to second place in the league standings for the second time a the week with the top-ranked Yulon Dinos, taking a half-game lead over Taiwan Beer with a win over the ETTV Antelopes on Sunday.
"Wang needs to work on his free throws," Taiwan Beer coach Yen Jia-hua said. "We came so close to beating these guys."
Wang was not the only player with an off game as Lin "The Beast" Chih-jeh also had trouble shooting from long range in a rare 0-for-11 night from beyond the arc. Despite his cold shooting, Lin still racked up a game-high 25 points.
The game started off with Taiwan Beer sinking five of its first six shots for a quick 12-2 lead before the bankers made several deposits of their own to end the first quarter being down 14-12.
Five three-pointers by the financial wizards, coupled with poor shooting on the beermen's part helped turn the game around for the Bank of Taiwan in the second quarter as it took a six-point lead (37-31) into the halftime.
With Lin not able to find his range, Taiwan Beer promptly shifted its focus on offense to an inside attack, with forward Wu Chih-yuan hitting some easy jumpers to keep the game close.
Taiwan Beer took a 71-70 lead with 31.4 seconds remaining on a free throw by point guard Chen Shih-nian before the bankers' Yang Jing-ming answered on the ensuing play with a baseline jumper to reclaim the lead.
Down by a point with under 20 seconds remaining, the brew crew opted for the final shot of the game, with Wang getting fouled and being sent to the free-throw line to set the stage for the late-game drama.
Hunters 95, YMY 82
Hong Chih-chao's 27-point, nine-rebound and seven-assist night sparked a Videoland Hunters attack that scored 50 second-half points to cruise past YMY 95-82.
With their top two scorers, Lee Chi-yi and Yang Tseh-yi, out of the lineup due to injury, the Hunters seemed ready to throw in the towel in the early going, trailing YMY by as many as eight in the first quarter.
Then awoke the giant that had made it to the postseason over the past two years, as the Hunters erupted for 26 second-quarter points with Hong (10n points) and veteran center Lai Guo-hong (seven points) leading the way.
YMY played 3-1/2 solid quarters of basketball against the more experienced Hunters, reducing a once-double-digit deficit to as few as two points early in the fourth quarter, but they could not come up with the big shots late in the game.
The loss marked YMY's 11th in a row, two shy of the club record of 13.
Dinos 90, Antelopes 69
The Dinos took out their frustration over Saturday night's loss to the Dacin Tigers on the Antelopes in a 90-69 massacre.
The defending champs reclaimed the sole possession of the lead in the standings after the easy win and a Taiwan Beer loss.
Guard Yang Yu-ming was held scoreless for the first time in three years by the Dinos defense as the Antelopes fell behind early and never managed to recover.