Playing with a re-injured left ankle, Lin "The Beast" Chih-jeh poured in 18 second-half points to lead Taiwan Beer past the Yulon Dinos for a 82-74 win in Game 3 of the Super Basketball League championship series at the Taipei Physical Education College Gymnasium on Friday night.
The win not only cut the Dinos lead in the best-of-seven series to 2-1, it also handed the two-time defending champs their first-ever championship-round loss after winning back-to-back titles over the last two years in sweeping fashion.
In front of a sellout crowd of over 4,000, the brewers opened the contest with a 17-13 lead over the Dinos in a slow-paced first quarter before they upped the lead by 11 in a dominant second quarter in which they held the Dinos to a record-low of nine points for the quarter to close out the first half leading by 15 (37-22).
After a 19-7 run by the Dinos that got them to within three of Taiwan Beer halfway through the third quarter, the brewers answered with a 17-1 run of their own, highlighted by Lin's three-point play the old fashion way and guard Chen Shih-nian's long range three-pointer, to widen their lead to 20 points (64-44) heading into the fourth quarter.
Trailing by 20, the Dinos erupted for 18 straight points over a three-minute span to start the fourth quarter, behind four three-pointers in a row by Chou Shih-yuan. The Dinos led 68-66 with under four minutes remaining before Lin scored eight of the next 16 points in the eventual win.
The shaky finish by Taiwan Beer was a near replica of Game 1's late-game collapse, where it blew a 10-point, fourth-quarter advantage to lose by two. But unlike Game 1 in which Lint failed to make what would have been two game-tying free throws, a more poised beer crew was able to clinch the victory.
Lin ended the game with a team-high 22 points, followed by Chen's 14 and Shang Wei-fang's 12.
As for the Dinos, Chou's game-high 23 points and center Tseng Wen-ding's 22 were not enough to overcome the 13 turnovers, compared to Taiwan Beer's eight.
Tigers 94, Bank of Taiwan 87
The Dacin Tigers won the consolation round in a clean three-game sweep by beating the Bank of Taiwan 94-87 in the series-clincher on Friday night.
Top scorer and the season MVP-favorite Tien Lei scored 28 points along with 14 rebounds to lead a balanced Tigers attack that placed four different players in double-digit scoring.
The Tigers led by as many as 19 points in the second half of the game before the bankers rallied to fall within six of the Tigers with less than three minutes remaining. But that was as close as they got.
Power forward Chen Hsuen-shiang came off the bench to score 22 points for the bankers.