Behind a dominant effort by its iron triad, Tseng Wen-ding, Chen Hsin-an and Chou Shih-yuan, the Yulon Dinos trounced South Korea by a 87-74 margin in the title game on Sunday to win the Hualien Probation Basketball Invitational Tournament.
The South Koreans proved no match for the three-time defending champs of Taiwan's Super Basketball League, as they watched the Dinos being presented with the championship trophy along with NT$200,000 in prize money, while they settled for the second-place finish and a check for NT$150,000 in total winnings.
The showdown between the two undefeated teams from the preliminaries had the Dinos taking a one-point lead after the opening quarter before adding to it in the second quarter to end the first half leading 38-34.
Then came an 11-2 run by the Dinos that boosted their lead to over 10 points early in the third -- a lead they would never relinquish en route to the eventual double-digit victory.
Tseng led all Dinos with 27 points, followed by small forward Chou's 21 and Chen's 20 to account for the bulk of Yulon's offense.
Defensively for the Dinos, inducing South Korea's top scorer Kim Min-soo to foul out of the game midway through the third quarter dealt the South Koreans a devastating blow as they struggled to find a new focal point for their attack in the second half, ending the five-day competition on a bitter loss.
Japan 102, Antelopes 83
The Osaka Evessa of Japan took their frustration over Saturday's narrow loss to the Dinos out on the ETTV Antelopes in the battle for the third-place finish as they pulled away in a dominant second half to claim a 102-83 win and the US$100,000 prize.
Trailing the Antelopes by four (34-30) after a hard-fought first half, the Evessa erupted for 30 third-quarter points on the strength of foreign starters David Palmer, Lynn Washington, Matt Lottich and Jeff Newton for a comfortable 60-45 cushion before ending the game with a loosely played final quarter in which neither club put up much of a fight on defensive.
Tigers 88, Taiwan Beer 84
The Dacin Tigers needed overtime to beat Taiwan Beer 88-84 in the battle for fifth place.
Veteran forward Shang Wei-fang's hard drive to the hoop for two points got the brewers to within two of the Tigers with 30 seconds remaining in the overtime session, but that was as close as Taiwan Beer got.
YMY 83, Hunters 82
Yang Tseh-yi's plead for a foul on his five-foot desperation attempt with time expiring received no attention from the referees as the Videoland Hunters came up a point short against YMY in an 83-82 decision to round out the tournament with an eighth-place finish.