Fri, Apr 13, 2007 - Page 23 News List

Delvin Thomas coming on strong

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

ETTV Antelopes power forward Delvin Thomas shows off his tattoo, which spells out his surname in Chinese characters, last Sunday. Thomas is this week's SBL Player of the Week.

PHOTO: LIN CHENG-KUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Delvin Thomas' exceptional play inside the paint last week, netting 20 points, 12.3 rebounds, three blocked shots and two assists per contest over a three-game stretch for the ETTV Antelopes, earned him this week's Super Basketball League Player of the Week honor.

The power forward from the US, whose season did not start off particularly well after a knee injury that sidelined him for six games early in the season, has come on strong of late with a string of solid performances on the court that helped keep his team's playoff hopes alive.

It was Thomas and center Wu Dai-hao' fine play that powered the Antelopes to a 2-1 record last week that kept the fifth-placed Antelopes in contention with the fourth-placed Dacin Tigers for the fourth and final playoff spot with seven games remaining in the regular season.

Thomas, Wu and the rest of the Antelopes will have an excellent chance to win some ground against the Tigers with relatively easy games against the Azio Eagles and Bank of Taiwan, whose combined record of 8-38 should give the Antelopes' confidence a big boost heading into this weekend.

Tonight's Games

Scheduled for tonight will be the must-see showdown between the Tigers and the Videoland Hunters at the Taipei County Stadium in Sinjhuang, where two high-octane offenses with a three-point attack could run up the score in a hurry.

Both squads badly need the win, because a loss at this junction could mean the difference between being a third-seed and the fourth-seed in the postseason.

A win tonight would give the second-placed Hunters a full game lead over the third-placed Taiwan Beer, who will be rooting for the Tigers because a loss by the Hunters would automatically put Taiwan Beer in a second-place tie.

As for the Tigers, a win tonight will not only give them a two-and-a-half-game lead over the Antelopes in terms of securing the final playoff spot, but would also cut the third-placed Taiwan Beer's lead over them to just two games, meaning that they could potentially end up with a third-seed instead of the fourth-seed in the playoffs.

This will be an extremely physical game as the Hunters look to control the glass on both ends of the floor with top rebounder Jonathan Sanders leading the league with nearly 16 boards per game.

Unless the Tigers find a way to double-team the all-purpose US forward, he should have another big game tonight because he is too quick for the Tigers' Lee Fong-yong and too strong for Tien Lei and Chen Tzu-wei to outmuscle.

Also scheduled for tonight will be the game between Taiwan Beer and Bank of Taiwan in what should be an easy win for the beer crew, as the bankers come into the match with an 11-game losing streak.

This will be an excellent opportunity for Taiwan Beer coach Yen Jia-hua to play his reserves as the starters take some much needed rest in preparation for tomorrow's big game against the Hunters.

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