Sun, Jun 03, 2007 - Page 24 News List

Taiwan Beer wins SBL title in thriller

HOIST YOUR GLASS Green streamers flew as the brew crew came all the way back to win a game in which they were down by nine points in the third quarter

By Don Silver  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan Beer players celebrate after a thrilling 69-68 victory against the Dacin Tigers in the championship deciding game of the Super Basketball League last night at the Taipei Physical Education College Gymnasium.

PHOTO: WANG YI-SUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

With his team trailing the Dacin Tigers for most of the game and down by a point with the final seconds of Game 6 of the Super Basketball League Finals ticking off the clock, Taiwan Beer's Chen Shih-nien reached down deep and banked in a last-gasp 3-pointer to give the beermen a thrilling 69-68 victory and the league championship at the Taipei Physical Education College Gymnasium last night.

The first quarter opened with the Tigers controlling the tip, but Taiwan Beer began the scoring with a long 3-pointer.

Dacin drew several quick fouls in the opening minutes of the game, which saw both teams throwing up 3-point attempts and the Tigers scoring on putbacks. A beautiful 3-pointer by Dacin's Chang Chih-feng made it 9-3 in favor of the Tigers with seven minutes remaining in the quarter before Taiwan Beer's Ho Sho-jen answered with a three of his own.

Taiwan Beer then hit two more threes before getting serious about working the ball inside to center Ha Hsia-yuan, who drove hard to the hoop twice for two scores in the paint.

Yet another Dacin 3-pointer ended the scoring in the first quarter with Dacin clinging to a slim 19-18 lead.

The second quarter began with both teams getting tagged with quick fouls. A 3-pointer by Dacin saw the Tigers' advantage grow to 28-18 with 7:30 to go in the quarter. The brew crew finally ended their scoring drought courtesy of a spinning drive and basket by Lin Chi-jay.

A field goal by Taiwan Beer's Ha and and another score in the paint by Lin cut the Dacin advantage to 36-32, but the first half ended with Dacin taking charge once again with a rainbow 3-pointer by Chang Chih-feng and two free throws to go up by a score of 41-32.

Dacin came out firing after the break with a smooth layup by Wang Chih-chun. Ha, however, answered immediately for Taiwan Beer with another three, making him a perfect three-for-three from outside the arc.

Dacin's Wang came right back with a jumper, however, to run the Tigers' advantage back up to nine points.

A 3-pointer by Taiwan Beer's Shan Wei-fang and another strong inside move by Ha cut the Dacin lead to two points before Dacin's Tien Lei answered with two free throws.

The remainder of the third quarter was a classic back-and-forth struggle as the quarter ended with Dacin clinging to a slim 59-57 lead.

The fourth quarter opened just as frenetically as Taiwan Beer's Lin draining a three quarter to give the men in green and white their first lead since early in the game.

Dacin then converted two free throws and a nice underneath basket by Wang Chih-chun to go up by two with five minutes to go in the quarter.

A long three by Shan that rattled around rim before going in then gave the beer men a slim 1-point lead.

With one minute left to go in the game, Dacin forced up an ugly 3-point shot. With 20 seconds left, a Dacin turnover on an inbound pass gave Taiwan Beer the ball, setting the stage for Chen Shih-nien's heroics as he caught a desperation pass, set his feet and somehow banked in the shot that handed his team the championship.

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