The top seeds made it look easy on Friday with a pair of blowout wins against weaker opponents in University Basketball Association tournament play at the Fu Jen Catholic University in Sinjhuang.
National Taiwan Normal University took Hsing Wu College for a long ride in a 95-67 game to improve their tournament-leading record to 10-0 (five during the preliminaries and five in the current second round), while Chinese Culture University whipped the National Taiwan University of Arts by an 85-69 margin to extend their unbeaten mark also to 10-0.
The star-filled crew for skipper Shih Ming-tsong of National Taiwan Normal, that includes Super Basketball League stars such as Jien Jia-hong (Pure Youth), Wu Dai-hao (Taiwan Beer) and Cheng Ren-wei (Kinmen Liquor, formerly the dmedia Numen) was a lot more than a short-handed Hsing Wu squad could handle.
National Taiwan Normal took a quick 12-point lead in the opening minutes of the game and never looked back en route to the win. Even though the margin of victory in this game was considerably less than National Taiwan Normal’s usual 40-plus, the win was just as sweet nonetheless.
Prior to National Taiwan Normal’s trouncing of Hsing Wu, Chinese Culture also had it all their own way in their battle with National Taiwan University of Arts. But the victory would come at a hefty price when they lost Wu Jien-long to an ankle injury in the early minutes of the game, an injury that may sideline the anchor of their interior defense for the rest of the tournament.
Wu’s injury, coupled with an overworked Lin Jin-bang, who has averaged more than 35 minutes of playing time per game over the last five games, could mean trouble for Chinese Culture in the upcoming showdown with National Taiwan Normal.
Earlier on Friday, National Taiwan Sports University at Taoyuan pulled off their second upset win of the tournament by cruising past the National Kaohsiung Normal University in a surprising 83-56 rout.
Wu Cheng-sheng leading the way with a game-high 30 points.
In addition to having an offense that was firing on all cylinders, National Taiwan Sports also double-teamed Long Hong-yuan throughout the game to nullify National Kaohsiung Normal’s inside threat to just 11 points in the game.
With the win, the eighth-seeded National Taiwan Sports improved to 2-3 through five games of play.
Last, but no means least, on Friday was Fu Jen Catholic University’s 73-68 win over cross-town rivals Taipei Physical Education College in the first game of the “post-Chou Tsu-hua era” for Fu Jen.
The third-year all-purpose guard who acquired the nickname “Rebel without a Cause” for his hot temper was banned from the team following a flagrant foul in Thursday’s win over National Taiwan Sport to abruptly end what could have been a promising career.