Taiwan Beer finished off the weekend strongly with a tremendous 86-83 overtime win over the Dacin Tigers at the Hsinchu County Arena on Sunday, racking up its fourth win in five chances since the Lunar New Year break.
The victory not only put the Beer Crew over the .500 mark for the first time this season (4-3) after a dismal 0-3 start, but also helped them avenge an earlier loss to the Tigers that had many wondering if Taiwan Beer could win a game at all.
Taiwan Beer’s win wasn’t easy as they blew a seven-point lead in the final three minutes of regulation time to trail the Tigers by one and needed an unsportsmanlike conduct call against the Tigers’ Byron Allen with 14 seconds remaining to send the game into extra session before the eventual win.
Leading the way for the Beer Crew with 20 points apiece were Lin “the Beast” Chih-jeh and Yang Jing-min as the pair picked apart the Dacin defense with dazzling drives to the hoop and seven combined threes.
Also starring for Taiwan Beer were reserve center Hsu Cheng-wen, who filled in nicely for a fouled-out Wu Dai-hao, and Ha Hsiao-yuan.
The pair helped deny a late-game push by the Tigers to preserve the win.
As for the ailing Cats, who started the season with a gang-bustering 4-0 record, even another outstanding effort by last month’s MVP Chang Chih-fong — who scored a game-high 35 points — was not enough to deliver what would have been a sweet come-from-behind win.
KINMEN LIQUOR 74, BANKERS 66
Fatigue took its toll on the overworked Taiwan Bank as they dropped a 74-66 decision to Kinmen Liquor in their third straight game in as many days to close out the long weekend with a 0-3 skid.
Scoring early and often, Kinmen Liquor opened the game with an eight-point advantage after the first quarter and upped it to as many as 22 midway through the third before fending off a Bankers’ rally in the final minutes to win it by eight.
Inability to keep up with a spirited Kinmen Liquor on both sides of the ball, Taiwan Beer lost out whether it was going after a loose ball or boxing out opponents in the paint. An obviously frustrated skipper Lai Liang-chung was hit with a technical in the third for charging the scoring table in protest of a no-call by the referee.
LUXGENS 77, LEOPARDS 55
Trouble continued for the Taiwan Mobile Leopards on Sunday as they lost big in a lopsided 77-55 final versus the top-ranked Yulon Luxgens to finish the three-game weekend on back-to-back losses.
The absence of American center Mario Boggan — out serving a four-game suspension — translated into a relentless Yulon attack inside the paint, with all-star center Tseng Wen-ding muscling his way to a game-high 19 points.
When the Leopards defense sagged into a zone to help guard against Tseng, Luxgens point guard Chen Chih-chung nailed six-for-seven threes to make it virtually impossible to shut down the Yulon attack.