Super Basketball League play resumed after three weeks on Friday evening, with Taiwan Beer edging past Bank of Taiwan 89-82 in overtime at the Hsinchu Municipal Gymnasium.
Newcomer Derek Stribling made his presence felt with a game-high 25-points, highlighted by a monstrous slam dunk that sent the entire crowd to its feet, giving the slumping Brew Crew the much-needed offensive boost that it had been looking for following the departure of former team icon Lin “the Beast” Chih-jeh to China’s Chinese Basketball Association.
The American standout also had a key blocked shot against compatriot Jeff Jones of Bank of Taiwan that led to a fast-break opportunity on the other end of the floor in a four-point swing for Taiwan Beer to keep the win intact.
Taiwan Beer held small leads for most of the game until the final five minutes of regulation time, during which the Bankers finally awoke for several clutch baskets that turned the tide briefly before late-game heroics by Stribling forced the contest into overtime.
“They really made us work hard tonight,” Taiwan Beer head coach Yen Jia-hua told reporters after the game.
A loss by his troops would have been a tremendous embarrassment considering the fact that the Bankers were 1-9 heading into the contest — dead last in the league standings.
Forward Chen Hsuen-shiang’s team-high 23 led the Bankers, who had five players that scored in double-digits, compared with four by Taiwan Beer, but it wasn’t enough to help them pull off what would have been the upset of the year.
Tigers 76, Luxgens 66
The red-hot Dacin Tigers became the first team to claim 10 wins this season with a convincing victory over the Yulon Luxgens on Friday night that helped pad the Tigers’ lead over second-place Kinmen Liquor at one-and-a-half games.
Dacin’s strong third quarter, which saw them outscore the Luxgens 26-18, helped give them a double-digit lead as they went on to defeat the three-time champions.
Tigers forward Lin Yi-hui played in his fifth straight game in as many days after playing for National Taiwan Normal University in the annual University Basketball Association tournament earlier this week. That didn’t stop Lin from scoring a game-high 23 with six rebounds and a pair of assists, and it may even have helped.
“It was actually good for me because I am not as rusty as some of the other players,” Lin said after the game.