Play resumed in the Super Basketball League last night at the Taipei Gymnasium after a two-week Lunar New Year break with the Dacin Tigers downing Bank of Taiwan 78-71.
Tien Lei and Alexus Foyle starred in the auspicious victory for skipper Chiou Da-tsong, the former netting 14 points in the first half and the latter following suit in the second half to get the job done.
“Well, we needed to have a good start to carry us into the second half of the season,” Chiou said after the game.
His team are back above the .500 mark (9-7) for the first time in nearly three weeks after suffering back-to-back losses in the two games prior to the Lunar New Year’s break.
The Tigers came out firing with 25 quick points in the first quarter, highlighted by a dozen from Tien, to take a comfortable 25-13 lead through 10 minutes of play.
Bank of Taiwan returned the favor after a sloppy first quarter with a 13-2 run in the second to pull within one only to see the Cats answer late in the quarter to close out the first half with a 39-29 advantage.
The Bankers further reduced the deficit with team captain Chen Hsuen-shiang leading the way in the third quarter that made it a six-point game at the start of the fourth.
That was as close as they got as Foyle poured in a dozen of his 22 points on the night in the final quarter to cut the comeback attempt short in the end.
Tempers flared in the final seconds of the contest as Chen was hit with a technical foul for arguing a no-call by the officials on his three-point attempt that would have cut the Dacin lead to two.
That was enough to seal the victory as Dacin ran out the clock to open the Year of the Rabbit with a bang.
Bank of Taiwan head coach Lai Liang-chung was so upset with the no-call by the officials that he threw the microphone at the postgame press conference in disgust.
His team finished a tad short of their sixth win, a remarkable feat considering the fact that the Bankers had won just four games in the whole of last season.
KINMEN 98 TAIWAN BEER 96
Kinmen Kaoliang also opened the Year of the Rabbit with a thrilling win in the second game last night, edging past top-ranked Taiwan Beer 98-96 in a high-scoring affair.
Shawn “the Hawk” Hawkins scored a personal-best 43 points on the night, including the game-winner in the final minute to give the last-place Kinmen an unbelievable comeback win.