Hsu Chih-chiang’s strong drive to the hoop for a score put Bank of Taiwan ahead 72-71 with 10.8 seconds remaining in the game as the Bankers held off the Yulon Luxgens at the Kaohsiung Fengshan Gymnasium last night for their third straight win.
It was the first time in nearly five years that the Bankers have won three in a row, giving them an unprecedented eight victories at the 19-game mark of the 30-game season.
“It was a great weekend for us because we haven’t won three in a row in a long time, but we won’t be satisfied until we make it into the post-season,” said Hsu, the veteran power forward and team captain, reminding his club that there is still a lot of work to be done.
Also starring for the Bankers were hired gun John Vaudreuil of the US and Chen Hsuen-shiang, whose 50 combined points and 23 boards accounted for nearly 70 percent of the team’s total offense.
Carrying their momentum from the night before into yesterday’s contest, the Bankers jumped to a fast start, downing 27 points in the opening quarter to enjoy a 27-14 lead. However, Yulon regained their winning form as defending champions by chipping away at the deficit over the next two quarters, led by point man Chen Chih-chung’s 16 points, to force a 55-55 tie at the end of the third.
However, with the game on the line and Yulon’s big men Jermaine Dailey and Lee Chi-yi both fouled out in the fourth, the Bankers were able take advantage of a weakened Luxgen interior defense to escape with the narrow victory.
Failure to keep the Bankers off the offensive glass on the part of the Luxgens that led to 16 offensive rebounds and numerous second-chance possessions for the Bankers ultimately cost Yulon the game, despite an outstanding 30-point effort by Chen Chih-chung on the night.
TAIWAN BEER 73, LEOPARDS 48
Tempers flared in the match between Taiwan Beer and the Taiwan Mobile Leopards, leading to a pair of player ejections in the early game yesterday afternoon, but that did not stop the top-ranked Brew Crew from notching up their 17th win of the season.
The Leopards managed to hang with the men in the familiar green by holding Taiwan Beer to 13 first-quarter points for a surprising 16-13 lead in the opening period.
That was more than ample to motivate a slow-warming Taiwan Beer squad that held the opposition to just 19 total points in the second and third quarters, while netting 37 points to take a commanding 50-35 lead at the start of the fourth en route to the blowout victory.
TIGERS 103, KINMEN 91
The Dacin Tigers fed off another disappointing outing by Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor by topping the Distillers by 12 points in the final game last night.
The win not only gave the Cats a perfect 2-0 record for the week, but more importantly upped their season record to 11-9, surpassing the Luxgens for the third spot in the standings.