Jermaine Dailey’s strong drive to the hoop for two with one second remaining in overtime broke an 82-82 tie for the Yulon Luxgens and they went on to defeat Pure Youth Construction 84-82 at the Kaohsiung Fengshan Gymnasium last night.
It was the best thing that the hired gun from the US could have done for his team, considering the fact that he had not played particularly well in their previous two contests, which resulted in a pair of losses for the defending champions.
The go-ahead bucket was just what the doctor ordered as the Luxgens maintained their narrow lead over Bank of Taiwan in the standings for the fourth and final post-season qualifying spot.
“Everybody has a role on this team and my role is to rebound and play good defense,” Dailey said.
He did more than rebound and play defensive on a night his team needed a good effort from him.
Dailey’s late-game heroics, coupled with a fine performance from veteran guard Yang Tseh-yi, who accounted for seven of his team’s nine points in overtime, saved what would have been an embarrassing loss for the Luxgens as they squandered leads as large as 13 points in the third quarter to allow the Builders back into the game.
The game was tied with less than a minute left on the clock in overtime when Pure Youth’s James Mao earned a pair of go-ahead free throws, but he missed both to give the ball back to Yulon, setting the stage for Dailey’s game-winner.
LEOPARDS 86, TIGERS 70
With foreign star Marcus Dove out serving a one-game suspension, the Taiwan Mobile Leopards still managed to upset the Dacin Tigers in the first of three matches in Kaohsiung yesterday.
Tiger scoring icon Tien Lei became the first player in the league to surpass the 4,000-point mark after scoring 21 on the night. That earned him a standing ovation from his home crowd and a brief ceremony to honor his tremendous feat.
“I am really glad to have done it [score 4,000 points] and I hope to keep it up,” Tien said after the game. “The credit for three [thousand] of the 4,000 points should go to coach Liu Jia-fa for his selfless teaching and support,” Tien added, attributing his success to the former Dacin coach, now a TV commentator who worked the game from the broadcast booth.
However, it was the Leopards’ Wu Yong-ren (who also attended Kaohsiung’s San Min Senior High School with Tien) who stole the show as he connected on three clutch-threes in the decisive fourth to get the job done.
Sloppy ball-handling that led to 16 turnovers and poor four-for-24 shooting from behind the three-point arc were to blame for the Tigers’ defeat after they managed to hang with the Leopards for three quarters, before faltering in the fourth in a losing effort.
Taiwan Beer 74, Bank of Taiwan 55
Top-ranked Taiwan Beer vented their frustration following a loss on Friday night with a victory over Bank of Taiwan in the late game last night.