The Yulon Luxgens made it two wins in a row by topping Kinmen Liquor in an 81-67 final at the Miaoli County Sports Complex yesterday afternoon to close out the first weekend of play with a perfect 2-0 record.
Red-hot newcomer Kevin Johnson Jr continued his dominance inside the paint by downing a game-high 28 points with 22 rebounds in his second straight double-double outing to lead the Luxgens, making the departure of All-Star center Tseng Wen-ding and point guard Lee Hsueh-lin to China’s CBA much easier to take for rookie skipper Chiou Chi-yi.
After an evenly fought first quarter that ended in an 18-all tie, the Luxgens managed to edge ahead in the second quarter, with Lee Chih-yi netting nine of his team’s 19 to take a 37-33 lead at the halftime intermission. However, the Distillers fought back in the third with Hong Chi-chao returning the favor by accounting for nine of his team’s 21 in the quarter to fall within two at the start of the fourth.
Photo: Liao Yau-tung, Taipei Times
That was when the Luxgens decided to take their play up a notch as they outscored Kinmen 25-13 in the final quarter to run away with the victory.
The Distillers’ failure to keep the Luxgens off the offensive glass in the decisive fourth was the difference in the game as they allowed 10 offensive rebounds to Yulon to waste an otherwise solid effort over the first three quarters of play.
The highly anticipated professional debut for Kinmen Liquor rookie forward Liu Cheng also did not live up to its hype, as Liu came up empty on both of his three-point attempts and failed to convert on any of his four free throws, ending the day with six points.
BANK OF TAIWAN 62
Overcoming a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter, the Taiwan Mobile Leopards rallied from behind to defeat the Bank of Taiwan in the early game in Miaoli yesterday afternoon.
The win was rookie head coach Chia Fan’s first, thanks to an outstanding fourth quarter by forward Deng An-cheng, who scored five of the Leopards’ final seven points, including a game-tying three and a pair of go-ahead free throws with less than a minute to play to lift his team past the Bankers.
TIGERS 86, PURE YOUTH 77
The Pure Youth Construction proved no match for the Dacin Tigers as they lost to the Big Cats last night for their second straight loss in the opening weekend.
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Coming from the business world, New York Liberty owner Joe Tsai (蔡崇信) did not understand why his WNBA franchise did not have a chief executive officer similar to the team’s NBA counterpart the Brooklyn Nets, which Tsai also owns. For Tsai, it was about equality, so he did something about it. The 56-year-old Taipei-born billionaire businessman and philanthropist promoted Keia Clarke to the position last week — making her the first chief executive officer in the team’s history. The WNBA veteran became the third black woman to currently be in charge of a franchise in the league, joining Los Angeles Sparks president
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
MONEY MATTERS: While COVID-19 played a major role in the decision, the CTBA also found it hard to secure sponsorship, and ticket sales would have been affected The Yonex Taipei Open badminton tournament has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a funding shortfall, the CTBA said yesterday. This was the first time that the tournament, a Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour Super 300-level competition, has been canceled since it began in 1980. The Taipei Open has been held annually since 1980. The tournament was to be played at the Taipei Arena from Sept. 1 to Sept. 6, with total prize money of US$500,000. The CTBA said that it was deeply concerned about whether the Taipei Open would proceed as scheduled after the BWF announced changes