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.
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.