Overcoming a slow first quarter with a solid second, Taiwan Beer humbled Bank of Taiwan in a 62-56 final at the Miaoli County Sports Complex last night to tip off the second week of SBL play with a big win.
Soft-spoken leader of the Brew Crew, Yang Jing-min, let his actions speak for themselves with an explosive 10-point effort in the second quarter to rally the defending champs from a four-point deficit to a 26-19 lead at halftime, a lead they never relinquished en route to their first win of the season.
“[The Bankers] really came out and played hard in the beginning, but we were able to keep our composure and win it in the end,” Yang said after the game.
The win was just what the doctor ordered following their disappointing loss to the Dacin Tigers in the season-opener last week, as they adjust to life without big man Wu Dai-hao whose departure to China’s CBA was clearly felt in the early going.
Newcomer Dennis Carr continued to struggle in a Taiwan Beer uniform despite his highly anticipated arrival as he netted just nine points and seven boards, and more disappointingly converted just three of his dozen shot attempts from the field in a sub-par performance.
As an alternative for Carr, team officials announced the signing of last year’s hired gun Emmanuel Jones, who helped the Brew Crew tremendously in their title run. Jones is expected to take the floor as early as next week since he is already familiar with the team.
As for the Bankers, their failure to play a complete game once again hurt them as they started off with a bang, but went out with a whimper like they have done so many times in the past.
Even though four different players scored in double-digits, led by center John Vaudreuil’s double-double outing (13 points and 14 rebounds), the Bankers were still missing a go-to guy who could take over the game in critical situations.
As for Taiwan Beer, Cheng Ren-wei’s 11 points on the night made him the only other player to score more than 10 points.