Second-week action continued in the SBL at the Miaoli County Sports Complex with the Dacin Tigers topping the Yulon Luxgens in a 79-75 final yesterday afternoon.
The win not only upped the Tigers’ record to a league-best 3-0, but also set them apart from the rest as they took on the distinction as the team to beat early in the season.
The battle between the two previously unbeaten squads lived up to its billing with the four-time champs from Yulon pouring in 26 points in the opening quarter. The Tigers then replied with a solid second that included a five-point swing after the Luxgens’ Kevin Johnson Jr was hit with a technical foul on top of a shooting foul against the Tigers’ Chen Tzu-wei, which brought the Tigers within two of the Luxgens.
That was the momentum-turner for the Tigers as they opened the second half with a strong run to take the lead and hold off a Yulon rally to win it in the end.
Chang “Mr Hustle” Chih-fong shook off a bout of the flu to score a game-high 18 points and lead a Dacin five-some of double-figure scorers, while Chen knocked down 11 in the second quarter on a 17-point effort to provide his team with the necessary boost to turn the game around.
The Luxgens had several opportunities to win the game with a balanced attack that placed five different players in double-digit scoring. However, their horrendous 15 for 27 shooting from the free-throw line proved costly for the four-time champs as they fell to their first defeat of the season.
“We really beat ourselves today with our poor free-throw shooting. All we needed was five more free throws and we could have won it,” rookie Yulon skipper Chiou Chi-ti said after the game.
KINMEN LIQUOR 56, TAIWAN BEER 55
Antoine Broxsie’s free throw with three seconds remaining in the game broke a 55-55 tie as Kinmen Liquor went on to defeat defending champs Taiwan Beer in the second game last night for their second win in three games.
The hired gun out of the Oklahoma State University, who played professional ball in Central and South America prior to joining the Distillers, made the team that released him during the off-season tryout pay as he calmly sank the go-ahead free throw to help Kinmen win.
“It’s all part of the game. You come in and try the best you can. I can understand [Taiwan Beer’s] position and I hold no grudges against them,” Broxsie said after the game when asked about beating the team that cut him before the season began.
His late-game heroics helped avoid what would have been a tremendous letdown for the Distillers as they surrendered a 10-point lead at the half by allowing the Brew Crew to go on a 10-0 run early in the third quarter to even things up.
Taiwan Beer tied the game again in the fourth and actually went ahead 55-53 on the strength of a big three-pointer by Wu Yong-ren with less than two minutes to play, only to see Broxsie answer with a game-tying basket to set up his game-winner.
Inability to play up to their potential in the first quarter continued to haunt the Brew Crew, who were held to nine points in the first quarter.
PURE YOUTH 77, BANK OF TAIWAN 63
Winless Pure Youth Constructions finally broke into the winners column with a convincing victory over Bank of Taiwan last night to salvage some hope in the still-young season.
Lin Tsong-ching’s nine-point scoring spree on a 25-point night sparked a 22-10 run in favor of the Builders in the second quarter that proved to be the difference in the game.