Dennis Carr’s clutch basket with 28 seconds remaining in the game put the Taiwan Mobile Leopards ahead by four as they went on to defeat Bank of Taiwan 78-70 at the Hsinchu County Sports Complex yesterday afternoon to start the New Year with a big win.
It was the best game the former Taiwan Beer center has played since he arrived in Taiwan earlier this winter, regaining some much needed confidence with his new team after being released by the Brew Crew earlier. He ended up with 19 points and 15 rebounds to pave the winning way for the Leopards in only their second win this season.
“[Carr] did his job and that’s all we can ask of him for now,” a much relieved Taiwan Mobile rookie skipper Chia Fan said after the game.
Chia’s troops had not won since their season-opener against the same Bankers squad two weeks and four losses ago.
Carr will also have a chance to learn the Leopards’ system in the weeks to come.
Also starring for Taiwan Mobile was Chen Jing-huan, who joined the Leopards in the offseason after playing for Kinmen Liquor and their predecessors — dMedia and the ETTV Antelopes in the previous five seasons — to lead all scorers with 23 points on the day.
Chen’s emergence and Carr’s continued development are keys to the Leopards’ success as they look to build on the win in the final week of play before the monthlong Lunar New Year break.
Leopards guard Su Hsiang-yi chipped in 11 points and a game-high nine assists to help in the win.
TAIWAN BEER 90, LUXGENS 83, OT
The defending champs from Taiwan Beer needed overtime to turn back the Yulon Luxgens in a valiant win yesterday evening to move past .500 for the first time this season.
Yang Jing-ming continued his red-hot shooting by downing a game-high 28 points for the Brew Crew. The Amis warrior closed out an outstanding weekend with a total 55 points, 37 of which came during decisive second halves to help his team rack up a pair of impressive wins against worthy opponents — Pure Youth Construction and the Luxgens.
The showdown between the two top teams in the league with respect to total combined titles between them (seven in eight seasons) lived up to its billing with neither team being able to hold leads larger than five points.
Taiwan Beer actually led by three in the closing seconds of regulation time before the Luxgens’ Lu Cheng-rue nailed a long three-pointer to force the game into overtime.
“[The three-pointer] didn’t mean that much since we didn’t win it in the end,” a modest Lu said after the game.
Playing their third game in as many days might have taken its toll as the Luxgens showed an apparent lack of stamina by the time they extended the game into extra time last night.
The 19 turnovers they committed on the night were also six more than what the defending champs had, the most telling statistic of all, Yulon’s rookie head coach Chiou Chi-yi said.
“Any time you give them [Taiwan Beer] that much of an advantage, you are asking for trouble,” Chiou said.
The Luxgens also played without the services of point guard and team leader Chen Chih-chung, who was unavailable because the high school team he coaches were playing a game in Greater Kaohsiung.
PURE YOUTH 72, TIGERS 60
The Pure Youth Construction pulled off the upset of the day with a 12-point win over the previously unbeaten Dacin Tigers in the day’s third game in Hsinchu last night.