Saving his best for last, Taiwan Beer power forward Yang Jing-min averaged 14 points in the fourth quarter of the two games he played over the weekend to take home the Super Basketball League (SBL) Player of the Week honor.
The Amis Tribe warrior, who had toyed with the idea of playing in China’s Chinese Basketball Association during the offseason before deciding to remain in his motherland for at least one more season, took control of both of the Brew Crew’s games last weekend by scoring nearly half their total points in the fourth quarter and overtime to rack up a pair of impressive wins.
“It’s great to be named the Player of the Week, I just tried to do my best for the team in every game,” Yang said earlier this week.
His outstanding contribution is also the main reason the defending champs were able to shake off a 1-2 start with a perfect 2-0 last weekend to improve to 3-2 so far. His recent surge, coupled with the arrival of hired help Emmanuel Jones, has softened the blow of the departure of big man Wu Dai-hao, who left Taiwan in favor of a career in China.
Yang and the rest of the Brew Crew will have their hands full in an action-packed double-header this weekend with the Taiwan Mobile Leopards and Kinmen Liquor, trying to pull off an upset over the defending champs to celebrate the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year, with the contest against the former scheduled for tomorrow and the latter for Sunday at the Kaohsiung Arena.
Kicking off this weekend’s play at the Kaohsiung Arena will be the match between last-placed Bank of Taiwan and the top-ranked Dacin Tigers in a classic David versus Goliath battle. Even though the Bankers pulled off an upset over Kinmen Liquor last week, lightning is not likely to strike twice as the Tigers are simply too strong and disciplined to let this one go, especially after their loss to Pure Youth Construction on Sunday, which cost the Tigers their unbeaten record.
As for Game 2 at 8pm, the Yulon Luxgens will have a chance to take on Pure Youth Construction, who will look to avenge their season-opening loss to the Luxgens.
The matchup between foreign players Kevin Johnson of the Luxgens and Quincy Davis of the Builders will be interesting because Davis, the replacement for the Builders’ original hired gun Terence Dials, who suffered a season-ending injury in their first meeting, was not available at the time.
The Builders will also have to do a much better job shutting down Luxgen three-point threat Lu Cheng-rue, who converted 10 of 16 from behind the three-point line on a 34-point outing in their first meeting.