Cheng Ren-wei’s misfire on an uncontested shot that would have tied the game with 2.2 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter kept Taiwan Beer from forcing overtime as they lost by two points to the Taiwan Mobile Leopards in an 81-79 final at the Kaohsiung Arena yesterday afternoon.
The loss not only started off the defending champs’ weekend on a down note, it also dropped them to an even 3-3, just one game after fighting hard to attain a winning record last Sunday.
What should have been a relatively easy win for the Brew Crew turned into a dog fight. After Taiwan Beer opened with a big first quarter, the Leopards overcame an eight-point deficit with a brilliant second quarter, highlighted by Lin Chih-long’s buzzer-beating three-pointer to bring his team to within one point of Taiwan Beer.
That was the momentum-turner for the Leopards as they edged ahead in the third quarter with eight points from Chen Jing-huan and a half-dozen from newly acquired Dennis Carr, playing against his former team, to plant the winning seed.
“It was great to be able to beat [Taiwan Beer], there is nothing like winning against the team that let you go,” Carr said after the game.
Carr’s arrival has helped the Leopards win two straight and has also put a big smile on head coach Chia Fan’s face.
Failure to convert several easy shots, the last of which proved fatal, ultimately cost Taiwan Beer the game as they missed a golden opportunity to make up some ground in the standings, settling at .500 instead of improving to a 4-2 record that would have moved them up a spot in the standings.
PURE YOUTH 86, KINMEN LIQUOR 75
Pure Youth Construction made it two victories in as many days following Friday night’s big win over the Yulon Luxgens, with a convincing triumph over Kinmen Liquor early last night to improve to 5-3 for the season.
It was a nice change for the Builders, especially after their disappointing 0-2 start in the opening week of play, as the team demonstrated tremendous tenacity and a will to win during the past two weeks.
Leading the way was veteran forward Chen “Airman” Hsin-an, who finally played up to his potential, with 18 points and a game-high four assists. Also starring for the Builders was hired gun Quincy Davis III, who converted 10 for 14 from the field and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds for his team to outshine his counterpart Tim Parham of Kinmen Liquor, who landed in Taiwan on Friday.
“[Parham] did quite well considering the fact that he is still new to our system,” a very pleased Kinmen Liquor head coach Hsu Chih-chao said after the game.
Parham managed to put up 17 points with 10 rebounds in his Taiwan debut.
A sub-par second quarter by Pure Youth, which resulted in only nine points for the entire quarter, actually gave the Distillers a slim 33-32 lead at the half.
However, the Airman and company regrouped to pour in 54 points in a fast-paced second half to run away with a double-digit win.
TIGERS 80, LUX
The Dacin Tigers needed a strong effort late in the fourth quarter to defeat a resilient Yulon squad in the nightcap in Kaohsiung yesterday.
Kaohsiung native Tien Lei greeted the home crowd with a game-high 21 points to lead the Tigers in scoring.