Overcoming a six-point deficit early in the fourth quarter, Bank of Taiwan rallied from behind to top the defending champs from Taiwan Beer 90-80 at the Sinjhuang Sports Complex in New Taipei City last night to kickoff the new Lunar Year with a bang.
Chen Hsuen-shiang’s three-point play the old fashioned way with six minutes remaining in the contest capped an 11-3 run that gave the Bankers a 71-69 lead as they went on to defeat the Brew Crew to pick up win No. 2 for the year.
“Everybody thought we didn’t have a chance against [Taiwan Beer], so I told our guys to just come in and prove them all wrong,” Chen said after the game.
His game-high 29 points, 10 of which came during the decisive fourth, did just that as the last-placed Bankers improved to 2-7 for the season with their captain in seemingly top form following a knee injury he suffered in their season-opener in December that sidelined him for more than six weeks.
Also starring for the Bankers were Hsu Chih-chiang and John Vaudreuil, whose 44 combined points gave the Bankers’ frontcourt trio a whopping 73 points.
“We knew [Taiwan Beer] were a little thin in terms of personnel with Lin Chih-jeh and Wu Dai-hao gone, so we wanted to let our big guys do all the work,” Bank of Taiwan skipper Lai Liang-chung said after the game.
His troops fully exploited the Taiwan Beer interior defense, which managed to hang with the Bankers for three quarters even with Lin “The Beast” and Wu now playing in China’s CBA, but finally collapsed in the fourth and ultimately cost them the game.
Poor free-throw shooting on the part of the Brew Crew also kept them from turning the tide against the Bankers as they shot a dismal 13 for 20 from the charity stripe, which made it tough to win.
Even though four different players scored in double digits for Taiwan Beer, led by Amis warrior Yang Jing-min’s team-high 23, the Bankers’ 30-14 scoring run in the fourth proved insurmountable in the end.
In yesterday’s late game, it was:
‧ Tigers 82, Leopards 79