Converting more than half of their three-point attempts, Bank of Taiwan took advantage of a lethargic Taiwan Mobile Cloud Leopard defense to run away with a 76-71 win at the Sinjhuang Sports Complex in New Taipei City yesterday afternoon.
Chen Hsuan-shiang’s deadly 5-for-5 shooting from behind the three-point arc led a long-range attack that shot 10-for-19 in the game, humiliating a Leopard defense that had dropped four straight and were desperately looking to end the losing skid against the last-placed Bankers.
“We did not communicate on defense as well as we would’ve liked, that really hurt us today,” a very disgruntled Leopard head coach Chia Fan said after the game.
His club was mathematically eliminated from the playoffs for the fifth straight season following the defeat against the Bankers.
Eleven first-quarter points by Chuang Hsiao-wen got the Bankers off to a fast start as they outscored the favored Leopards by one (22-21) after 10 minutes of play.
After an evenly fought second quarter that saw the Bankers hold a slim three-point lead at the half, the momentum of the game quickly swung their way as they opened the second half, with Chen knocking down three threes in a 24-point period to claim a double-digit advantage.
The lead proved sufficient, despite the Leopards managing to pull within one point in the closing seconds of the fourth after a deadly backcourt violation that turned the ball over to the Bankers sealed the deal.
Four different Bankers scored in double-figures, led by team captain Hsu Chih-chiang’s team-best 22, while the Leopards’ lone spotlight was center Ryan Wright’s game-high 23 points. The American import also took down 13 rebounds to lead all players in the statistical category.
KINMEN KAOLIANG 68, TIGERS 59
Kinmen Kaoliang kept their postseason hopes alive with a 68-59 win over the Dacin Tigers in the second game in Sinjhuang late yesterday afternoon.
The Distillers actually squandered a seven-point fourth--quarter lead to allow the Cats back in the game before veteran forward Shang Wei-fan’s tiebreaking three-pointer with less than three minutes remaining in the contest put his team ahead for good.
Also starring for the victorious Kinmen Kaoliang was center Anthony Fuqua, who chipped in a game-high 21 points to help his team avoid what would have been a disheartening loss.
The loss, coupled with a Taiwan Beer win last night, dropped the Tigers out of second place in the standings as they head into the final two weeks of play in a deadlock with the Yulon Luxgens.
TAIWAN BEER 92, LUXGENS 66
Taiwan Beer overwhelmed the shorthanded Yulon Luxgens in a 92-66 final in the weekend finale in Sinjhuang last night to salvage a 2-1 mark over the tough three-game stretch.
Three of Yulon’s regular starters were suspended for the game following a brawl against Kinmen Kaoliang on Saturday.