Sat, Apr 07, 2012 - Page 20 News List

SBL: Cloud Leopards clunk their way out of playoffs

By Paul Huang  /  Contributing reporter

The Taiwan Mobile Cloud Leopards’ Ryan Wright dunks on the Dacin Tigers’ Tien Lei, center, at the Sinjhuang Sports Complex in Sinjhuang District, New Taipei City, yesterday.

Photo courtesy of Bros Sports Marketing

Overcoming a deficit as large as 10 points in the third quarter, the Dacin Tigers held the Taiwan Mobile Cloud Leopards to only 11 points in the fourth quarter to escape with an 84-72 win at the Sinjhuang Sports Complex in New Taipei City last night.

After trailing for most of the game, the Tigers finally turned the tables against Taiwan Mobile with less than two minutes remaining on the strength of a 14-9 run to claim their first lead since early in the second quarter at 72-70. That was more than the Leopards could handle as Dacin rolled off an 11-0 run by hitting all but one of their final dozen free-throw attempts to seal the deal.

“They didn’t beat us, we beat ourselves,” Leopard head coach Chia Fan said after watching his troops squander a sizable second-half lead with a self-destructing three for 14 at the free-throw line to lose a winnable game.

The Leopards finished the game with a season-low 12 for 31 at the charity stripe.

Taiwan Mobile had the early momentum with hired gun Ryan Wright slamming his way to 17 first-half points, including several thunderous dunks against the Dacin defense, helping his team to a 39-33 lead at the half. However, the sluggish Tigers defense buckled down in the second half by converging on Wright inside the paint, while conceding mid-range jumpers to the Leopards.

The strategy by Tigers skipper Huang Wan-long turned out to be effective, as the Leopards did not hit the outside jumpers with enough consistency to force the Tigers to change their defensive scheme.

That, coupled with the free-throw shooting, proved to be the difference in the game as the Leopards dropped their sixth straight to fall out of contention for the postseason.

KINMEN KAOLIANG 68,

BANK OF TAIWAN 59

Kinmen Kaoliang made it two wins in a row by topping Bank of Taiwan in the second game in Sinjhuang last night to jumpstart the weekend with a splash.

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