Yang “Amis Warrior” Jing-min netted a game-high 23 points and Lai Guo-wei added another dozen in his best effort of the season as Taiwan Beer roughed up Pure Youth Construction in a 79-75 final at the Sinjhuang Sports Complex in New Taipei City yesterday afternoon to win their third straight.
The victory not only secured a third-seed berth in the postseason for the Brew Crew, it also put them in great position to earn the second-seed spot should they win one of their two remaining games of the regular season games.
“This was a big win for us, especially with the postseason berth on the line,” Taiwan Beer skipper Yen Jia-hua said after the game.
He knew that a win against the league’s top-ranked squad could do a lot to provide his troops with a mental boost.
With the Amis Warrior peaking at the right time, Yen might just have what it takes to challenge the Builders for the title as he looks to Yang to work alongside hired gun Kibwe Trim, last week’s Player of the Week.
Taiwan Beer made the most of the absence of the Builders’ Quincy Davis, who suffered an injured right index finger last week, by clogging up the middle where Yang did most of his damage.
That was enough to help put Taiwan Beer ahead 50-41 at the half before they widened the lead to as large as 20 points in the third.
Even though Pure Youth rallied in the fourth against the Taiwan Beer bench to make the final score somewhat respectable, the outcome of the game was never in doubt as the defending champs were in control virtually throughout game.
LEOPARDS 88, LUXGENS 56
The Taiwan Mobile Cloud Leopards nipped a six-game slide by topping a shorthanded Yulon Luxgens club in the first game in Sinjhuang early yesterday afternoon.
With injuries and suspensions sidelining four of his regular starters, Luxgens head coach Chiou Chi-yi only had regular starter Kevin Johnson at his disposal to take on a very desperate Leopards pack who were willing to do anything to end their dreadful slump.
The Leopards opened with a high-scoring first quarter in which they led 24-11 and never looked back en route to the rout.
“We knew things might get ugly with most of our guys on the sideline and that’s all part of the game,” Chiou said after the game.
The only positive thing about the loss for Yulon was that it had no bearing on their playoff aspirations as they had already booked a spot in the postseason.
BANK OF TAIWAN 79, TIGERS 60
Bank of Taiwan pulled off the upset of the day by shocking the Dacin Tigers to triumph in the nightcap in Sinjhuang.
The Bankers’ Hsu Chih-chiang led all scorers with 24 points on 9-of-18 from the field, as well as hitting all six of his free-throw attempts.