Saving his best for last, Bank of Taiwan forward Hsu Chih-chiang exploded for a career-high 39 points in the Bankers’ weekend finale against the Yulon Luxgens on Sunday to help him land the coveted Super Basketball League Player of the Week honor.
The Bankers’ team captain, who has been rock solid for skipper Lai Liang-chung in what has been called a “comeback” season after he suffered a season-ending knee injury last year, suddenly switched into a higher gear last weekend by averaging an eye-opening 31 points over a three-game stretch in a late-season surge.
“With Johnny [Vaudreuil] out of our lineup, someone else had to pick up the scoring slack, and I guess that person was me,” Hsu said after learning of his selection for the weekly honor.
He more than filled in for the injured Vaudreuil, guiding the Bankers to their second back-to-back wins of the season.
Even though the Bankers did not have much to play for as far as post-season qualification was concerned, their uncanny desire to win earned respect from around the league.
“We were purely playing for our pride,” Bank of Taiwan head man Lai said earlier this week.
Lai and Hsu will look to close out the season strong with a win in their lone remaining game on Sunday against top-ranked Pure Youth Construction and try to end on a three-game winning streak.
Hsu is expected to attract more attention from the Builders as they look to sharpen up their defense in preparation for the post-season, which will commence at the Sinjhuang Sports Complex in New Taipei City the following weekend.
No games are scheduled for today, as the final weekend of the regular season will begin tomorrow with the Taiwan Mobile Cloud Leopards taking on Kinmen Kaoliang at 4pm and the Dacin Tigers hosting the Luxgens straight afterwards.
Sunday’s schedule will also be slightly different from usual. The afternoon starts at 2pm with the Distillers set to face Taiwan Beer, followed by the Bankers’ contest with the Builders.