Pure Youth Construction took advantage of a strong third quarter to break a 37-all tie wide open at the half, overwhelming the Yulon Luxgens in a 77-62 final in Game 5 of the semi-finals at the Sinjhuang Sports Complex in New Taipei City yesterday afternoon.
That was all they needed to clinch the series 4-1 over the four-time champs.
The win not only sent the Builders into the finals for the first time in five seasons after they had failed to advance on all four of their previous attempts, but also earned them some much-needed rest.
Rest is what they need as they wait for the winners from the other semi-final series between Taiwan Beer and the Dacin Tigers to be decided before preparing to win their first-ever league title.
Chen Shih-jeh was virtually unstoppable, scoring 12 of his 22 points in what ended up being a 24-9 run for Pure Youth during the third quarter, to give his team some breathing room as they held off a late-game rally by the diehard Yulon squad to preserve the victory.
“We really wanted to end [the series] today if we could to avoid any problems later on, because [the Luxgens] are known for winning close games down the stretch,” Pure Youth head coach Hsu Jin-tseh said after the game, giving the Luxgens a lot of respect.
The Luxgens found themselves trailing by as many as seven points in the first half, but managed to come back strong to tie the game with a 7-0 run to close out the first half.
That was as close as they got against the top-seeded Builders, as they faltered in the game-deciding third to fall short by 13 in the end.
TIGERS 66, TAIWAN BEER 62
The Dacin Tigers edged past Taiwan Beer 66-62 in Game 5 of their semi-final series in Sinjhuang last night to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series against the defending champs.
Tien Lei played his best game so far in this postseason with a game-high 23 points, including a pair of free throws in the closing seconds to seal the deal for the Cats.