Showing off a tremendous bench depth of five men, Pure Youth Construction wore down the Dacin Tigers in an 81-71 decision in Game 4 of the Super Basketball League Championship Finals at the Sinjhuang Sports Complex in New Taipei City last night to clinch the holy grail of Taiwanese professional basketball.
Chien Jia-hong and Tsai Wen-cheng came off the Builders’ bench with 16 and 11 points respectively to account for nearly a third of their team’s total offense, helping skipper Hsu Jin-tseh and his troops to land their first-ever league title.
“It’s been a while since I’ve contributed as much as tonight and that’s just awesome,” a much -relieved Chien said after the game.
His timely surge was a main factor in the win because it occupied the Tiger defense enough to free up the inside of the paint for big man Quincy Davis, who racked up 16 points and more importantly 18 rebounds, including eight off the offensive glass, to dominate the Tigers the entire game.
“It was a tough series for us all around, even though we swept the series because [the Tigers] really put up a good fight,” Hsu said after the game, in tears.
The three-time Coach of the Year winner finally won the coveted championship trophy after making it into the post-season and being eliminated in the first round four straight times.
With their backs against the wall, the Tigers came out firing with 21 points in the first quarter, forcing eight turnovers on the part of the Builders to take a 21-15 lead.
However, that lead quickly evaporated against a regrouped Builder crew who answered with a 24-15 run in the second quarter to close out the first half with a 39-36 advantage.
A pair of baskets by Dacin’s Tien Lei gave the Tigers a lead early in the third quarter, before Lin Jin-bang rolled off a half-dozen points in the third to give his team an eight-point cushion heading into the final quarter.
That was the confidence-booster that turned the corner for the Builders as they upped their lead to as many as 11 in the fourth, despite an all-out rally by the Tigers that brought them to within five of Pure Youth with a minute remaining in the game.
Championship Final MVP
A very deserving Chen Shih-jeh was named the MVP for the Championship Final as the speedy guard averaged 15.5 points per game in the Builders’ four wins.