The Hualien Probation Cup Basketball Tournament got off to a great start with Elite Talent Exchange of the US topping Kinmen Liquor in a 99-73 trouncing at the Hualien County Sports Complex yesterday morning.
The five-day competition that features an all-star Junior College team from the US called Elite Talent Exchange and all seven of Taiwan’s Super Basketball League (SBL) teams also serves as an exhibition round of play before the SBL season starts in two weeks.
“This is the 11th year that we’ve held the event, and we are all very proud of the city and county of Hualien for making this event possible,” tournament commissioner Lin Yo-chih said on Monday.
His early autumn basketball tournament has become a big draw for fans around the nation to visit the “back garden of Taiwan” on an annual basis.
On the opening day, all eyes were on Kinmen Liquor’s top draft pick Soong Yu-hsuan, whose professional debut was a big hit as he connected with eight of 14 from the field for a team-high 19 points to give the Distillers fans something to talk about.
Though the outcome did not go in his favor, Soong’s encouraging performance brought a big smile to skipper Luo Tien-jin’s face.
Tigers 96, Taiwan Beer 87
The Dacin Tigers also won their first game in this year’s competition by downing Taiwan Beer thanks to an outstanding effort from team icon Tien Lei and newcomer Daniel Northern, whose 37 combined points and 11 rebounds apiece proved too hot to handle.
Pure Youth 102, Bank of Taiwan 67
Pure Youth Construction took care of business in their opener against Bank of Taiwan as the Builders compiled a convincing victory over the Bankers.