Elite Talent Exchange of the US outshot Pure Youth Construction by a dozen in a 94-82 contest at the Hualien County Sports Complex last night to win the title in this year’s Hualien Probation Cup Basketball Tournament.
With several Taiwanese teams still showing interest in hiring foreign players for the upcoming season of the Super Basketball League (SBL), the tournament has quietly turned into a skills-assessment showcase in which the Americans look to dazzle the local teams for a chance to gain future employment in Taiwan.
Most notable among the US players in this year’s competition was Taylor King of Huntington Beach, California, whose 25 points and 10 rebounds average over the four preliminary games earned him more than a few inquiries from the local clubs, who wish to take a closer look at him. King was among the six US players who scored in the double-digits en route to a big win over the defending champs of the SBL.
“We could have made the game even closer if our players had more confidence playing against an American team. There seemed to be a psychological barrier among the Taiwanese players when playing against the Americans,” Pure Youth skipper Hsu Jin-tseh said after the game.
What was more disappointing than the loss, for Hsu, was the loss to injury of his longtime sixth-man Lin Jin-bang, who was carried off the court after suffering a twisted ankle.
No official diagnosis has been made, but Lin may not be ready for the regular season which is scheduled to start in less than two weeks.
Tigers 79, Leopards 83
Despite overcoming a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to force a tie late in the game, the Dacin Tigers in the end proved no match for the Taiwan Mobile Leopards by dropping to an 83-79 decision to the Leopards in the battle for the third-place finish, to settle with a fourth-place finish in this year’s competition.
Former Tigers standout Noel Felix found himself in a Leopards uniform while playing against his teammates from last season. He was signed by the Leopards during the offseason in an all-out effort by Taiwan Mobile to boost their roster.
In other play, it was:
‧ Luxgens 101, Bank of Taiwan
96 — Battle for 5th place
‧ Taiwan Beer 90, Kinmen
Liquor 73 — Battle for 7th place