Joseph Taylor’s put-back basket off Chang Bo-sheng’s missed free throw attempt with 12 seconds remaining in the game gave Bank of Taiwan an 83-80 lead and Chou Bo-hsun sealed it with a clutch free throw in the closing seconds to lift his team past Kinmen Liquor 84-80 at the Sinjhuang Sport Complex in New Taipei City last night.
The win not only dealt the free-falling Distillers their fifth straight defeat — wasting yet another fine effort by guard Lin Guan-luen, who led all scorers with 26 points — but also further exposed Kinmen Liquor’s inability to protect the ball late in the game. The Distillers committed two back-breaking turnovers in the final 30 seconds to lose what could have been a very “winnable” encounter.
Both offenses came out firing in an unusually high-scoring first quarter with Kinmen Liquor’s Lin Guan-luen downing 10 and Chou netting eight to give the Bankers a narrow 26-25 lead.
However, neither team was able to sustain the high offensive output and mistakes soon caught up with them in a sloppy second quarter that featured 14 combined turnovers to close the first half with Financial Wizards enjoying a 39-37 advantage.
Kinmen Liquor would tie the game at 40-all and eventually lead it by as many as six with Taylor King leading the way before the Bankers fought back with five unanswered points to cut the deficit to one by the end of the third quarter.
After the Distillers put up four straight points to take a 61-56 lead one minute into the fourth, the Bankers rolled off an 8-0 run of their own to claim their first lead in the second half.
The two teams traded leads smaller than five the rest of the way until Taylor’s free throws with 26 seconds remaining in the game made it 79-74 in favor of the Bankers.
King’s long-range three brought Kinmen Liquor to within two of the Bankers with 20 seconds on the clock, but that was as close as the Distillers got as the Bankers held on to win it by four in the end.
In other play yesterday, it was:
‧ Tigers 78, Leopards 67