Newcomer Herve Lamizana easily won the Player of the Week honor last week, for the immediate impact that he brought to the Yulon Luxgens in the two games the four-time champs played.
The members of the Basketball Writers’ Association were unanimous in their selection as the speedy forward out of the Ivory Coast, who starred for Rutgers University in the US before taking on a professional career in various parts of the world, brought stability to a seemingly lost Yulon lineup that had already used three foreign players who produced disappointing performances.
His 24 points, 10 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.5 steals and four blocked shots per game average in the Luxgens’ two games does not even begin to describe the impact that he has provided.
“What’s so unusual about [Lamizana] is that he doesn’t try to do too much by himself,” Yulon head coach Lin Cheng-ming said after learning of his star player’s selection to the weekly honor.
“[Lamizana] brings a lot of experience to our younger players, which has helped us regain a lot of confidence and achieved some needed stability,” Lin added.
Prior to joining the Luxgens, Lamizana had played several years in China’s Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), making the adjustment to playing in Taiwan much easier than other hired guns.
“I am really impressed with the fast pace of play in the league and the accuracy of the shooters around,” Lamizana said.
“I am here not only to help my team get into the post-season, but to win the title,” Lamizana added.
He will have a chance to lead the Luxgens to their first four-game win streak this weekend with a pair of tough matches against formidable opponents, starting with tomorrow’s contest versus Taiwan Beer before Sunday’s prime-time showdown against the Dacin Tigers.
PLAYER OF THE MONTH
Lamizana was not the lone individual being honored this week, as the league also announced Quincy Davis’ selection as Player of the Month.
The Pure Youth Construction center, who averaged nearly 20 points and 13.1 rebounds per game in the 15 games played thus far, has been nothing but spectacular for the defending champs as he adds to his already impressive list of accomplishments that include last season’s Most Valuable Player and this year’s All-Star Game MVP.
His outstanding and consistent play has led to talk about him potentially applying to become a naturalized Taiwanese citizen, in order to represent Taiwan in international competitions, like many US-born players have done for countries such as the Philippines, Japan, and Qatar.
“[Becoming a naturalized citizen] has been mentioned to me and I think it may be something for me to consider, but I’d rather focus on the SBL season for now and worry about that after the season,” Davis said.
The games move from New Taipei City to Miaoli this weekend, with three days of non-stop action at the Miaoli County Sports Complex. The action starts with tonight’s confrontation between Kinmen Liquor and the Taiwan Mobile Cloud Leopards, followed by a match between the Dacin Tigers and Bank of Taiwan.