Last weekend’s SBL Player of the Week nomination went to the Yulon Luxgens’ big man Herve Lamizana, who beat out Pure Youth Construction’s Quincy Davis by a slim 36-31 margin to take home the coveted honor.
The Ivory Coast native, who starred at Rutgers University in the US before venturing on to Europe and China in a successful professional career, has made his presence felt with the Luxgens, as the automakers have gone 6-3 since his arrival in the middle of last month after a team-worst 7-9 start in the first half of the season.
His quick first step and tremendous field of vision have turned a Yulon squad that seemed lost at times into a postseason-contender.
‘NOT BEST YET’
“I don’t think [Lamizana] is even at his best yet, as the injury that he sustained in his second game is still bothering him somewhat,” a very pleased Yulon skipper Lin Cheng-ming said earlier this week after learning of his player’s second selection to the weekly honor in four weeks — the only two-time winner of the weekly award so far this season.
“[Lin] is spot-on in his observation; I am still not at 100 percent as the injury from back in January is still bothering me,” Lamizana said in a recent interview.
His 25.7 points and 11 rebounds per game average during the Luxgens’ last three games has all but solidified a postseason appearance, as they boast a four-game lead in the standings over the fifth-placed Bank of Taiwan with five games remaining in the regular season.
“Once [Lamizana] is fully fit, he will be creating even more problems for the opposition, because they will be forced to double-team him in order to contain him,” Lin said excitedly, with the Luxgens striving for the second or third seeding in postseason play in order to avoid a first-round confrontation with the top-ranked Pure Youth.
Lin and his team will have the next three weeks off for a Lunar New Year holiday break.
NEXT GAMETheir next game is scheduled for Feb. 23 at the Sinjhuang Sports Complex in New Taipei City against Pure Youth. It will be a big test for the automakers to see if they are ready for the postseason.
Lunar New Year break
The league is observing a three-week break during the Lunar New Year holiday before play resumes on Feb. 22 in New Taipei City.
With each team having about five games remaining on their regular season schedule and 1.5 games separating the second through fourth-placed teams, it will be a wild finish all the way to the final day of play.