This year’s Taiwan Strait Tournament opened at the Taipei Physical Education College Gymnasium in Tianmu yesterday with the Yulon Luxgens edging the Taiwan Mobile Cloud Leopards in a 71-68 thriller.
Lu Cheng-rue’s three-pointer with 33 seconds remaining turned a one-point deficit into a two-point lead for the Luxgens, as they held off a late-game rally by the Leopards to escape with a narrow victory.
Also starring for the Luxgens were Chou Shih-yuan and Chen Shan-mei, whose 33 combined points accounted for nearly half of the score posted by a Yulon squad whose top priority this season is to revamp an inside attack after the departure of all-star center Tseng Wen-ding to the Chinese Basketball Association.
The Leopards are looking to build on last season’s success with newcomer Luke Nevill from Australia and skipper Cheng Chih-lung said he was relatively pleased with his team’s performance, despite the loss.
“We accomplished our goal for the game, which was to test-run some offensive and defensive schemes with the new guys in the lineup,” Cheng said after the game.
Nevill led all scorers with 21 points and 11 rebounds in a double-double effort for his new team.
NEW CENTURY 85, PURE YOUTH 80
Pure Youth Construction were no match for the visiting Dongguan New Century in their tournament opener, dropping a tight decision to start the exhibition season on a sour note.
Newly acquired three-point threat Chen Tzu-wei made a big splash in his Pure Youth debut by leading the defending Super Basketball League champs with 16 points.