Kinmen Liquor pulled off the upset of the season thus far by topping the Dacin Tigers in a 72-71 thriller at the Kaohsiung Fengshan Gymnasium last night to start the weekend of play in southern Taiwan in grand fashion.
Trailing by as many as 13 points with less than five minutes remaining in the game, the Distillers rolled off a 17-3 run, highlighted by a clutch three-pointer by Chen Ching-huan that broke a 69-all tie, to chase the favored Cats out of the building.
“We are all aware of what we are capable of doing and tonight was a great example of that,” Chen said after his career-high 30-point effort.
Even though his team remains dead last in the standings at 2-5, both victories were against worthy opponents — the Tigers and the second-placed Taiwan Mobile Cloud Leopards.
Kinmen Liquor opened the contest with an 11-6 lead behind the strong play of hired gun Aaron Pettway.
However, the Cats returned the favor with an 8-0 run of their own to take a 14-11 lead before settling for a 20-all tie after a quarter of play.
Poor shot selection on the part of Kinmen Liquor led to dismal three-for-17 shooting from the field that gave Dacin a 37-29 advantage at the half, a lead they would increase to as many as 13 midway through the fourth.
The Distillers’ pressure defense caused the Tigers to turn the ball over several times in the final minutes to spark the game-turning 17-3 run.
Failure to hit their free throws proved costly for the Tigers, as they converted a season-low seven-for-17 from the charity stripe.
LEOPARDS 74, LUXGENS 54
The Taiwan Mobile Cloud Leopards easily handled the Yulon Luxgens with a brilliant second half to run away with a 74-54 win in the second game in Kaohsiung last night.