Behind a strong effort in the second half, Kinmen Kaoliang rallied from as many as 15 points down in the second quarter to top the Dacin Tigers 75-72 at the Hsinchu Municipal Gymnasium last night, launching the weekend’s play in the Windy City in dramatic fashion.
Hsu “The Fool” Hao-cheng’s clutch three-pointer with three seconds remaining in the game broke a 72-72 tie to give the Distillers the lead for good after the teams traded leads no bigger than three points over the final five minutes of play.
The victory not only upped Kinmen Kaoliang’s winning streak to a season-high three, but also propelled them past the Tigers in the standings as they took fifth spot for the first time this season after spending most of the first three weeks in the cellar.
Fresh off back-to-back losses in Miaoli last weekend, the Cats came out firing, with new signing Michael Fey downing eight of his team’s 17 first-quarter points to claim a 17-15 advantage.
Dacin would extend their lead to as many as 15 points early in the second quarter with a 15-2 run, highlighted by a pair of three-pointers by Tien Lei, before Kinmen rolled off a 6-2 run of their own late in the second to settle for a 38-27 deficit at halftime.
A full-court press defense implemented by Kinmen that forced seven turnovers by the Tigers, coupled with solid 10-for-23 shooting from the field, helped the Distillers erase most of the deficit in the third quarter.
However, the Tigers managed to retain the lead for more than four minutes of the fourth quarter, with Tien and Chang Chih-fong converting on big shots, before a crucial 7-0 run by the Distillers, led by three thunderous slam dunks by Aaron Pettway, gave the underdogs their first lead of the second half at 57-56.
That was the spark that Kinmen needed as the teams traded small leads the rest of the way, before Hsu’s game-winning three-pointer sealed it.
Yesterday’s other result:
‧ Taiwan Beer 73, Leopards 67