The Taiwan Mobile Cloud Leopards cruised to a 76-64 win at the University of Taipei’s Tianmu Gymnasium last night after holding Bank of Taiwan to 18 points in the first half.
Even though the final score did not reveal the extent of the dominance that the Leopards exerted — skipper Cheng Chih-lung opted to play his reserves for nearly the entire second half after his troops led by as many as 36 points midway through the third — the outcome of the game was determined long before the final buzzer.
“I wanted to rest our starters as much as possible with two more tough battles ahead this weekend,” Cheng said after the game.
He rested Leopard starters Luke Nevill, Ho Sho-cheng, Wu Yung-ren and Chang Rong-hsuan for more than 20 minutes apiece during the game.
Seven first-quarter points by Chang Rong-hsuan got the Leopards on track right away as they opened an early 11-4 advantage through the first five minutes of the game before settling for a 23-12 lead after one quarter of play.
That set up a 13-0 run to the Leopards in the first five minutes of the second quarter, which increased their lead to 24.
The Bankers ended up with just six points in the second quarter to trail the Leopards by 28 at the half with the Leopards defense forcing eight turnovers to blow the game wide open.
The two clubs played in an evenly fought third, with the Leopards playing their bench for the bulk of the quarter.
Even though Bank of Taiwan managed to pour in 30 points in the fourth quarter to make the final score more respectable, the Leopards reserves held their ground long enough to earn themselves some much-needed floor time, while the starters got the rest that should come in handy in their showdown against Taiwan Beer this afternoon.
LUXGENS 77 KINMEN LIQUOR 70
The Yulon Luxgens capitalized on a technical foul by Kinmen Liquor’s Chen Ching-huan with under three minutes left in the game restore a lead of nine points and went on to win in the second game in Tianmu last night.