Landing two of the four individual honors in the skill-related competitions, the Dacin Tigers’ backcourt tandem Lai Bo-lin and Hsu Cheng-yo made their team proud by claiming the Skills Challenge and the Three-Point Shootout respectively, on Day 1 of the Super Basketball League’s (SBL) annual All-Star weekend at the Sinjhuang Sports Complex in New Taipei City last night.
Despite the Tigers’ disappointing 9-13 mark more than two-thirds of the way into the regular season, the night belonged to them as Lai ousted several top ball-handlers to run away with the title in a competition that showcased players’ composite ability in dribbling, passing and three-point shooting.
Not to be outdone by Lai, Hsu came out of nowhere as the alternate for fellow teammate Lin Guan-luen (out with a foot injury) in the Three-point Shootout by knocking down 14 of 20 threes, including all four of the money balls (worth two points each), for 18 points to take home the coveted long-bomb title.
“I wanted to use the opportunity to show the fans what I am capable of and I am glad the shots fell in for me,” Hsu said.
Hsu earned his award after topping the defending champ Wang Nan-kwei of Kinmen Liquor and two-time champ Wu Yong-ren of the Taiwan Mobile Cloud Leopards to win the Three-Point Shootout fair and square.
In the newly instigated Scoring Spree Challenge, in which five members of the 3,000-point scoring club took part, it was the Yulon Luxgens’ Chou Shih-yuan who came out ahead by nailing a midcourt shot on the second attempt to take the top honor in less than 41 seconds.
Taking the highly anticipated Slam Dunk Contest that emphasized a team effort, Kinmen Liquor’s Aaron Pettway brought the crowd to their feet by successfully slamming down a high pass from fellow guard Kuo Hsao-chieh at the baseline, while performing a 180-degree turn in the air, to earn a perfect 50 score that humbled the rest of contestants.
In the Battle between the Rising Stars and the College All-Stars, it was the Rising Stars who had the last laugh as they roughed up the opposition in a 54-53 final to cap off the first day of the two-day weekend in New Taipei City.