Lu Cheng-rue was named the Player of the Week in the Super Basketball League earlier this week for his outstanding performances in leading the Yulon Luxgens to a pair of wins in Taichung last weekend that kept the Automakers’ hopes for the post-season alive.
The small forward, who goes by the nickname of “Male Model” for his stunning looks, has been more than a pretty face in the recent contests for the four-time champs, as he converted nearly 40 percent of 47 three-point attempts in the past two weeks to provide a steady scoring support from the perimeters that often caused problems for the opposing defenses.
His 19 points per game average was especially instrumental in lifting Yulon past their opponents for a pair of potentially season-saving victories.
“To win [the Player of the Week award] this late into the season isn’t necessarily a good thing, because that means you haven’t been as good as you could earlier,” a playful Lu joked upon learning of his selection to the weekly award.
“But in all seriousness, I am very happy to have helped my team win,” he added.
Having been through a midseason shooting slump, the “Male Model” is no stranger to adversity and criticism.
However, his timely surge could mean the difference for the Automakers between playing in the postseason or packing up their bags and going home following the final week of regular season play this weekend.
Yulon must win their game against the Dacin Tigers tonight in order to grab the fourth and final berth for the playoffs, which is scheduled to begin in a week.
“It’s simple; a win and we get in [the playoffs], and a loss will be the end of this season,” Yulon skipper Lin Cheng-ming said of this evening’s showdown against their archrivals.
Other than a great effort from Lu, Lin will need some solid offensive showing from big man Solomon Alabi inside the paint and an outstanding night from his other main perimeter threat, Chou Shih-yuan, to get the job done properly.
TONIGHT’S OTHER GAME
Today’s other match is to feature the playoff-bound Brew Crew from Taiwan Beer and last-place Bank of Taiwan, who would love to end an otherwise disappointing season on a high note with an upset win over the men in the familiar green uniform.
Taiwan Beer head coach Yen Chia-hua will likely play his reserves to help his club take an early lead, in order to save their strength for their regular-season finale against the top-ranked Pure Youth Construction tomorrow afternoon.