Lin Guan-luen edged past fellow center Reggie Okosa of the Dacin Tigers by a 31-25 margin to win last weekend’s Player of the Week honor in the Super Basketball League.
Members of the Basketball Writers’ Association had a hard time deciding between the two Dacin standouts, who needed a win over the slightly-favored Yulon Luxgens in their regular-season finale last weekend to qualify for the fourth and final playoff berth.
It took Lin’s back-to-back three-pointers in the game-turning third quarter to hand his team the lead for good and get the nod from the members of the press, despite a 27-point, 15-rebound outing by Okosa in the same game.
“Contribution to the team’s victory is what ultimately matters most in the voting,” a member of the Basketball Writers’ Association, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said earlier this week.
Lin’s 25 points on a seven-for-12 shooting effort and a perfect eight-for-eight night from the free-throw line also made a strong case for the Tigers’ scoring threat.
“I am really honored to have won the award for the second time this season, given the level of play has risen over the years,” Lin said upon learning of his selection for the coveted weekly honor.
He also won a big pat on the back from Dacin coach Hsu Chih-chao, who had been under fire for nearly missing the playoffs.
“[Lin’s] role has changed from just a pure scorer to a team leader over the course of the season, his continued success with the return of Tien Lei and Chang Chih-fong will make us tough opponents for any club we face in the playoffs,” Hsu said of his trio of game-breakers.
The Cats are not likely to have it easy this afternoon when they open the post-season with a tough match against top seeds Pure Youth Construction at the University of Taipei Gymnasium in Tianmu.
The two-time defending champions await them with a fully rested and ready-to-rumble lineup and it will likely be an uphill battle for the Cats, despite their slim 3-2 winning record against the Builders in their five regular-season games, as the tension mounts and the expectations heighten.
Following the opening matchup between the Tigers and the Builders is the showdown between second seeds the Taiwan Mobile Cloud Leopards and third seeds Taiwan Beer, which promises to be a nail-biter as the two teams look to win the all-important opener in the best-of-seven series.