Pure Youth Construction rolled off a 13-0 run in the final 3.5 minutes of play to defeat the Taiwan Mobile Cloud Leopards 78-64 in Game two of the Championship Finals at the Kaohsiung Arena last night to claim a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Tsai Wen-cheng was the man of the hour for the second straight game as he came up big with several crucial plays, including a pair of clutch baskets that sparked the Builders’ late-game run and lifted his team past a diehard Taiwan Mobile squad, who rallied from as many as 15 points down in the third to within a point of the two-time defending champs.
There were less than four minutes remaining in the fourth at that stage, but Taiwan Mobile faltered in the end.
Even though his 15 points were not a team-high, one shy of Quincy Davis’ 16, Tsai’s game-high 15 rebounds, including four off the offensive glass, clearly gave him the edge as the game’s most valuable player.
Five quick points by Chien Chia-hung helped the Builders jump to a fast start — they led the Leopards 26-16 after one quarter of play.
Even though Taiwan Mobile scored 19 in the second quarter, highlighted by Lin Chih-long’s buzzer-beating three from near midcourt, the Builders lead remained at 10 at the half.
Pure Youth upped their lead to 15 midway through the third, before a 6-0 run by the Leopards reduced the cushion to less than 10 heading into the fourth.
A 12-6 run in favor of the Leopards eventually brought them to within a point of the Builders 3 minutes, 35 seconds into the quarter, but that was as close as they got as the victors came up big on defense with several turnovers that led to three fast-break baskets to seal the deal.
The two teams have a day off today before Game three in Greater Kaohsiung tomorrow evening, with tip-off set for 7pm.