The Taiwan Mobile Cloud Leopards fell short by 10 to the Golden Bulls of China’s Zhejiang Chouzhou, dropping an 87-77 decision in the last day of play of this year’s Taiwan Strait Cup at the Sinjhuang Sports Complex in New Taipei City last night to end with a 1-2 record and third place.
Fresh off a big win over Pure Youth Construction the night before to break into the win column, the Cats expected to put up a good fight against the Golden Bulls heading into the battle.
However, a dismal start that saw the visitors opened the contest with a 24-12 lead after one quarter of play quickly changed that line of thought.
Even though the Leopards chipped away at the deficit in an improved second quarter — with Kwame Alexander leading the way — and actually tied the game in the third quarter with several big three-pointers, it did not affect the outcome of the match as the Chinese team showed off their bench depth and better conditioning with a superior fourth quarter to run away with the victory.
Four players scored in double digits for the Golden Bulls, led by Jiang Kai and Wu Chien’s 21 and 20 points respectively, while Alexander’s solid 27-point outing with 13 boards for the Leopards topped all scorers.
PURE YOUTH 74, GOLDEN LIONS 58
Pure Youth Construction avoided being swept in the tournament by topping the Tianjin Ronggang Golden Lions in a 74-58 score in the final game of the three-day competition last night to settle with a 1-2 mark.
Having already claimed the title with a pair of impressive wins earlier, the Lions opened the contest with a rather lethargic start as they trailed the Builders 24-12 after one quarter of play.
Trouble continued for the visitors as they were held to seven meager points in the second quarter, with the Builders dominating on both ends of the floor.
Even though the Lions would play up to their potential with a strong third that saw them outscore the Builders 23-12, it did not stop the three-time defending champs of the SBL from wrapping up the win in a 24-point fourth quarter.
Leading the way for the victorious Builders was newcomer Justin Manns, who racked up 19 points in another solid performance to help his team in a must-win game.
Also starring was Tsai Wen-cheng, who netted 16 with eight rebounds to bounce back from a subpar effort in Saturday night’s loss to the Leopards.
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