Sat, Sep 20, 2014 - Page 20 News List

Bankers edge Builders in Hualien thriller

By Paul Huang  /  Contributing reporter

Play continued in this year’s Hualien Probation Cup yesterday with Bank of Taiwan rallying to edge Pure Youth Construction in an 85-82 thriller at the Hualien County Sports Complex.

The Bankers took advantage of a shorthanded Builders squad that was missing the services of Quincy Davis, Chen Shih-chieh and Hung Chih-shan to the national team by outscoring their opponents in each of the first three quarters to take a 57-49 lead at the start of the fourth quarter.

However, Pure Youth would not go quietly as they countered with their patented full-court press, causing the Bankers to turn the ball over on several possessions, which led to easy baskets for the Builders at the other end of the floor.

The Builders actually took a brief lead midway through the fourth quarter, before the Bankers finally broke through with some nifty passing down the stretch to reclaim the lead for good.

“Even though [Pure Youth] did not have a full crew on the day, we still tried our best to get the job done, which made me very proud of our guys,” Bankers skipper Hung Chun-cheng said after the game.

His troops finally shook off their usual late-game jitters against heavy pressure to pull off the minor upset that sent them into today’s semi-finals.

Topping all scorers with 29 points on the day was Chang Bo-sheng, while captain Chen Hsuan-hsiang and newcomer James Tyler chipped in 14 points apiece to help the Financial Wizards prevail.

Brex 95, Luxgens 74

Japan’s Link Tochigi Brex also triumphed in their final game of the preliminaries yesterday afternoon by downing the Yulon Luxgens in a 95-74 blowout to reach the semi-finals this afternoon.

The visitors opened the contest with a 27-point first quarter thanks to hired guns Kyle Barone and Ryan Rossiter, who dominated the inside of the paint with eight points each to humble the Yulon interior defense.

The front-court tandem for the Japanese side, who were the players of the year in the conferences of their respective colleges in the US, demonstrated the gap between the type of foreign talent that Japanese sides can attract compared with that of Taiwanese sides.

After being outscored 28-19 in the first quarter, the Luxgens showed signs of improvement by going toe-to-toe with the Japanese side in the second quarter to keep the deficit at fewer than 10 at halfway (51-42).

That was as close as the Luxgens got as the Brex piled on 27 points in the third quarter to claim a double-digit advantage and added to it in a meaningless fourth to run away with the big victory.

Yesterday’s other result:

‧ Taiwan Beer 93, SMAA 61

‧ Chiba Jets 88, Dacin Tigers 76

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