Chou Yi-hsiang scored a career-high 30 points and Norvel Pelle added 15 more with 19 rebounds as the Dacin Tigers shook off an 0-5 start with an 80-68 win over the Yulon Luxgens at the Changhua County Gymnasium yesterday afternoon for their first win of the season.
“I am very grateful to our coach for having the confidence in me and letting me play,” Chou said after his massive performance which included three three-pointers as he became the first local player to reach the 30-point scoring mark.
Having already tied a club record for consecutive losses with five to start the new season, the Cats finally put together four solid quarters of play to topple the Automakers.
Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times
“It couldn’t get worse than it had been for us, so I just told our younger guys to have fun and play their kind of game,” Dacin coach Hsu Chih-chao said.
His troops have struggled since the departure of team icon and three-time league Most Valuable Player Tien Lei, who opted for a stint in China after spending 11 seasons with the Tigers.
Nineteen points between Chou and Pelle helped spot the Cats a rare 26-17 lead after one quarter of play, before they blew the game wide open with a 23-15 scoring differential in the second quarter to lead 49-32 at halftime.
Even though the Luxgens rallied for 26 points in the third to cut the deficit to 10 at the start of the fourth, it was too little, too late as the Tigers held on to run away with the double-digit win.
The loss was the Luxgens’ second straight following Saturday night’s 69-58 defeat at the hands of Taiwan Beer, causing some distress to the Yulon club which had begun the season with a 4-0 record.
Pure Youth 86, Bank of Taiwan 82
Nearly blowing a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter, Pure Youth Construction held off an all-out fightback by Bank of Taiwan that brought the Bankers to within two, before escaping with an tight win in Changhua last night.
The win not only gave the Builders a perfect 2-0 record for the weekend, but also upped their lead over second-placed Taiwan Beer and the Yulon Luxgens to a full game.
While the Builders avoided having their 18-game winning streak against the Bankers snapped, the loss was a tremendous moral victory for Bank of Taiwan, who have won three out of six games, a marked improvement over their 6-24 mark last season.
They have turned into legitimate playoff contenders under the leadership of rookie head coach Hung Chun-cheng, who has turned a few heads around the league by lifting the Bankers out of their longstanding slump.
Braves 87, Kinmen Kaoliang 81
The Fubon Braves also closed out the weekend on a high with a six-point triumph over Kinmen Kaoliang in a game in which they never trailed.
Darrian Townes and Chang Yu-lin combined for 51 points for the Braves, who have won three of their past four after starting the season with a 0-2 record.
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