Sat, Dec 13, 2014 - Page 20 News List

Tigers hold off Kinmen comeback for 78-70 win

By Paul Huang  /  Contributing reporter

Norvel Pelle of the Dacin Tigers, right, slams one home in the Dacin Tigers’ win over Kinmen Kaoliang in Changhua County last night.

Photo: Courtesy of the SBL

Nearly squandering a 25-point second-half lead, the Dacin Tigers held off a tenacious comeback attempt by Kinmen Kaoliang to escape with a 78-70 win at the Changhua County Gymnasium last night.

Norvel Pelle’s thunderous slam with less than a minute remaining put the Tigers ahead by four as they converted eight of 10 free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.

The win not only pulled the Cats out of the cellar, where they had been for the past three weeks, but also marked their second straight triumph as they swapped places in the standings with the Distillers after a horrendous 0-5 start to the season.

“If we don’t win at least two of the three games this weekend, our players will not get their day off next week,” Dacin skipper Hsu Chih-chao said earlier in the week, in an effort to lift the Cats out of their slump.

The Tigers promptly responded by grabbing an early 12-11 lead after one quarter of play, before upping it to five to close out the first half with a 28-23 advantage.

A 25-5 run by Dacin in the third quarter that featured a pair of three-pointers by Luo Yu-chun gave them a commanding 25-point lead.

However, the diehard Distillers simply refused to go away as they chipped away at the deficit with a brilliant fourth-quarter run that brought them to within two points of the Tigers when Sung Yu-hsuan nailed a three from downtown with 46 seconds on the clock.

That was as close as they got as the Tigers broke through against the Kinmen pressure defense to set up Pelle’s game-clinching slam, putting a damper on an otherwise brilliant 36-point fourth by the Distillers.

Pelle led all scorers with 27 points and 26 rebounds in what was by far his best outing of the season thus far. Also starring was point guard Chang Chih-fong, who saved his best for last by hitting all six of his free throws in the final minute to preserve the win for his team.

As for Kinmen Kaoliang, six three’s in a 36-point fourth set a new mark for single-quarter scoring this season.

However, that was not enough to put them over the hump as the Tigers held on for their dear lives to avoid what would have been an incredible comeback.

In last night’s other SBL game, it was Braves 76, Luxgens 67.

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