Fri, Dec 19, 2014 - Page 20 News List

Braves’ Townes again named SBL Player of the Week

By Paul Huang  /  Contributing reporter

For the second straight week, Darian Townes was named SBL Player of the Week for his outstanding performances on both sides of the ball to help extend the Fubon Braves’ winning streak to five games.

The Virginia native, who played college basketball for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks and professional basketball abroad in Europe and Asia before signing with the Braves at the start of the season, became only the seventh player to win the weekly honor in consecutive weeks in the league’s 12-year history, following household names such as Tien Lei, Chen “Airman” Hsin-an and, most recently, Luke Neville of the former Taiwan Mobile Cloud Leopards last season.

KEY PLAYER

Even though he is not the biggest, fastest or strongest player in the league, Townes has continued to excel, racking up 21.7 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots per game over a three-game stretch last week against worthy opponents, highlighted by his eight blocked shots in the contest against the Yulon Luxgens on Friday last week.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be selected for the second straight week and I will do my best to make it three in a row,” Townes said after learning of his selection for the weekly award.

His recent emergence has undoubtedly made the Braves one of the hottest clubs in the league after a horrendous 1-3 start over the first two weeks of play.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

“[Townes’] stats aren’t the only thing that I look at; I also want him to understand the game of basketball, which is just as important,” Brave coach Otis Hughley said of his star center. “There is a lot of room for improvement for [Townes] though.”

Hughley and the rest of the Fubon squad will get a chance to see how good they really are this weekend in a highly anticipated showdown against top-ranked Pure Youth Construction this evening as they attempt to avenge a bitter defeat in their first meeting last month, followed by Sunday’s contest against Kinmen Kaoliang.

The Braves’ backcourt play will be a big factor against the Builders’ pressure defense, which is known for its ability to force turnovers that turn into transition baskets for the league leaders.

MATCHUP

Townes will also have his hands full inside the paint against one of the smartest big men in the league, Quincy Davis, who did not play in his team’s upset loss to the Dacin Tigers in Changhua last Sunday.

Taiwan Beer open this week’s action at the Hsinchu Municipal Gymnasium this afternoon against Kinmen Kaoliang, where the Brew Crew will be looking to bounce back from a tough loss to the Braves last week against the high-flying Distillers, winners of a tough contest against Bank of Taiwan last Sunday.

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