Top-seeded Pure Youth Construction kept the series alive with a narrow 86-84 win over Taiwan Beer in Game 5 of the Championship Finals at the Sinjhuang Sports Complex in New Taipei City last night to trail the Brew Crew by a 3-2 margin in the best-of-seven series.
Lin Chin-bang’s timely rebound off a Chiang Yu-an miss with time running out denied the men in their familiar green uniforms a chance to tie the game as they nearly pulled off another fourth-quarter comeback against the three-time defending champs, which would have clinched the title.
Ten quick points by hired gun Garret Siler in the opening quarter helped the Builders take a 28-24 lead after 10 minutes of play.
Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times
Pure Youth added to their lead by three in the second quarter with eight combined points by backcourt duo Chen Shih-chieh and Chen Chien-en to close out the first half with a 47-40 advantage.
The Builders went up by as many as 14 in the third, with Chen Shih-chieh penetrating inside of the paint and Peng Chun-yen hitting two long three-pointers in a 25-point third to stretch the lead to 11 after three quarters of play.
Knowing no deficit was too big, the Brew Crew rallied in the fourth behind a pair of three’s by Patrick O’Bryant and Chiang’s clutch drive to the hoop to move within two.
Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times
Taiwan Beer saw a golden opportunity to turn the tide when Tsai Wen-cheng missed two rare free throws with 12.5 seconds remaining, giving them one final possession.
However, Chiang missed a layup after the Brew Crew executed the next offensive possession to near perfection, squandering what would have been a game-tying basket.
The teams face each other once again in New Taipei City this evening in what could the final game of the series should Taiwan Beer deliver a win. They will have history on their side, as no team who have reached three wins before the other finalist have failed to win the title in league’s history.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7pm.
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