League officials announced the result of last month’s Player of the Month voting earlier this week, with Lu “Male Model” Cheng-ju of the Yulon Luxgens winning after an outstanding stretch of play that helped his club ascend from near the bottom of the standings to No. 4 in the league.
The perimeter threat with a master’s degree from Chinese Culture University in Taipei, who became the first player to reach the 600-three-pointer plateau with a great start to the season, followed up his two Player of the Week selections last month with the Player of the Month trophy on Tuesday.
Even though individual achievements are rarely emphasized among players in this day and age, the soft-spoken swingman has every right to be proud of his accomplishment.
“I am honored to be picked, given the caliber of players we have in the league,” Lu said. “I would like to thank my teammates for getting the ball to me and setting the picks against the other teams to free me up for the shots.”
When asked by reporters what his next goal is, the Yulon captain skipped the league’s Most Valuable Player distinction and said he hopes for an unprecedented fifth league title.
“For me, winning the league MVP is nowhere near as meaningful as winning another title,” Lu said.
His improvement on the court in terms of his vision and rebounding has transcended the emerging Luxgen’s icon into one of the league’s premier offensive threats, with a average of 17.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game and a 43.2 field-goal percentage in 13 games.
Next up for the Male Model and Yulon is a feisty Kinmen Kaoliang squad at the Banciao Gymnasium in New Taipei City tomorrow evening.
Kinmen (3-11) have a lot to prove, despite having the services of Kyle Barone, who leads the league in rebounding with nearly 15 boards per game to go along with his average of 22.3 points per game.
It is something of a must-win game for the Automakers, who dropped two straight last week to begin the new year on a down note.
Yulon skipper Wei Yung-tai will be looking to use a victory against the Distillers as a prelude to Saturday’s showdown against a resurging Dacin Tigers outfit, who had won five straight as of yesterday and are looking to avenge their two losses against Yulon this year.
Top-ranked Pure Youth Construction face second-placed Taiwan Beer in a clash of the two elites.
A win in Banciao for the Brew Crew would pull them to within a half-game of the Builders.
Tipoff is scheduled for 6pm.
Tonight’s second game pits the Tigers against the Fubon Braves in a battle between teams who are going in opposite directions.
The Tigers are looking to extend their win streak to six, while the Braves are attempting to win just their second game in seven.
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