The Yulon Luxgens rode the red-hot shooting of Lu “Male Model” Cheng-ju to stifle Bank of Taiwan 82-74 at the Banciao Gymnasium in New Taipei City last night to head into the Lunar New Year break on a positive note.
“We played at our pace; that was the difference in the game,” Lu said.
His 11 points in the decisive fourth quarter, including a clutch three-pointer with a minute left to put his team up by nine, accounted for the bulk of the Automakers’ fourth-quarter scoring.
The Yulon captain led all scorers with 31 on a night that he shot a solid 11 for 19 from the field.
Winless in their three previous meetings, the Luxgens needed a strong outing from newly arrived Liam McMorrow to boost their confidence and that was exactly what they got as McMorrow opened with seven points in the first quarter against his former team, despite missing three of four from the free-throw line.
The big man, who played for the Bankers two seasons ago, showed no mercy against his old teammates with several strong moves to the basket in the period.
After holding the Bankers to 13 points to take a surprising 20-13 lead after one quarter of play, the Automakers managed to extend the advantage to 10 early in the second, only to see the Bankers counter with an 8-0 run to keep it a four-point game (36-32) in favor of the Luxgens at halftime.
That set up a 4-0 run by the Bankers at the start the second half, forcing a 36-36 tie before McMorrow was called for his third personal foul of game midway through the quarter.
With McMorrow on the bench, the Bankers were able to build leads as large as six points late in the third quarter, before back-to-back three-point plays by Lu and Wu Fong-cheng brought them to within two at the start of the fourth.
The two teams traded the lead for the next five minutes, before Chou Shih-yuan and Lu teamed up for a pair of three-pointers to put the game away.
Pure Youth 74, Kinmen 66
Top-ranked Pure Youth Construction also closed out the first half of the season in grand fashion by rallying from a second-half deficit to top Kinmen Kaoliang in the second game in New Taipei City last night.
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