Sat, Feb 06, 2016 - Page 20 News List

Tigers’ Chou named SBL’s Player of the Month for January

By Paul Huang  /  Contributing reporter

The Dacin Tigers’ Chou Yi-hsiang, right, on Thursday receives the Player of the Month trophy in Taipei for his performance last month.

Photo: Lin Tsung-wei, Taipei Times

January’s Player of the Month went to a deserving Chou Yi-hsiang of the Dacin Tigers, who narrowly edged December’s Player of the Month winner Lu “Male Model” Cheng-ju of the Yulon Luxgens to garner the coveted monthly honor.

The emerging Cats superstar, who finished at the bottom of the league last season and started this season on the wrong foot by dropping four of the Cats’ first five, has replaced Tien Lei as the new team leader after Tien left Taiwan to play in China’s Chinese Basketball Association last year.

“[Winning the Player of the Month honor] really means a lot to me, especially with the number of great players in the league that I am competing with,” a very pleased Chou said upon learning the news.

His 20.4 points and 2.6 assists per game last month do not even begin to justify his contribution to the Tigers, who went 6-2.

“I guess the tip-in at the buzzer against Taiwan Beer and the big three-pointer against Kinmen Kaoliang really did it for me,” Chou said as he recalled his two big plays from last month that helped the Tigers win back-to-back nail-biters against worthy opponents.

When asked by the media what his next big goal was, the second-year man, who spent four seasons at Salt Lake Community College in Utah, explained his wish to win the league’s Most Valuable Player distinction, as well as a second league title for the Tigers.

Chou and the rest of the Tigers pack have been given a 10-day break from skipper Chiou Da-tsung, who rewarded his troops for the quick turnaround that saw them transformed from a league-worst 1-4 record to their current 12-8 mark, which is good enough for No. 3 in the standings.

“This is quite an improvement from the three-day break we got last year, and I hope we will continue our success all the way to the end of the season,” Chou said in an interview earlier in the week.

Play is scheduled to resume on Feb. 18 following a three-week stoppage to celebrate the Lunar New Year holiday, with the Yulon Luxgens taking on the Fubon Braves at the Banciao Gymnasium in New Taipei City.

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