SBL: Leopards down Beer following bench-clearing brawl

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Tue, Feb 10, 2009 - Page 20

Tempers flared in a heated battle between Taiwan Beer and the Taiwan Mobile Leopards on Sunday, with eight Taiwan Beer coaches and players ejected in the 90-82 Leopards win at the Hsinchu Municipal Gymnasium.

Questionable calls by officials during the first half planted the seed for what became a very physical contest, culminating in an ill-advised elbow by the Leopards’ Mario Boggan that led to a bench-clearing brawl and a 15-minute stoppage before play resumed.

Leading the Taiwan Beer ejectees was skipper Yen Jia-hua, who had his share of unpleasantry with the officiating crew earlier as he was slapped with a pair of technical fouls for challenging the calls on the court.

Equally as frustrated though not ejected was Leopards coach Cheng Chih-long, who also felt shortchanged by the men in blue for blowing calls and then making up for them later. Cheng refused to attend the postgame press conference in protest.

As for the playing, the Leopards showed no signs of fatigue following a disheartening one-point loss to Kinmen Liquor the night before, opening the game with a shocking 18-4 run against the defending champs.

They would continue to hold leads of more than eight through the third despite several mini runs by the Beer Crew to keep things interesting. It was not until the final minute of the game when the Leopards’ Wu Yong-ren converted on a pair of free throws before nailing a clutch three that the outcome was determined. Wu would leave with a game-high 26 points in his best performance of the season.

TIGERS 99, PURE YOUTH 89

The Dacin Tigers bounced back nicely from their first loss of the season on Saturday with a big 99-89 win over Pure Youth Construction on Sunday to push their league-leading record to 4-1.

Sloppy ball-handling by the Builders led to a season-high 23 turnovers, digging a hole too deep to overcome despite netting 13 three-pointers in the game.

The Tigers also exploited a weaker Pure Youth frontcourt by posting up muscleman Byron Allen for several easy buckets to make it virtually impossible for the Builders to play catch-up.

LUXGENS 85, BANK OF TAIWAN 75

Erupting for an 11-4 run late in the game, the Yulon Luxgens — formerly the Dinos — overcame a small first-half deficit to top Bank of Taiwan 85-75 in the weekend finale at Hsinchu on Sunday evening.

Solid efforts by the Bankers’ Hsu Chih-chiang and Chen Hsuen-shiang kept the underdogs in the game for the most part as they led the Luxgens at the half and managed to play them shoulder to shoulder until the Luxgens’ game-deciding surge in the end.

Leading the Luxgens in scoring for the second straight game was point-man Chen Chih-chung, who racked up 25 points with incredible 9-for-10 shooting from the floor.

Also starring for the Luxgens was big-man Tseng Wen-ding, who had his way against a smaller Bankers’ lineup, striking for 17 points and a season-high five blocked-shots.