Hsu “The Fool” Hao-cheng’s game-deciding three-pointer turned a one-point deficit into a two-point win as Taiwan Beer escaped with a 94-92 victory over Bank of Taiwan at the Hsinchu Municipal Gymnasium on Friday night. He was immediately surrounded by an overjoyed Taiwan Beer bench.
The reserve guard — who also scored the clutch shot that helped Taiwan Beer win its first league title two years ago — showed off his late-game magic once again despite the fact he was not even supposed to take the last shot.
“The play was supposed to have to ball go to either [Yang] Jing-min or [Lin] Chih-jeh for the final shot,” Hsu said after the game.
The win not only extended the Beer Crew’s winning streak to four, but also avoided what would have been a huge upset for the last-placed Bankers against the defending champs.
Both teams came out of the locker room on fire, with the Bankers shocking the Beer Crew by outscoring them 27-26. The red-hot shooting by both squads continued with Taiwan Beer doing as it pleased inside the paint and the Bankers hitting nearly half of their threes (14-for-29) to keep the game dead even until the final minute.
A brilliant pass by Lin found Yang underneath the basket for an easy deuce with eight seconds left, putting Taiwan Beer ahead 91-89 before the Bankers answered with Chen Hsuen-shiang’s long-range shot two seconds later, setting the stage for the Fool’s last-second magic.
Even though the bankers ended up losing the game, sinking them to 1-8 for the season, it was a big moral victory as it showed they were capable of playing against any team in the league.
TIGERS 83, KINMEN LIQUOR 70
Unlike Taiwan Beer, the Dacin Tigers had little trouble pulling off an 83-70 win over Kinmen Liquor in the earlier game on Friday, thanks to a brilliant 18-point second-half by guard Chang Chih-fong.
January’s Player of the Month shook off a sub-par first half with 18 in the second to close out the night with yet another team-high 20 points.
A sloppy start on the part of the Tigers kept Kinmen Liquor in the game with a 13-12 lead after one quarter of play.
But that was the extent that Kinmen Liquor could hang with the Cats as they regained composure and racked up 19 in the second quarter to close out the first half with a 31-24 lead en route to a big “W.”
Byron Allen’s thunderous slam in the final quarter — breaking the rim — was the icing on the cake, as the crowd leapt to its feet to cheer on the US newcomer.