Behind a valiant showing by Chen Jing-huan, Kinmen Liquor pulled off the upset of the season thus far by downing the top-ranked Yulon Luxgens 94-88 at the Hsinchu Municipal Gymnasium on Saturday evening.
The fourth-year forward out of the Fu Jen Catholic University had spent three seasons on the bench with two of Kinmen Liquor’s predecessors — the ETTV Antelopes and the dmedia Numen. Chen finally came into his stellar form by knocking down 19 points in the game to help his club pull off the upset victory.
“No one really thought we could do it [beat Yulon], which is why this one was especially sweet,” Chen said after the game.
Kinmen Liquor did not start off well and trailed the Luxgens 19-22 after one quarter of play. But they regrouped in a hurry, with Chen and fellow guard Lin Guan-luen taking charge as the dynamic tandem combined for 15 of the 26 points in the second quarter, helping Kinmen Liquor to a 45-41 lead at the half.
Unable to stay with their original game plan of exploiting Kinmen Liquor’s weaker interior defense as the Luxgens fell behind by as many as a dozen in the second half, they resorted to a three-point attack to attempt a catch-up.
Kinmen Liquor lost their lead in the league standings as they fell to 6-2 for the year, a full game behind the newly league-leading Dacin Tigers (8-2).
TIGERS 89, PURE YOUTH 80
Showing no signs of weakness, the Dacin Tigers continued their league dominance by rolling over Pure Youth Construction in an 89-80 decision on Saturday, snatching the lead in the league standings.
The iron triad for skipper Chiou Da-tsong — Tien Lei, Chang Chih-fong and newcomer Byron Allen — combined for 52 points that proved too much for the Young Builders to handle. The Cats had a 28-19 lead at the end of the first quarter and upped it to as many as 21 in the second before holding off a late-game rally by Pure Youth.
TAIWAN BEER 77, LEOPARDS 72
Taiwan Beer had an 8-3 run late in the game to unlock a deadlock 69-69 tie and escape with a 77-72 win over the Taiwan Mobile Leopards on Saturday.
What was supposed to be a walk in the park against a shorthanded Leopards, who were missing Mario Boggan (four-game suspension) and top scorer Ou Yang Jing-hen (ankle), turned into an evenly fought match, with Wu Yong-ren leading the way for the Leopards against the defending champions’ Lin “the Beast” Chih-jeh and Yang Jing-min.
The highly anticipated rematch of the brawl-marred contest two weeks ago that led to the suspension of Boggan and eight other Beer members was anything but emotional as the players made an effort to keep this one clean.