Week two’s Super Basketball League (SBL) Player of the Week honor went to a very deserving Chang “Mr Hustle” Chih-fong, who won the nods from the members of the Basketball Writers’ Association for his outstanding efforts and tremendous leadership to help his club win both of its games last weekend.
The soft-spoken guard and team leader for the top-ranked Dacin Tigers had planned to sit out the two games over the weekend to recover from a serious cold that had knocked the wind out of him.
However, with teammate Tien Lei out nursing a knee injury and his team in desperate need for a “go-to guy,” Chang managed to shake off the cold and turn in two valiant performances to lift the Tigers past their opponents.
“I was hoping to take the weekend off to help me get over the cold, but with Tien Lei out, someone really needed to step up to lead our younger guys,” Chang said upon learning the news of being voted to the weekly honor.
He averaged 20 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and three steals in the two games that Dacin won to remain unbeaten at 4-0.
Mr Hustle and his feline mates will have a chance to stretch their unbeaten record to 6-0 this weekend with matches against the Taiwan Mobile Leopards and Pure Youth Construction tomorrow and Sunday respectively at the Hsinchu County Sports Complex, with both opponents ready to deal them their first defeat of the season.
Hired gun Noel Felix’s effectiveness inside the paint against a Leopards team that will not have the services of foreign help Marcus Fizer, who was cut by the team last week after failing to meet its expectations, will largely determine the outcome of the contest versus Taiwan Mobile.
However, the showdown against Pure Youth will undoubtedly be the featured game of the week as the Builders look to avenge a bitter loss against the Tigers in the opening week.
How well the Tigers handle the Builders’ pressure defense, which they will definitely see on Sunday, will also determine whether they can manage to top the Builders two games in a row.
? TONIGHT’S CONTESTS
Opening this weekend’s play will be the match between the winless Bank of Taiwan and a Kinmen Liquor squad that was humiliated by the Tigers in their contest on Sunday. It will be an evenly matched affair, with both teams highly motivated.
Even though the Distillers may be slight favorites tonight, this is precisely the kind of game in which the Bankers thrive, as they are known for pulling off upsets.
As for Game 2 in the primetime slot (8pm), the Yulon Luxgens will take on the Leopards, who will vent their frustration after a disheartening loss to the Builders in a game they should have won on Sunday.