Chou Shih-yuan and Chen Chih-chung played to their potential and had their best performances of the season so far to lift the Yulon Luxgens past Bank of Taiwan 81-77 at the Sinjhuang Sports Complex in New Taipei City last night.
The backcourt tandem for the four-time champions finally came alive for skipper Lin Cheng-ming as they combined for 44 of their team’s 81 points on a night when the Luxgens began the weekend’s play on a high note.
The win not only nipped a four-game slide for Yulon, but also lifted them out of the cellar in the latest standings as they look to improve steadily in a highly competitive seven-team field.
Four quick field goals by Chou helped to jump-start the Luxgens offense as they netted 21 points in the opening quarter to take an earlier 21-15 lead after 10 minutes of play, but the Bankers answered with a strong second quarter, despite allowing Chen to nail a buzzer-beating three-pointer from midcourt to cut the deficit to two at halftime.
An intentional foul against the Bankers’ Chien Ming-fu on a breakaway attempt by the Luxgens’ Chen in a four-point swing would up Yulon’s lead to 11 midway through the third, only for them to see the Bankers fight back with four straight points from Joseph Taylor that kept the deficit under 10 for the rest of the quarter.
After Chou’s long-range three at the start of the fourth gave the Luxgens their biggest lead, the Bankers managed to rally with an incredible 19-5 run to tie the game at 71-71 with less than three minutes remaining.
However, that was as close as they got as Chou calmly nailed a go-ahead three with 2 minutes, 35 seconds left to put the Luxgens up for good.
Bank of Taiwan had their chances to tie the game in the final minute with three wide-open three-point attempts, but only a meaningless one would fall for them as they fell short by four to suffer the narrow loss.
Taylor led all scorers with 29 points, but the seven turnovers charged against the American hired gun and his one-for-six shooting from behind the three-point arc will concern the Bankers coaching staff as the power forward may be trying to do too much by himself.
Yesterday’s other SBL result:
‧ Leopards 85, Taiwan Beer 70