The Taiwan Mobile Cloud Leopards edged Taiwan Beer 73-72 at the National Taiwan University of Physical Education and Sport Gymnasium in Taichung last night to nip a three-game slide.
A questionable traveling call on Taiwan Beer’s Yang Yu-ming with 1.9 seconds remaining in the game proved decisive as the Brew Crew coughed up the ball on their final possession with Yang apparently open for an uncontested layup that would have given his team the lead and most likely the win.
“[The traveling call] could have gone either way, but I’m not going to blame the loss on the refs or anyone else,” Taiwan Beer skipper Liu Jia-fa said after the game.
With the loss, the three-time champs dropped to last spot in the standings for a couple of hours before swapping places with Kinmen Kaoliang, who lost their match against the Yulon Luxgens.
Noel Felix had the upper hand against Taiwan Beer’s Byron Allen early in the game with nine quick points inside the paint in a 20-point first quarter allowing the Leopards to enjoy a 20-13 advantage.
However, the Brew Crew answered with the deadly outside shooting of Tso Tsong-kai, who downed 14 points in the second quarter to help his team close out the first half with a narrow 40-39 lead.
Allen returned from the halftime intermission with gusto as he roughed up Felix with an eight-point third to keep Taiwan Beer in the game, setting the stage for a hard-fought fourth quarter.
Luxgens 103, Kinmen Kaoliang 66
The Yulon Luxgens bounced back from a loss to the Dacin Tigers last week by beating Kinmen Kaoliang in yesterday’s second game in Taichung.
The win not only put the Luxgens back above the .500 mark at 11-10, but more importantly, extended their lead over fifth-placed Bank of Taiwan to three-and-a-half games.
Yulon rode the red-hot shooting of Herve Lamizana to score 22 points in the first quarter and never looked back, leading by 10 or more from midway through the second quarter before sealing the deal with a 34-point fourth.
Lamizana ended up with 17 points on the night to go along with his team-high eight rebounds after sitting out nearly half the game with his team enjoying a huge lead.
Also starring for the Luxgens was small forward Wu Fong-cheng, who led all scorers with 18 points, courtesy of several clutch shots, to demonstrate his tremendous improvement over the past two seasons.
In yesterday’s final game, Pure Youth Construction beat Dacin Tigers 81-71.