Top-seeded Pure Youth Construction made it two wins in a row by beating the Dacin Tigers 84-73 in Game 2 of the SBL Championship series at the Kaohsiung Arena last night to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Even though the defending champions did not play their “A” game as far as their ability to execute a game plan was concerned, they still managed to pull off the win by rallying from as many as nine points down midway through the third quarter, before rolling off a 9-3 run of their own in the fourth to take the lead for good in a valiant win.
Leading the way for the Builders was big man Quincy Davis, who shook off a sub-par first half in which he netted only eight points with a brilliant second, highlighted by several put-back baskets off the offensive glass, to lift his team past the tenacious Tigers, who kept fighting back.
“We need to do a better job with protecting leads,” Davis said after the game.
The Builders appeared unable to put the Tigers away, despite holding fourth-quarter leads as large nine points.
The Tigers actually came within four of Pure Youth with a 5-0 run over a 38-second span in the closing minute to give the defending champions a scare, but there was to be no late-game magic for the Tigers as the Builders nailed all but two of their final dozen free throws down the line to deny their opponents any opportunity of turning the tide.
Seven quick points from point guard Keh Chi-hao in the opening quarter gave the Builders a 21-15 edge after 10 minutes of play, but the Tigers answered with a Tien Lei-led attack that outscored Pure Youth 17-12 in a solid second quarter to keep the deficit to a point at halftime.
A 12-2 run by the Tigers in the first four minutes of the second half had many thinking if it was going to be the game where the Tigers finally broke out, but Davis and Tsai Wen-cheng made sure the Builders did not trail for long as they combined for 14 of their team’s 20 points in the quarter to maintain a 53-52 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
That was the extent the Tigers were able to hang with the Builders as the reigning champions showed off the superior strength in depth of their bench with frequent substitutions to overrun the Tigers in the final quarter.