The red-hot Dacin Tigers continued their surge in this year’s Taiwan Strait Tournament with an 88-82 victory against Pure Youth Construction at the Taipei Physical Education College Gymnasium in Tianmu yesterday afternoon to improve to 3-0.
Chang Chih-fong’s clutch three-pointer with less than two minutes remaining in the game broke an 82-all tie to give the Cats the lead for good as they shook off the Builders by scoring the game’s final six points to prevail in the end.
“Having many players from the national team which have been playing for a while has really helpful for us in terms of getting ready for the upcoming season,” Tigers head coach Hsu Chih-chao said after the game.
His troops are way ahead of most other clubs in the league because several of the Tigers’ players have played over the past three months as members of the national team in July’s Jones Cup, the Asian Championship in August and last month’s East Asian Games.
After a closely contested first quarter, Pure Youth managed to grab a 42-37 lead at the half thanks to an outstanding effort by James Mao and Chien Chia-hung in a 29-point second quarter.
But the Tigers would return the favor by pouring in 27 points of their own in the third to keep the deficit at one to send the seesaw battle deep into the fourth before Chang’s game-turning three in the end.
Pure Youth’s Tsai Wen-cheng had a chance to keep the deficit down to one following Chang’s three-pointer late in the fourth, but missed both free-throw attempts to dig a hole too deep for the Builders to overcome.
The defending champs played their reserve players much longer than they would have done otherwise in the interest of getting them ready for the regular season.
“Our bench did not play as well as we would have hoped,” Pure Youth assistant coach Liu Yi-shiang said after the game.
The Builders are 0-3 in the tournament.
KINGSTON 84, LEOPARDS 51
The Taiwan Mobile Cloud Leopards proved no match for Shandong Kingston in the third game of the tournament for both teams, chalking up a huge loss against the visitors to remain winless in the contest so far.
Shandong opened the game with a solid first quarter and took a commanding 42-23 lead at the half to seal the victory long before the final buzzer sounded.
DONGGUAN 84, LUXGENS 78
The Dongguan New Century topped the Yulon Luxgens by a six-point margin in the third fixture in Tianmu yesterday night to extend their unbeaten streak to three consecutive games.