Chang Bo-sheng scored a team-high 19 points and Liam McMorrow followed with 18 more as Bank of Taiwan went on to defeat Kinmen Liquor 77-69 at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology Gymnasium in Taichung yesterday afternoon to open the new SBL season on a high note.
The shooting guard out of Taipei’s Tsai Hsing Senior High, who has worked his way from the Bankers’ bench to skipper Wei Chen-ming’s starting five, shot a solid nine-for-10 from the free-throw line, including eight-of-eight in the decisive fourth quarter, to carry his team past the favored Distillers.
As for the Canadian-born McMorrow, who was released by the Dacin Tigers earlier, his newfound Bankers’ club appeared to be a better fit as he racked up 18 points and 11 rebounds in a double-double outing to impress Wei.
“[McMorrow] had a very solid game considering the fact that he has only been with us for a few days,” Wei said after the game.
McMorrow will likely remain with the Bankers in the near future before Wei decides to keep the hired gun or seek new help.
The Bankers took an 18-15 lead after the first quarter behind seven points by Chang and doubled the cushion to six at the end of the first half by outscoring the Distillers 14-11in the second quarter.
Even though Kinmen Liquor managed to pour in 22 points in the third to reduce the deficit to three points, the outcome of the contest was never in doubt, as the Bankers converted 12 of 14 from the free-throw line with the game on the line to keep the victory intact.
TAIWAN BEER 70, LUXGENS 62
Holding the Yulon Luxgens to eight points in the fourth quarter, Taiwan Beer also won their season opener in Taichung early last night to kick off the new season with a bang.
Still in search of a foreign player, the Brew Crew decided to go with an all-local lineup against a Yulon squad that featured former NBA player Solomon Alabi of Nigeria. The local boys did not disappoint skipper Liu Chia-hua as they held Alabi to just four points in the second half, after allowing the Nigerian big man to score 11 points in the first half to deny the car makers their first win of the season.
Tso Tsong-kai led a Brew Crew trio in double-digit scoring with 16 to his credit, while Chou Shi-yuan’s game-high 17 topped the Luxgens’ own trio of double-digit scorers.
LEOPARDS 77, TIGERS 61
The Taiwan Mobile Cloud Leopards roughed up the Dacin Tigers in a 77-61 triumph in Taichung that dealt the Tigers their first loss of the season.
Twenty-eight fourth-quarter points by the Leopards blew an otherwise one-point game wide open as the Leopards outscored the Tigers 28-13 in the fourth to pull away in the end.