Pure Youth Construction easily topped the Taiwan Mobile Cloud Leopards in game five of the Championship Finals with an 83-69 win at the Sinjhuang Sports Complex last night to take the best-of-seven series by a convincing 4-1 margin.
The win not only completed a three-peat for the Builders, but also saw them equal the record for longest run of championship wins in the league’s history, matching the Yulon Dinos in the league’s first three seasons.
Star forward Tsai Wen-cheng was at his best once again with 17 points and 12 rebounds, two of which came during a crucial three-minute span in the decisive fourth that got his team two additional possessions and denied the Leopards any realistic chances of a comeback.
He was awarded the MVP award for the series for the second straight year for his exceptional plays and tremendous leadership as captain.
“It’s unbelievable to be able to win it all once again, it was a great team effort all round,” Tsai said after the game.
Also starring for the champs was Quincy Davis, whose game-high 20 points and 17 boards were instrumental in lifting his team past the Leopards. Other than a brief six-second breather he got at the end of the third, the big man was on the floor the entire way.
Avenging a 24-point first quarter by the Leopards in game four, which the Leopards won convincingly, Pure Youth returned the favor last night by scoring 24 in the first to take a seven-point lead.
The Leopards managed to close the gap to single digits after falling behind by as many 13 in the second quarter, as they trailed the Builders 42-33 at the half.
Threes by Chien Chia-hung and Lin Li-ren led the way in a 22-point third that upped the Builders’ lead to an even dozen after the Leopards rallied to within seven of Pure Youth with a 7-0 run late in the quarter.
That was as close as they got, as Tsai and company came up big time and time again in the fourth to keep the cushion at 10 or more the rest of the way on their way to the title.
“It’s been a long road for us to go from being a three-win team to a three-peat team,” Pure Youth skipper Hsu Chin-che said after the game, recalling the Builders’ long road to prominence after having won only three games in 2004 and 2005 before a steady improvement that ultimately led to their current string of successes.