Chu Yung-hung's exceptional offensive showing (averaging 17.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in two contests) in the low post, coupled with his solid defensive effort against one of the league's premier scorers (Tien Lei of the Dacin Tigers) made him the unanimous choice among the voting press for this week's Super Basketball League (SBL) Player of the Week distinction. \n"It's quite an honor for me, given the level of competition and the amount of talent available in the league. It was good to be nominated for the award several times last year [without actually winning it], but this is simply awesome," Chu said after learning of his selection. \nThe second-year Bank of Taiwan muscle man, known more for his rebounding ability than being a scoring threat, rang up 25 points and 13 boards in his team's overtime, upset victory over the Tigers last Sunday. \nTopping his outstanding offensive contribution against the Tigers was Chu's fine effort in engaging Tien Lei to foul him while on defense, sending the Tigers' scoring icon to the bench for good with five personal fouls in the game. \nChu also played a critical role in rallying his team from being down by as many as 19 points in the game against the Sina Lions, capped by his impeccable defense against Lion sharp-shooter Luo Hsin-liang's game-tying, three-point attempt to preserve the hard-earned victory for the bankers on Friday night. The win not only promptly snapped Bank of Taiwan's four-game losing streak at the time, it also set the financial wizards on the right track for winning back-to-back contests for the first time ever. \nBank of Taiwan will have a chance to see what it is really made of in tonight's tough battle against the Yulon Dinos, winners of their past six games straight. In addition to doing a good job on the defensive glass (limiting the Dinos to one shot per offensive possession), the bankers must challenge the Dinos' perimeter game, namely not giving the Dinos' small forward Chou Shih-yuan a clear look at the basket often. \nThe bankers will not have much time to catch a breather as they take on the ETTV Antelopes in a physical game tomorrow night. Chu and company will have their hands full in fighting for good positions in the low post against the Antelopes' Wu Dai-hao and Shang Wei-fang. \nPounding the middle should then free up the mid-range jumper for the bankers' Wu Yung-ren, who can be deadly from the outside if he finds his stroke early in the game. \nTonight's other match will feature the winless Lions and the Antelopes in a battle between two slumping teams, losers of ten and four in a row respectively. \nThis could be the Lions' only realistic chance to break into the win column before the annual all-star break on Feb. 19 as they look ahead to games versus the league-leading Videoland Hunters (Sun-day), the Tigers (Feb. 4) and Taiwan Beer (Feb. 6). \nThe Lions have let two very winnable games slip away with late-game collapses last week, and must find a way to finish off a game strong if they wish to finally savor the sweetness of victory for the first time this season. \nElsewhere in the league, the Tigers will try to bounce back from their heartbreaking loss to the bankers last week with a win over the beermen tomorrow, before Sunday's weekend finale against Dinos. \nEarly foul trouble on Tien Lei and Lee Fong-yung over their past two contests has kept the Tigers' top two scorers from playing their usual 32-plus minutes per game, not to mention the fact that they probably did not play at 100-percent (with the foul trouble) when they were on the floor. \nA weak showing by the Tigers (5-5) this weekend could be devastating to the club that qualified for the postseason last year, has all the elements to being a high-caliber team, but can never seem to put away an opponent. \nA lack of sound ball handling late in the game, which has led to turnovers for the Tigers in their losses, may be their Achilles heel, as teams will undoubtedly continue to exploit this weakness until coach Liu Jia-fa finds a way to address it.
Fickle winds produced farcical scenes yesterday on day two of the America’s Cup challenger series in Auckland, as the so-called “flying” yachts spent almost as much time in the water as above it. “I’m not sure today is a really accurate read because it’s so puffy, it’s shifty,” British sailing legend Ben Ainslie said after his Ineos Team UK maintained their perfect start to the Prada Cup series with a third straight win. The series would determine which of the 23m yachts — which fly above the water balanced on hi-tech foil arms — would challenge defending champion Team New Zealand for
Transgender athletes are to have an ally in the White House next week, as they seek to participate as their identified gender in high school and college sports — although state legislatures, the US Congress and the courts are all expected to have their say this year, too. Attorneys on both sides say they expect US president-elect Joe Biden’s Department of Education to switch sides in two key legal battles — one in Connecticut, the other in Idaho — that could go a long way in determining whether transgender athletes are treated by the sex on their birth certificates or by
DOUBLES VICTORY: The men’s doubles pairing of Taiwanese Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin downed Malaysians Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi, and face South Koreans today Men’s badminton world No. 2 Chou Tien-chen yesterday marched into the semi-finals of the Thailand Open, defeating younger opponent Lee Zii-jia 21-17, 21-15 after a rally, while Tai Tzu-ying had no trouble getting past her Canadian opponent in the women’s singles. The top male Taiwanese credited calm and focus in securing his win after briefly falling behind against his 22-year-old Malaysian opponent. “I think I had more patience against him and I won most of the long rallies,” the 31-year-old Chou said of Lee. “He wanted to attack [too much] and maybe he lost some focus,” Chou said. In today’s semi-finals, second-seeded Chou faces
DOUBLE VISION: The men’s duo of Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin downed the South Korean pairing of Choi Sol-gyu and Seo Seung-jae to secure their place in the final Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying yesterday easily defeated Mia Blichfeldt in her women’s singles match to advance to the finals of the Yonex Thailand Open in Bangkok, while Chou Tien-chen crashed out of the tournament. Tai quickly ousted world No. 18 Blicheldt, of Denmark, in 34 minutes, winning 21-8, 23-21. The world No. 1 today must overcome Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain, who took down An Se-young of South Korea yesterday 21-18, 21-16. In men’s singles, Taiwan’s Chou fell to Hong Kong’s Angus Ng Ka Long after a tough 66 minutes of play. While Chou, the world No. 2, bested Ng in the first set,