Taiwan Beer pulled off mission impossible by rallying from as many as 19 down in the second half with an unbelievable fourth quarter to stun top-seeded Pure Youth Construction 77-73 in Game 4 of the Championship Finals at the Sinjhuang Sports Complex in New Taipei City last night.
The victory gives Taiwan Beer a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Shang Wei-fan’s acrobatic two on a perfectly run fastbreak with 36 seconds remaining in the game gave the Brew Crew their first lead of the second half at 74-73 as they held off a last-second comeback attempt by the Builders to escape with an improbable win.
“It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come and what we are really made of,” an emotional Taiwan Beer skipper Yen Chia-hua said after the game.
His troops are one win shy of topping the heavily favored three-time defending champs.
Trailing Taiwan Beer by a 2-1 margin after Tuesday night’s Game 3 in New Taipei City, the Builders needed a big showing in last night’s contest to stay in the hunt for their fourth straight title.
That was exactly what Pure Youth did as they opened the match with 22 points in the first quarter behind an eight-point effort by Tsai Wen-cheng to take a 22-11 lead.
Tsai carried his momentum into the second quarter with six more, while fellow guard Chen Shih-chieh added eight more in a 23-point second to close out the first half with a seemingly comfortable 45-26 advantage.
The 19-point lead did not rattle the Brew Crew as they chipped away at the deficit with a solid third that saw them outscore the Builders 27-16 to pull within 10 at the start of the fourth.
That was the mental boost they needed as they kept fighting back against the Builders and the clock to pull within one with less than a minute to play before Shang’s clutch two put them ahead for good.
Speedy guard Chiang Yu-an showed no signs of his tender age by leading all scorers with 23 on the night, including seven in the decisive fourth, to lead the underdogs past their foes.
As for Pure Youth, failure to protect the ball in an eight-turnover fourth was the difference in the game as they squandered a big lead in a dismal fourth to close out the game with a whimper.
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