Unbeaten Taiwan Beer took advantage of a tremendous start in which they outscored the Dacin Tigers 21-5 in the first seven minutes of play and went on to defeat the Cats 94-75 in Game 3 of the semi-finals at the Sinjhuang Sports Complex in New Taipei City last night to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Patrick O’Bryant played his best game of the post-season thus far by downing 34 points to spearhead a high-powered Taiwan Beer offense that lit up the scoreboard with 78 points in just three quarters of play.
Also starring was Liu Cheng, who netted 23 on the night to up his three-game scoring total to a whopping 79 points — an average of 26.3 points per game.
Photo: Hui Liao-zhen, Taipei Times
“We are playing better as a team now and that is very important in the post-season,” Liu said after the game.
His team outplayed the Tigers in nearly every facet of the game, highlighted by an astonishing 20-for-32 shooting from the field (62.5) to cruise past Dacin in convincing fashion.
What should have been a closely-matched series between the second and third-seeded teams has been all Taiwan Beer after their 95-90 overtime victory in the opener and having won the past two games by an average margin of 15 points.
The two teams are to have a day off today before tomorrow night’s potential series-clincher in New Taipei City.
PURE YOUTH 82, BRAVES 69
In the night’s other match, top-seeded Pure Youth Construction made it two wins in a row by roughing up the Fubon Braves 82-69 to take Game 3 of the semi-finals.
The win not only gave the four-time defending champions a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven set, but also restored some much-needed confidence after they unexpectedly dropped the opener on Saturday to fall behind the Braves.
Four three’s apiece from Doug Creighton and Peng Chun-yen led a Builders attack that converted 12 of 28 from downtown to overwhelm a Fubon defense that seemed out of synch at times.
Pure Youth also dominated the boards by out-rebounding their opponents 47-31, thanks to a great defensive effort that kept the Braves off the glass.
“Defense was the key to our win, especially in the third quarter,” Creighton said after the game.
The former Taipei American School standout led his team with 17 points on the night, while holding Fubon top scorer Earl Barron to 18 points in the game, more than 10 points short of Barron’s 29.7 average points per game in their three wins over the Yulon Luxgens in the first round.
The Builders defense held Fubon to a dismal 6-for-23 shooting from the floor in a 14-point third, while scoring 25 on offense to break a 10-point halftime lead wide open in the decisive third.
Heading into the contest with one win apiece, both clubs realized the importance of winning this game.
However, it was Pure Youth who executed their game plan better on the court, with five three’s in the opening frame to set the tone early in the game.
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