Point guard Marcus Keene’s 46 points last night led the Yulon Luxgen Dinos to a 99-81 win over Taiwan Beer in the Super Basketball League (SBL) championship, evening up the series and forcing a deciding game tomorrow at the Hao Yu Sports Center in New Taipei City.
Keene had hot hands, draining seven shots from three-point range. Making 12 out of 16, his 46 points set a new league record for individual scoring in a championship game.
Taiwan Beer’s defense could not contain Keene, whose quickness and ball handling put him ahead of the opposition’s big men, Kentrell Barkley and Ihor Zaytsev.
Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times
Taiwan Beer head coach Chou Chun-san said after the game that Keene’s high-scoring exploit was a “performance on the level of Michael Jordan.”
Yulon Dinos head coach Lee Chi-yi added that Keene played more like Allen Iverson, the player’s NBA idol in his early years.
Yulon Dinos center Sim Bhullar — born in Canada to Indian parents — contributed to the victory by grabbing 11 rebounds, a game high for either team.
Taiwan Beer, the league’s top team this season with a 25-7 record, led the series by one game at the beginning of the night, but lacked the hunger to clinch the title.
Led by Keene’s outstanding individual effort, the Yulon Dinos’ teamwork put them ahead 47-40 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Yulon Dinos outscored their opponents 28 to 15 and extended their lead to 75-55.
The Yulon Dinos continued to rack up long-range shots throughout the final quarter, and although Taiwan Beer rallied, they were unable to close that gap.
Yulon Dinos forward Lu Cheng-ju made good on a three-pointer in the final minutes, killing any hope of a Taiwan Beer comeback and giving the winners momentum as they head into tomorrow’s decisive final game.
Lu chalked up 16 points for the Yulon Dinos, while Taiwanese-American Douglas Creighton chipped in with 12 markers — the other two on the team to reach double figures.
Zaytsev netted 15 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for Taiwan Beer, but the double-double was not enough.
Taiwan Beer’s Barkley, with 13 points and eight rebounds, and Chiang Yu-an, with 10 points and four rebounds, also put in fine performances.
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