Led by Lin Chi-jay, who had 37 points, 10 rebounds and 4 steals, Taiwan NT edged Niigata Albirex 101-98 in overtime for its first win Saturday in the inaugural Asian Professional Basketball (APB) tournament.
Taiwan NT escaped with the fortunate win after making 3 of 6 foul shots in the last minute in overtime as Albirex came up with two airballs.
Tien Lei had 21 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 blocks and 3 steals before fouling out. Lee Chi-yi had 18 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks while Lee Hsueh-lin had 12 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
Niigata stayed with the home team because Taiwan NT kept missing free throws. The home team made only 8 of 21 free throws in the second half, including 5 of 12 in overtime.
Kimitake Sato, who had a team-high 24 points in the game, tied the game with a 3-pointer with 2:27 left in overtime, but that was the last basket for Niigata, which was hurt with more than 20 turnovers.
Sato scored five unanswered points in the last minute of the regulation to put Albirex on top, 90-87. Lin Chi-jay tied the game with a 3-poineter with 7.6 seconds to go before Niigata head coach Masaya Hirose called timeout for the last shot.
Veteran Makoto Hasegawa went to the basket but was stripped of the ball by Yang Che-yi, who was fouled hard and taken off the court due to injury. Lin Chi-jay, however, missed two potential game-winning free-throws with 0.9 seconds to go.
LG Sakers of South Korea defeated San Miguel Beermen, 76-65, to top the standing with two straight wins.
LG Sakers 2-0
Perth Wildcats 1-0
Taiwan NT 1-1
San Miguel 0-1