Monday, April 23, 2007

ETSN, Dacin clash inevitable

(VL forward Jonathan Sanders had 30 points and 24 rebounds, photo courtesy of ESPN Taiwan)

ETSN beat Azio and Dacin lost to Taiwan Beer Sunday as the Antelopes (15-13) pulled within 1/2 game behind the Tigers (15-12) in the two-team race to the final playoff seed with one week to go in the SBL regular season.

The SBL regular season will have a bye week, however, before ETSN meets Dacin in the decisive game on May 4. The league failed to find a venue to house the games next week.

ETSN and Dacin tied at 2-2 in the previous meetings, which makes the May 4 game more crucial because it will determine the seed if two teams finish with the same won-loss record.

ETSN almost let its playoff hope slip away when Azio finally pulled ahead 77-75 with 2:36 remaining. Wu Jia-long's three and Yang Yu-min's fastbreak layup put the Antelopes ahead 80-75 with 50.9 seconds to go before Azio pulled within two again on Chen Shi-jay's two free-throws.

After a timeout, ESTN went to Delvin Thomas, who scored the winner on a power layup and help ETSN regained a comfortable three-point lead, 82-79.

Taiwan Beer, which trailed for most of the game, rallied for the win over Dacin with a 23-12 fourth quarter, including two 8-0 runs.

In the first game of the day, Jonathan Sanders had 30 points and 24 rebounds as Videoland (20-9) overcame a 14-point deficit and beat Bank of Taiwan 91-81. VL, which had a momentum-changing 17-2 run in the third quarter, became the first team to reach 20 wins for the season and climbed to No.1 again.

Sanders, who was among the regular season MVP candidates, had six highlight-reel dunks in the game. BOT lost its 16th consecutive game.

More than 9,000 fans packed the Miaoli Dome Sunday. It probably registered the highest attendence in a basketball game in Taiwan in recent memories.

(SBL regular season games in Miaoli Dome, Miaoli City)

VL 91-81 BOT
VL: J. Sanders 30p(14-23 FG)+24rb(13 ORB), Wu Yong-jen 16p+6a, Lee Wei-min 11p
BOT: Chien Ming-fu 20p+6rb+5a, Yang Chin-min 15p+6rb, Hsu CHi-chan 18p+9rb, Yua Ying-li 10p+3blk

ETSN 84-79 Azio
ETSN: Wu Dai-hao 18p+9rb+5blk, D. Thomas 11p+4rb, O-Yang Jin-hen 19p, Yang Yu-min 17p
Azio: Chien Jia-hong 18p+11rb, Wu Jian-long 17p

TB 76-70 Dacin
TB: Lin Chih-jay 18p, Lo Shin-liang 12p, Liin Kwan-lun 10p, Chen Shih-nian 10p+5a
Dacin: Tien Lei 23p+13rb+6a, Wang Chih-chun 15p+7rb