Friday, May 18, 2007

Dacin knocked Yulon out of the SBL playoffs

(Tien Lei, left, scored 38 points in the clincher, photo courtesy of ESPN Taiwan)

(Dacin beat Yulon 3-2 in the first round series and will meet Taiwan Beer in the finals, photo courtesy of ESPN Taiwan)

Two weeks after NBA's top seed Dallas Mavericks was eliminated in the first round by the No. 8 seed Golden State Warriors, the SBL presented its own shocker.

Tien Lei had 38 points and 13 rebounds in the Game 5 of the first round series as Dacin Tigers beat Yulon Dinos 3-2 after a 77-75 win Thursday night and advanced to the SBL Finals for the second time in team history.

Dacin was swept by Yulon 3-0 in the 2004-05 SBL Finals. It will meet Taiwan Beer, who also upset No. 2 seed Videoland in the first round series, 3-1, in a best-of-seven Finals.

The hero of the game was Tien Lei, who made a series-winning reverse layup with 13.1 seconds remaining and scored 32 of his 38 points in the second half. Tien took the game on his shoulder and was the main reason Dacin was able to recover from a 15-point halftime deficit.

Trailing 39-24 at the half, Dacin took the lead, 53-51, after a 29-12 rally in the third quarter. Tien Lei scored 17 points in the period, including three three-pointers.

Dacin led by as many as seven in the final period. But Yulon refused to back down. Tsun Wen-din's steal and fastbreak layup tied the score at 75 all with under a minute to go. After Tien's layup, Yulon still has time for a final shot. But Chen Hsin-an missed and Lu Cheng-ju failed to convert the follow-up at the final buzzer.

(For the first time, Yulon is out of the SBL finals, photo courtesy of ESPN Taiwan)

Which means, there would be no four-peat for Yulon Dinos. This time, Yulon players have to watch the SBL finals on TV.

(Lee Fong-yong saved his best game of the season for Thursday night, photo courtesy of ESPN Taiwan)

Dacin: Tien Lei 38p+13rb, Lee Fong-yong 20p
Yulon: Tsun Wen-din 27p+9rb+5blk, Chen Chih-chun 17p+8rb, Chou Shih-yuan 13p, Chen Hsin-an 12p+7rb