Sunday, May 27, 2007

SBL Finals: Taiwan Beer one win away from first SBL title

(Lin Chih-jay, photo courtesy of ESPN Taiwan)

For the second straight game, Taiwan Beer opened up a big lead in the first half and held off Dacin's rally in the second. TB beat Dacin 78-70 in Game 5 of the 2007 SBL Finals Sunday and took a 3-2 lead after winning Game 4 and 5.

TB is one win away from its first title in SBL history and can clinch the title if it wins the Game 6 on June 2.

The Beermen stepped up their defense and limiting Dacin's outside shooting to open up a 26-9 lead in the end of the first quarter. The lopsided score was up to 33-9 after a 7-0 TB run to open the second quarter.

Just as the game seemed out of reach, Tien Lei came to work. Tien helped Dacin cut the deficit to five points in mid-third quarter. Although TB increased the margin back to double-digit, Dacin once again made the game interesting when Tien Lei hit consecutive threes to make the score 74-70 with 1:12 to go.

Chang Chi-feng missed an easy layup on the ensuing play however. Dacin was forced to foul afterwards as TB point guard Chen Shih-nian made 4 straight free-throws to ensure the win.

Lin Chih-jay had 28 points to pace the Beermen while Chen Shih-nian, whose starting position has been taken by Hsu Hao-cheng, bounced back with 9 points and 6 rebounds. Lo Shin-liang, the missing link in the first four games, scored 10 points while forward Shan Wei-fan turned in an all around play of 7 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists.

Dacin received 26 points from Tien Lei, who was 5-of-11 from three and tried to single-handedly save the game, but little from anyone else. Lin Yi-huei had 14 points and Chen Tse-wei had 11. Starters Chang Chi-feng only had 2 points and Wang Chih-chun failed to score.