Sunday, May 27, 2007

VL closes out Yulon 3-1 ; TB evens Finals at 2-2

(Led by Lin Chih-jay, TB evened the series at 2-2, photo courtesy of ESPN Taiwan)

Taiwan Beer's second unit rose to the occassion and helped the team avoid dropping to a 3-1 hole in the 2007 SBL Finals. Hsu Hao-cheng and Lin Kwan-lun filled in the starting lineup nicely, leading the Beermen to a 79-66 win over Dacin Tigers and evened the series 2-2 Saturday.

TB head coach Yen Jia-hua decided to insert hsu and Lin in the starting lineup to replace Chen Shih-nian and Lo Shin-liang, who haven't played well in the first three games, and his decision paid dividends. Point guard Hsu Hao-cheng, who had 6 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists, directed a perfect TB offense while Lin Kwan-lun scored 13 points as an off guard.

The game was almost the replay of the Game 3 last night, which Dacin routed TB. As Dacin failed to find baskets all game long, TB pulled away with a 23-6 run in the first half en route to a 13-point halftime lead and never looked back.

TB forward Lin Chih-jay was still brilliant in scoring 19 points, but the play of its second unit was the key. In addition to Hsu and Lin, backup forward Wang Jian-wei had 11 points and defended Tien Lei well. Veteran forward Shan Wei-fan had 10 points and 6 rebounds.

Dacin, which only scored 9 points in the second quarter, was led by Tien Lei's 12 points and 6 boards. Chen Tse-wei's 12 points all came in the second half, when the game has turned into a garbage time. Chang Chi-feng and Lin Yi-huei scored 11 points each.

Game 5 will be played Sunday.

(Videoland beat Yulon 3-1 for the third-place, photo courtesy of ESPN Taiwan)

It is official. Three-time defending champ Yulon Dinos ended the most disappointing season in its SBL history by losing to Videoland 3-1 in the third-place series Saturday. The Hunters closed out the series with a 94-85 win.

VL import Jonathan Sanders turned in 23 points, 19 rebounds and 4 assists in his last game with the team as current SBL regulation does not allow playoff teams hiring imports the next season.

Yang Che-yi had 23 points, 5 boards and 3 assists. Chen Huei had 14 points. Lin Shin-hwa and Lee Chi-yi scored 11 each.

Yulon hasn't been playing like a three-time defending champ in the playoffs this year. Maybe they took opponents lightly and their heads were never in the game. And maybe they were simply tired of winning all those titles. One thing is sure: they will have a long summer before coming back next year.

Yulon was led by Chen Chih-chun's 15 points.