Monday, May 07, 2007

Yulon beat VL in 3OT to win regular season champ

(Chen Hsin-an comes to the rescue, photo courtesy of ESPN Taiwan)

Chen Hsin-an had 7 points in the last 1:12 of the regulation and Tsun Wen-din had a career-high 48 points as Yulon beat Videoland 116-111 in 3OT to finish atop the regular season for the fourth season in a row and win the No.1 seed in the playoffs.

Yulon (22-8) will meet No. 4 Dacin Tigers (17-13) in the best-of-five first round playoffs which starts May 11. Regular season runner-up Videoland Hunters (22-8) will meet No. 3 Taiwan Beer (19-11) in the other first round matchup.

The season finale was a game Yulon and VL loved to take, since it would determine the regular season title and a chance to avoid meeting tough Taiwan Beer in the first round series. Yulon would like to keep its title as "the only SBL regular season winner" while Videoland was desperately to win its first regular season title in team history.

VL led by as many as 14 points in the first half. But anyone knew an experienced team like Yulon would make a rally in the second half, which it did. Chen Hsin-an scored 14 of his 26 points in the fourth period to lead Yulon back in to the game. Chen scored 7 points in the last 1:12, including two power layups, and could've been the hero of the game before he missed four consecutive free-throws to give VL a breathing room as the game went into overtime.

Yulon was able to prevail after three overtime periods as Videoland players kept missing potential winners down the stretch. Jonathan Sanders' layup in the first OT rimmed out. Yang Che-yi's potential game-tying layup rimmed out in the third overtime.

The officiating didn't favor the Hunters as well. Four Hunters fouled out of the game, including Sanders who received two technicals in the game and at one point punched the courtside advertisement board to release his anger for missing calls.

Give Sanders credit though. He played his heart out by scoring 43 points and pulliing down 24 rebounds, trying to deliver his team a regular season title. In my opinion, Sanders will probably named as the regular season MVP for his consistent performance throughout the season and his leadership to transfrom Videoland from a non-playoff team into a title contender.

VL forward Lee Chi-yi missed both games this week for personal reasons. His mother passed away last week.

In other games today, Bank of Taiwan finished the season losing 18 straight. It was hard to imagine this is the same team that pushed Yulon to its limit in last year's first round playoff series. At the same time, Taiwan Beer tanked another game and Azio Eagles took advantage for its 7th win of the season, surpassing its 6-win goal before the season.

Azio 95-78 TB
Azio: James Mao 20p+7rb+3a+4s, Chien Jia-hong 20p+7rb, Hsu Shi-ching 16p, Hong Chih-shan 12p
TB: Lin Chih-jay 24p+6rb+4a(23 min), Lin Kwan-lun 12p, Pan Jen-der 10p

Dacin 77-63 BOT
Dacin: Tsai Jun-min 16p+10rb, Lo Yu-chun 12p
BOT: Ju Yong-hong 17p+10rb, Chang Bo-shen 12p, Chang Jun-hsuan 14p+8rb, Chen Shun-hsiang 12p

Yulon 116-111(3OT) Videoland
Yulon: Tsun Wen-din 48p+10rb, Chen Hsin-an 26p, Chou Shih-yuan 14p
VL: J. Sanders 43p+24rb, Yang Che-yi 18p, Wu Yong-jen 14p, Hu Yu-wei 13p