Sunday, June 03, 2007

Taiwan Beer beat Dacin 4-2 to win first SBL title

Taiwan Beer won the first SBL title in team history.

A broken play and a lucky shot gave Taiwan Beer, which almost closed down its basketball team four years ago, its first champion in team history. You could say, however, it's destiny.

Chen Shih-nian made a high-arching banked shot as the final buzzer sounded to help Taiwan Beer upset Dacin 69-68 in Game 6 of the 2007 SBL Finals Saturday and win the first SBL title in team history, wrapping up the series 4-2.

Lin Chih-jay, who had 15 points and 11 rebounds in the game and averaged for 23.2 points and 8.3 rebounds in the seires, was named Finals MVP.

Lin Chih-jay stuffed two of his 15 points in the title clincher.

2007 SBL Finals MVP Lin Chih-jay.

Trailing by 11 early in the second half, TB fought back to make it a tight game before the end of the third quarter, when Dacin led by two, 59-57.

With only 8 seconds to go and TB trailing by one, Taiwan Beer came out of the final timeout with a play to either let Lin Chih-jay operate on his own or pass to Lo Shin-liang, who stationed at the left baseline. But Lin was never able to find an opening and Lo couldn't get off a shot with two Dacin defender coming at his face.

Lo passed the ball to Hsu Hao-cheng, who tried to make a cut. Hsu fumbled the ball a little bit before passing to Chen Shih-nian at the top of the key. The rest was history. Chen, who had only 5 points in the game, made a high-arching banked shot as time expired.

Chen Shih-nian made the winning shot.

It's been a long way for TB from four years ago, when the state-owned company considered dropping its basketball team due to the pressure from the union. The union claimed that the basketball team did not bring any profit to the company and the company.

And what a change after four years. Last year, TB made it to the Finals but lost 4-1 to Yulon. Currently, TB is one of the most popular -- if not the most popular -- teams in the league. And finally, they took home a championship trophy.

TB head coach Yen Jia-hua cut down the net.

Tien Lei, who has been playing on a broken right thumb since Game 3, was held to 8 points on 1-of-13 shooting. He also pulled down 11 rebounds.

Dacin, which had a 9-point halftime lead, was led by Chang Chi-feng's 15 points. Lin Yi-huei had 14 while Lee Fong-yong had 12.

Dacin lost for the second time in the SBL Finals. It was swept by Yulon 3-0 in 2005.

Tien Lei was held to 8 points on a dismal 1-13 shooting.

(All photos courtsey of ESPN Taiwan)