Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dacin one win away from first SBL title


Dacin Tigers is thiiiiiiis close to an improbable finish after winning three in a row to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 series lead in the SBL Finals. Dacin routed TB 81-63 Saturday and is on the verge of winning its first SBL title in team history if it wins again tonight.

The controversial team, which was owned by CTBA President Wang Jen-da and has been accused by opponents time and again receiving officiating favors, has a shot of being the first title team to win four straight following two losses and achieve the improbably comeback.

Guard Wang Chih-chun made four threes as Dacin ignited a 19-3 run in the third quarter and routed TB 81-63 for a 3-2 series lead Saturday night. After a sluggish start, Dacin took the lead at the half after a 11-0 run in the second quarter and took control in the second half.

601899733 TB's Lin Chih-chieh injured his left ankle in Game 4 but insisted on playing. Lin entered the game as a substitute and inspired his teammates and the crowd. However, it was just not enough to stop Dacin's three-point attack and maybe ended up hurting the team. Dacin made 10 threes in the game.

Wang Chih-chun paced Dacin with 16 points and 7 rebounds while Lin Yi-hui and Chen Tse-wei each had 14 points. Import Byron Allen collected 8 points and 12 rebounds.

Yang Ching-min led TB with 13 points. Chen Shih-nian had 12. Lin Chih-chieh had only 5 points on 2-of-8 shooting.

On Friday, Dacin rained 10 three-pointers on Taiwan Beer for a 89-75 victory to tie the series at 2-2. Lin Chih-chieh hurt his ankle less than 2 minutes into the game and never came back.

Regular season MVP Chang Chih-feng scored 26 points and had four steals. Chang, who received his MVP trophy before tipoff from Premier Liu Chao-hsiuan, and seldom-used sub Yen Chia-wei made four threes in the final quarter to open up the game.

Allen had another double-double of 14 points and 13 boards for Dacin.

Taiwan Beer was led by Yang Ching-min's 23 points. Ho Shou-cheng had 17 points and 7 rebounds and Yang Yu-min had 15.

Up until now, this has been a Finals of Threes as the team which makes more long-range bombs wins. Dacin made 10 threes in Game 3, 4 and 5 and won them all. Taiwan Beer shot 12-for-20 and 12-for-24 from downtown in Game 1 and 2 and quickly took a 2-0 lead.

392652704 Frankly speaking, I think Taiwanese basketball has been going in the wrong direction by shooting more and more threes. It's true that Taiwan always faces taller and physically stronger opponents in international competition, but you just don't live and die by three-pointers.

Take Dacin forward Tien Lei, who has been extremely quiet in the Finals, for example. Tien never learned how to play inside and expressed clearly that he didn't like to do so. As far as I'm concerned, it's one of the reasons why Tien has become less a threat. It's always easier to defend a 6-7 three-point shooter than a versatile inside-outside 6-7 wingman.

Tien still grabs more than a fair share of rebounds because of his height and jumping ability. But I think he can be two times better by developing his inside game.

(Photos: Yahoo Taiwan Sports)