Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lin leads TB to a quick 2-0 lead in SBL Finals

09051627sbl Lin Chih-chieh

Two-time SBL Finals MVP Lin Chih-chieh was at his full speed in the games that matter most. Lin scored 73 points in the first two games in the 2009 SBL Finals, leading Taiwan Beer to a quick 2-0 lead over Dacin Tigers.

Taiwan Beer, who's looking for a three-peat, defeated Dacin 95-76 in Game 1 and 88-81 in Game 2.

09051529sbl Lin, who was on and off during the regular season and did not even lead the team in scoring, took over the final series from the first minute, scoring TB's first seven points in Game 1. He had 13 of his game-high 29 points in the first quarter.

TB led 46-26 at the half. The 20 points lead was the largest margin in SBL Finals history.

Led by Tien Lei and import Byron Allen, Dacin cut the deficit to 11 in the third quarter. TB reverted to defense, holding Dacin scoreless in four and a half minutes and went on a 11-0 run during the span. The lead was back to 22 points with more than five minutes to go.

Lin made five of TB's 12 three-pointers and pulled down 10 rebounds. Yang Yu-min, who replaced Yang Ching-min's scoring role since the first round, was still hot and tallied 16 points.

Dacin was led by Allen's 20 points and 14 rebounds. Tien Lei and Chang Chih-feng both struggled. Tien had only nine points on 4-of-16 shooting. Chang was 2-for-7 and scored 4 points.

On Saturday, Lin was once again unstoppable, making 13 of 18 shots en route to his career SBL Finals high 34 points to go with 7 boards and 5 assists.

The 27-year-old forward-guard had 20 points in the first half, including 13 points in the first period when he made all six shot attempts.

972606411 Byron Allen had 13 points in the third quarter as Dacin stayed close behind, 68-64. Tension was high in the final quarter, when Chang Chih-feng took over the game by scoring 12 of Dacin's last 14 points.

Chang's effort was not enough. A layup by Lin Chih-chieh proved to be TB's final dagger. Dacin was never able to pull within five points.

TB was red-hot from the three-point land, making 12 trifectas. Center Wu Tai-hao had 15 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks to negate the monster game of Byron Allen, who had 24 points and 20 rebounds.

Yang Yu-min and Ho Chou-cheng scored 15 and 14 points respectively for Taiwan Beer.

Chang Chih-feng led Dacin with 26 points and seven rebounds. Tien Lei was still nowhere to be seen, managing to score only 10 points.

Dacin had no answer on Lin Chih-chieh up to this moment, obviously. "Hopefully his luck runs out in the next game, " Dacin head coach Chiu Da-tsun said.


Dacin fans.


Lin Chih-chieh.


Press conference before the Finals.


TB head coach Yen Chia-hwa.


Lin Chih-chieh.

(All photos: Yahoo Taiwan Sports)