Import players are making their impact felt in the opening week as the 2011-12 SBL season tipped off in the central city of Miaoli on Saturday.
6-7 Kevin Johnson had double-doubles on consecutive games and led Yulon to a 2-0 start, beating Pure Youth and KKL respectively. Johnson had 22 points, 23 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals against PY and 28 and 22 against KKL.
A pair of former NBA players also turned in solid performances. Marcus Fizer had 23 points and 13 rebounds in his debut and led Taiwan Mobile to a comeback win against Bank of Taiwan, 66-62.
Noel Felix tallied 19 points, 13 rebounds and 5 blocks in Dacin's 70-62 opening win over defending champion Taiwan Beer and followed up with 17 and 8 in a 86-77 win over PY.
In terms of local players, Chen Hsin-an and Tien Lei both had a disappointing week.
Chen, who returned from China and joined Pure Youth, was a combined 7 for 25 from the field and has averaged 9 points in two games. Having been picked by some analysts as a favorite to make the SBL Finals, Pure Youth opened the season 0-2.
Coming off a lower leg stress fracture injury after a 12-month rest, 202cm forward Tien Lei had only 11 points in two games and played only 9 minutes in the second game due to knee injury. His injury is reportedly to be minor.
PY's Terence Dials had 20 and 19 in the first game but hurt his knee in the third quarter against Dacin on Sunday and left the game with 14 points. According to media reports, Dials will undergo a MRI to determine how serious of his injury. It was reported that PY may have to start searching for a new import player.
Dacin 70-62 TB
Dacin: N. Felix 19p+13rb+5b, Tien Lei 5p+6rb
TB: D. Carr 16p+8rb+3b
Yulon 88-71 PY
Yulon: K. Johnson 22p+23rb+4a+4b, Chou Po-chen 15p+6rb
PY: T. Dials 20p+19rb, Chen Hsin-an 8p (3-13 FG)+4TO
Yulon 81-67 KKL
Yulon: K. Johnson 28p+22rb, Lee Chi-yi 14p
KKL: Hong Chih-chao 16p, A. Broxsie 12p+8rb
TM 66-62 BOT
TM: M. Fizer 23p+13rb, Deng An-cheng 8p+11rb
BOT: Hsu Chih-chang 19p, J. Vaudrieul 14p+14rb
(Photos: Apple Daily and Liberty Times)