The New Taipei CTBC DEA broke their two-game losing streak with a 117-103 road victory over the TaiwanBeer HeroBears in Taipei on Saturday to climb to second in the six-team T1 LEAGUE standings.
The victory gave the DEA a 4-3 record, pulling them even with the Taichung Suns, half a game behind the 4-2 Kaohsiung Aquas, the league’s defending champions.
DEA head coach Lee Yi-hua (李逸驊) said the victory was very much needed after the team’s recent struggles.
“Overall, we played really well. Our point guard Lin Wei-han (林韋翰) controlled the tempo and carried out our plays,” Lee said. “I hope we can keep this up.”
Though the DEA won the game, it was HeroBears forward Cleanthony Robert Early who led all scorers with 28 points, and teammate Branden Dawson contributed 26 points and 17 rebounds.
DEA small forward Mohammad Al Bachir Gadiaga, known to local fans as “Abbasi” (阿巴西), led his side with 25 points and eight rebounds.
The New Taipei team seemed in control of the game early, pulling to a 44-31 lead with just over seven minutes left in the second quarter after a layup by shooting guard Lin Ping-sheng (林秉聖).
But TaiwanBeer answered with a seven-point run to narrow the gap to 44-38 and rallied to pull ahead at halftime 56-54 on a late putback by HeroBears forward Branden Dawson.
The DEA reasserted themselves to take an 87-81 lead at the end of the third quarter, but the HeroBears stayed in touch in the final period, remaining within eight at 106-98 with under five minutes to go.
It was then that the HeroBears started misfiring, and a three-pointer by shooting guard Hsieh Ya-hsuan (謝亞軒), two two-pointers by center Krajina Kristijan and one by center Edgaras Zelionis for the DEA in the next two minutes put the game out of reach.
The Taipei-based team is now fourth in the league with a 2-2 record.
The DEA play their next game against the Taoyuan Leopards at Xinzhuang Gymnasium on Dec. 17, while the HeroBears will host the Tainan TSG GhostHawks at the University of Taipei’s Tianmu campus gym on Sunday.
Aquas blow out Suns
Also, in the T1 LEAGUE on Saturday, the Aquas overpowered the Taichung Suns with a 120-90 win at home at Kaohsiung Arena.
Playmaker Jason Brickman posted 21 points, six rebounds, and 11 assists for the Aquas, while shooting 9-13 from the floor, including 3-6 from beyond the arc. Suns center Diamond Stone led his team with 27 points, nine rebounds and three assists.
The Aquas will host the Taoyuan Leopards at Kaohsiung Arena on Sunday, while the Suns will next face the HeroBears at National Taiwan University of Sport Gymnasium in Taichung on Dec. 17.
Steelers sixth consecutive loss in PLG
In the P. LEAGUE+, the Kaohsiung 17Live Steelers collected their sixth consecutive loss on Saturday, falling 125-119 to the defending champion Taipei Fubon Braves at Kaohsiung Fengshan Stadium.
Steelers forward Terrence Jones contributed 39 points and 12 rebounds, while Aaron Harrison, who was playing his first game for the Kaohsiung team, added 27 points. Braves center Chris Johnson led his team with 36 points and 11 rebounds.
Sitting at the bottom of the six-team P. LEAGUE+ standings with an 0-6 record, the Steelers take on the New Taipei Kings at Kaohsiung Fengshan Stadium on Sunday. The Kings lead the league with a 5-1 record.
The Braves, who improved to 4-2, will next play the Formosa Taishin Dreamers on Dec. 6 at the Taichung Intercontinental basketball dome.
Lioneers outhustle Dreamers
Also in the P. LEAGUE+, the Hsinchu Jko Lioneers outhustled the Dreamers 82-77 at Hsinchu County Stadium to go to 4-2 and draw even with the Braves. The Dreamers fell to fourth place in the six-team league with a 3-3 mark.
The Lioneers will host the Taoyuan Pauian Pilots at Hsinchu County Stadium on Sunday.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel