The New Taipei Kings earned an impressive come-from-behind 106-101 win after having been down by 22 points against the two-time defending champion the Taipei Fubon Braves while on the road in Taipei on Friday, giving it an 8-3 record that kept it at the top of the P. LEAGUE+ standings.
The Kings made the monster turnaround late in the fourth quarter at Taipei Heping Basketball Gymnasium as Kings forward Amigo Yang (???) led all scorers with 29 points, seven rebounds and two assists.
After the game, Yang said even though his team was behind in the first three quarters, his teammates kept encouraging each other to carry out a comeback.
"We faced a lot of difficulty in the first half and it was the same situation when we last played them (the Braves). So our players kept talking to each other about what we needed to do, and the coaching staff was also there to give us confidence," Yang said.
The Braves took early command of the game before the Kings answered back to narrow the margin. Taiwanese basketball veteran, the "Beast" Lin Chih-chieh (???), then came off the bench to make it a 10-point game 24-14 after a turnaround jump shot at 4 minutes and 32 seconds left in the quarter.
Another shot from downtown from the Beast further widened the lead to 27-14 as the Kings committed too many unnecessary turnovers and ended the quarter trailing 34-25.
The Braves held onto their lead throughout the second quarter with the Kings unable to connect on their shots to finish the first half 64-48. Braves center Chris Johnson whipped up a storm in the first half, posting 16 points, shooting 6-8 from the floor, including 3-4 from beyond the arc.
The 37-year-old 2.11-meter-tall American big man also turned the Braves homecourt into "Block City" with five dazzling blocks of Kings' shot attempts that captivated the home fans.
The second half returned with both teams trading baskets before the speed and agility of the Braves carried them to a 22-point 85-63 lead after forward Josh Chou (???) scored a two-pointer with 4 minutes and 40 seconds on the clock in the third quarter.
The third quarter finished 91-75 with the Braves in the lead.
The Kings managed to cut the deficit down to 10 points to 91-81 after guard Joseph Lin drained a three-pointer in just under a minute after the start of the fourth quarter.
The gap was further narrowed to 95-90 after Kings forward Amigo Yang (???) made an and-one three-point play around six minutes into the quarter.
Things then looked promising for the Kings as Yang drained a three-pointer to make it a two-point game 95-93.
A basket from beyond the arc and a bucket from inside the paint by Kings center Bryon Mullens finally put their team ahead 98-97 with just under three minutes left in the game.
The Kings turned up the heat as the Braves turned cold to win the game 106-101. The Braves only scored 10 points in the fourth quarter compared to the Kings' 31.
The New Taipei team is at the top of the six-team P. LEAGUE+ standings with an 8-3 record, while the Braves are third with a 7-5 record.
Kings top Steelers
Earlier this week on Tuesday, the Kings topped the Kaohsiung 17LIVE Steelers 100-89 at Fongshan Stadium.
Steelers guard Aaron Harrison led all scorers with a double-double of 23 points and 11 rebounds, as well as four assists and one steal.
The Kaohsiung team is at the bottom of the league standings with only one win from 10 games played.
Upcoming P. LEAGUE+ games
The Formosa Taishin Dreamers will host the Steelers and the Kings on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, at Taichung Intercontinental basketball dome.
Meanwhile, the Taoyuan Pauian Pilots will host the Hsinchu Jko Lioneers on Saturday and the Braves on Sunday at Taoyuan Arena.
Upcoming T1 LEAGUE games
The Tainan TSG GhostHawks will host the Taoyuan Leopards and the Taichung Suns on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, at Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science Shao Tsung Gymnasium.
The New Taipei CTBC DEA will take on the defending champion Kaohsiung Aquas on Saturday and the Taipei-based TaiwanBeer HeroBears on Sunday at Xinzhuang Gymnasium.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel