P. LEAGUE+ & T1 LEAGUE/Dwight Howard scores 37 points in inaugural T1 LEAGUE All-Star Game

Eight-time NBA All Star Dwight Howard and his Taoyuan Leopards teammate Michael Efevberha posted 37 and 36 points, respectively, in the inaugural T1 LEAGUE All-Star Game, contributing to a 55-point 179-124 blowout team Infinity win on Tuesday in Taipei.

The All-Star Game saw the league's best and most popular players compete in two teams -- team Infinity and team Beyond -- for fans at Taipei Heping Basketball Gymnasium.

Howard recorded a total of 37 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists and two steals, while Efevberha dropped 36 points, eight rebounds, four dimes, one steal and two blocks.

Having been named MVP of the game, Howard said at the post-game press conference that he was grateful for the experience to play basketball in Taiwan and humbled to be named MVP.

"Having all the fans come out to support us in our first-ever inaugural (T1 LEAGUE) All-Star Game was amazing and I think we have raised the level of competition here in Taiwan," Howard said.

"I think we opened it up for more players to want to come and be a part of this wonderful culture and part of this league, and I'm just grateful to be a part of that," Howard said.

T1 LEAGUE champion coach of the Kaohsiung Aquas, Brendan Joyce, who coached team Infinity, said the team's shooting was "incredible."

"Great experience to be part of the first (T1 LEAGUE) all-star game, great experience to be involved with Dwight," Joyce said. "He's done a lot for basketball, been to the Olympic Games, World Cup, NBA All-Star. He's done it all. To have him here in Taiwan is awesome for the league."

Howard and Efevberha had already posted 21 points each at half-time, contributing to team Infinity's 60-point 117-57 lead over team Beyond at that point.

After the break, the high-scoring intensity of team Infinity did not stop as they charged ahead to lead 156-99 at the end of the third quarter before winning the game 179-124.

Three-point shootout

Taichung Suns shooting guard Lu Kuan-hsuan (???) won the three-point shooting contest with a total of 31 points, overcoming Kaohsiung Aquas point guard Yu Huan-ya (???), New Taipei CTBC DEA shooting guard Hsieh Ya-hsuan (???) and TaiwanBeer HeroBears shooting guard Lee Chi-wei (???), who all made it into the final round.

In the final round, Yu, Hsieh and Lee tallied 22, 22 and 19 points, respectively.

Howard was also one of eight players that took part in the competition, but finished sixth in the first round and did not qualify to advance into the final round, which only involved the top four finishers.

Slam dunk contest

Meanwhile, in the slam dunk contest, Tainan TSG GhostHawks small forward Liu Chun-ting (???) was the top performer after completing a series of technical maneuvers, including a one-handed throwdown while jumping over Howard.

Other contestants who took part in the high-flying contest were Suns forward Marlon Johnson, DEA power forward Zhou Cheng-rui (???) and GhostHawks small forward Chang Wei-hsiang (???).

The inaugural T1 LEAGUE All-Star Game is Taiwan's first all-star day festivities organized by a fully professional basketball league since the cessation of the Chinese Basketball Alliance over 20 years ago.

The T1 LEAGUE is one of two professional basketball leagues in Taiwan, with the other being the P. LEAGUE+.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel