Following the team’s latest import signings, the Formosa Dreamers showed grit and determination, edging out the Taipei Fubon Braves at home, 88-80.
Helped by Jet Chang’s early seven points, the Dreamers were able to tie the game at 11 points apiece after five minutes of play in the opening period. With a combination of playing at a faster pace than the Braves and a tough defensive effort, the home side was able to end the first period with a slight one-point advantage.
Chang continued to light it up in the ensuing quarter, but the Braves’ Joseph Lin helped keep the visitors within striking range with two long bombs, displaying his craftiness and confidence off the bench. He finished the first half with 12 points.
The Dreamers, though, would go into the half up by two points at 36-34 behind the hot hand of Chang and defensive aggressiveness of import Jerran Young.
In the second half, newest Dreamers import Anthony Tucker and the Braves’ OJ Mayo took turns showcasing each’s signature moves, but it was a Charles Garcia fastbreak basket which gave Fubon a five point lead early in the third quarter. Formosa quickly responded with deep threes from Chang and Wu Sung Wei.
Starting late in the third quarter and moving into the final period, it was Tucker’s turn to take over scoring duties as the guard drained four 3-pointers to maintain his team’s lead despite immediate rebuttals by the Braves on the other end of the court to keep the game tight. With five minutes remaining in regulation, the visitors trailed by just five points.
Both sides continued to exchange baskets, but a clutch 3-pointer from Tucker with under a minute remaining put the Dreamers up seven points, essentially icing the game for the home team. The second round of the Taiwan Tussle would ultimately result in an 88-80 victory for Formosa.
Though he was held scoreless in the first half, former World Import MVP Tucker was able to find his shooting stroke in the second half to finish with 25 points and nine assists. After his hot start, Chang eventually cooled off but still poured in 21 points, while Young added 19 points, 15 rebounds, and eight dimes to secure their team’s second win of the season.
The game against the rival Dreamers was the Braves’ first without key starter Lin Chih-Chieh, who is expected to miss 6-8 weeks following a foot injury. In his absence, Fubon struggled to find a replacement who could fill in the shoes left by the veteran.
Taiwanese-American guard Lin was able to provide a much needed spark off the bench, ending his night with a team-high 23 points including hitting 5-of-8 shots from beyond the arc, but the rest of the visiting squad were relatively quiet, with the unit turning the ball over 16 times.
Formosa is set to play the second home game of a back-to-back against San Miguel Alab Pilipinas on Sunday, December 22, while the Taipei Fubon Braves will be looking for revenge in the third edition of their ongoing rivalry with the Dreamers on their home floor at Taipei Heping Basketball Gymnasium January 3.
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