Yang Yu-ming’s team-high 21 points, highlighted by five monstrous three-pointers in just 23 minutes of play, led Team White to a 114-87 win over Team Blue in this year’s SBL All-Star game at the Kaohsiung Arena in Greater Kaohsiung last night.
The local hero who graduated from Kaohsiung’s Lee Chih Senior High School won the hearts of a home crowd of more than 11,000 in the first ever All-Star game held in the southern city.
His deadly shooting earned the nod from members of the Basketball Writers’ Association for the coveted Most Valuable Player (MVP) honor, along with a NT$100,000 check.
“I’d like to thank the coaching staff for giving me as much floor time as I have had. Without their support I would not have been able to do as well as I did,” Yang said after the game.
He delivered on a promise he made in a press conference in Taipei earlier this week that he would make Kaohsiung proud.
In a game in which they never trailed, Team White, consisting of the top players from Taiwan Beer, the Taiwan Mobile Cloud Leopards, Bank of Taiwan and Pure Youth Construction, took a solid 28-20 lead after the first quarter and upped it to 15 by the end of the first half, before blowing the game wide open in the second half to run away with the lopsided victory.
WOWING THE CROWD
Also starring for Team White was Pure Youth’s Quincy Davis, who followed his MVP outing in Saturday night’s Rookies’ Exhibition with 21 points and 13 rebounds to tie Yang in scoring.
He wowed the crowd by soaring high in the air for several eye-opening slams on a night when Team White could do no wrong.
Four different players scored in double figures for Team White as the Bankers’ Chen Hsuen-hsiang matched Yang with five three-pointers in a 19-point outing, while the Leopards’ Chang Rong-hsuan poured in a dozen from his starting role.
Even though Team Blue — made up of the top players from the Dacin Tigers, the Yulon Luxgens and Kinmen Kaoliang — showed off their individual skills with several acrobatic dunks and put-back slams from the Luxgens’ Kevin Johnson and the Tigers’ Noel Felix, the outcome of the game was never in doubt after Team White took control of the game early.
Felix would lead all scorers with 28 points to champion a trio of double-digit scorers for Team Blue in a losing cause.
Chang proposed to his girlfriend in the middle of the court during the halftime interval as the crowd cheered on the local boy for allowing them to witness the special occasion.
Chang said he was especially grateful to his fans in Greater Kaohsiung, who voted him onto the starting lineup and always inspire him.