The same story persists for the third edition of the Taiwan Tussle for the tenth season of the ASEAN Basketball League. Like what happened in the first two matches, the home team ended up taking the victory as the Taipei Fubon Braves used a big fourth-quarter run to defeat the Formosa Dreamers, 83-76, Friday night at the Taipei Heping Gymnasium.
The Dreamers were actually looking good up until the tail end of the third quarter as a Wu Sung Wei triple gave them a 62-57 lead. However, it was veteran Tsai Wen-Cheng who capped the period with a sweeping hook shot to pull the Braves closer.
OJ Mayo then took over in the early goings of the fourth period for the home team. He assisted on a Charles Garcia clam dunk to start the final quarter then got a steal that led to a triple that tied the count at 64-all. The Dreamers failed to get their first field goal of the fourth quarter until the 5:58 mark with a layup courtesy of Jerran Young.
Mayo, Garcia, and Tsai put the finishing touches in the victory for Fubon as they outscored the Dreamers 24 to 14 in the fourth quarter.
The big change for Fubon in this match was the entry of Maxie Esho, who won the ABL title last season with the BTN CLS Knights Indonesia. Although he did not shoot well from the field, having him around meant that Fubon could afford to play all their three imports together for long stretches, which was something they could not do Sim Bhullar as they tried to conserve the big man’s energy.
Mayo led the charge for the Braves with 26 points on 10 of 16 shooting from the field, while sinking four triples. Garcia added 22 points and grabbed rebounds while Esho finished with 16 points and six rebounds. Joseph Lin struggled with his new role as a starter now for Fubon as he only scored two points after dropping 23 in their last meeting.
Young led Formosa with 25 points alongside 14 rebounds, six assists, four steals, and two blocks. Chang Tsung-Hsien added 17 markers but it was a slow scoring night for their two other imports with Anthony Tucker and Jordan Tolbert only combining for 19 points on 7 of 21 shooting from the field.
The Braves need to quickly forget about his win though as they only have a few hours to prepare for another home game, this time against the Singapore Slingers.