Dacin, Yulon to clash in Taiwan pro basketball finals

Defending champions the Dacin Tigers will meet Yulon Luxgen Friday in game one of a best-of-seven Super Basketball League (SBL) finals to determine Taiwan’s best professional basketball team.

Both teams fought off fierce opposition to clinch their berths in the finals after a grueling five-game first-round playoff series in which Dacin edged out Taiwan Beer 57-55 and Yulon held off Pure Youth 76-69 in decisive games Wednesday.

Led by local star Tien Lei and American import Byron Allen, Dacin came back from a 2-1 deficit to beat Taiwan Beer and will try to become the third repeat champion of the SBL, Taiwan’s top basketball league. Yulon won the title 2003-2006, while Taiwan Beer hoisted the championship trophies 2007-2008.

Yulon, the only team that does not hire imported players, will ride on the shoulders of star center Tseng Wen-ting and hopes to win its first title in four years.

Dacin and Yulon were tied at 19 wins and 11 losses in the 30-game regular season. Yulon, which is making its fifth appearance in the finals, routed Dacin 3-0 in the 2005 finals, the last post-season meeting of the two teams.

Dacin beat Taiwan Beer 4-3 in the best-of-seven finals last year to win its first SBL champion.

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