The Taipei Fubon Braves evened up the inaugural P.League + Championship Playoffs series in style with a resounding 106-82 win over fellow ASEAN Basketball League team, the Formosa Taishin Dreamers backed by a boisterous sold out 7000 strong crowd at the Taipei Heping Gymnasium.
Looking to build on his 42 Points Game 1 performance, Stephan Hicks got the visitors going with a three pointer to start Game 2.
Still smarting from their controversial Game 1 loss, the Braves replied Hick’s three with a 9-0 run, starting off with five points from Ihor Zaytsev.
Playing his first game of the series, the 2017/2018 ASEAN Basketball League World Import MVP, Anthony Tucker would then lead the Dreamers on their fightback, scoring eight points on his own to make it a 17-14 lead for the visitors at the 5:30 mark.
Sticking with their same import duo from Game 1, the Braves’ Ihor Zaytsev and Mike Singletary quickly combined to restore the lead just a minute later.
The Braves finished the first quarter strong with a 13-1 run, capped off by tough left hand layup from Lee Mong-Hsieh making it a 27-18 lead for the hosts.
The Dreamers started the second quarter strong as former TCNJ Lion, Randall Walko sparked a 7-0 run with a steal and fast break layup.
The visitor’s comeback efforts suffered a blow as big man Lee Te-Wei picked up his third foul with seven minutes remaining in the quarter.
With the Dreamers missing Lee’s defensive presence in the paint, Ihor Zaytsev quickly took advantage with two quick drives to the basket, eventually leading to a double-digit lead for the Braves with five minutes remaining.
The Dreamer’s frustration showed as Anthony Tucker was called for an unsportsmanlike foul late in the quarter for preventing a fast break by Mike Singletary after losing the ball.
After a tough jumper by ‘Jet’ Chang-Tsung Hsien making it a 14-point lead with 15 seconds remaining, Singletary once again showed his class, with a steal and buzzer beating fast break lay up to stretch the lead to 16 at the half time break.
Not to be outdone by Singletary, Anthony Tucker started the third quarter with a steal and fast break lay up of his own.
This would only light further fire to Singletary, as the former Mono Vampire struck back with five points of his own with intent to quickly wrap up Game 2.
The Dreamers suffered a further blow with lead local scorer, ‘Amigo’ Yang Chin-Min taking his fourth foul early in the quarter.
Sensing blood and taking advantage of the Dreamer’s lethargic play, the Braves ballooned the lead to as high as 27 in the quarter after an Ihor Zaystev jumper at the 4:55 mark.
The Dreamers tried their best to stay in the game with Stephan Hicks scoring seven free throws to cut the lead to 20 at the 1:43 mark.
The Braves however, remained calm and just like the end of second quarter, forced a turnover that led to a Mike Singletary basket, ending the quarter with 84-61 lead for the Braves.
Mike Singletary did not let up, leading his team on a 9-0 to increase the lead to a game high 31 early in the fourth quarter.
With the outcome of the game looking like foregone conclusion, both teams would opt to spread their minutes across their rotation for the rest of the game.
The outcome never looked in jeopardy for the Braves, as they sailed comfortably to final 106-82 score.
Mike Singletary was without a doubt the best player of the game with a near triple double performance with 29 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists. Ihor Zaytsev and Jet Chang Tsung-Hsien finished with 25 and 17 points respectively.
On a forgettable game for the Dreamers that saw them shoot at a poor 35% rate, Anthony Tucker was a bright spark, logging in a triple double with 17 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Stephan Hicks contributed 19 points.
With the series now tied up, the next two games will be played on the Dreamer’s home court at the Changhua County Gymnasium.
Game 3 will take place on 13th of May with Game 4 taking place two days later on the 15th May.