Taiwan SBL finals heads to Game 6 clincher

Yulon Dinos star Marcus Keene sparked his team with 46 points, including seven 3-pointers, in a sink-or-swim Game 5 of the Taiwan SBL finals on Tuesday in New Taipei City.

With a 99-81 victory, the Dinos forced a decisive Game 6 in the Super Basketball League finals. (Taiwan Beer entered the championship series with an automatic 1-0 advantage after finishing the regular season with the league’s top record.)

On Tuesday, Keene, a 24-year-old Central Michigan University product, delivered a Taiwan SBL finals single-game scoring record. By doing so, Keene eclipsed Sean Chen’s 39-point performance in the 2008 Finals.

Dramatic SBL finals

Taiwan Beer triumphed in Games 3 and 4, 94-74 and 90-82, respectively to take a 3-2 series lead.

In Game 5, Keene’s teammate Lu Cheng-ju added 16 points to help the Yulon Dinos even things up at 3-3. Doug Creighton chipped in with 12 points.

A week earlier, the Yulon Dinos recorded an upset victory in the Taiwan SBL finals opener.

Pivotal third quarter

After taking a 47-40 lead into the locker room at halftime, the Taiwan SBL title-chasing Dinos thoroughly dominated the third quarter.

Taiwan Dream trailed 75-55 entering the final stanza.

Taiwan Beer standouts

In Tuesday’s Game 5, Igor Zaytsev finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while American teammate Kentrell Barkley contributed 13 points and eight boards.

A look ahead

Game 6 is set for Thursday to decide the Taiwan SBL finals champion.

Did you know?

Marcus Keene averaged an NCAA Division I-best 30.0 points per game during the 2016-17 campaign. Sports Illustrated published a feature on Keene in February 2017.

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