New Taipei Kings Stay Unbeaten Despite Valiant Effort from Meralco Bolts

Photo credit: East Asia Super League / Paul Ou

November 29, 2023 – Xinzhuang Gymnasium, New Taipei City, Chinese Taipei
Gameday 7: Group B – New Taipei Kings (2-0) def. Meralco Bolts (0-2), 97-92

New Taipei Kings remain undefeated this season after beating a gutsy Meralco Bolts 97-92 this evening. The Kings extended their win streak across P. LEAGUE+ and EASL to seven games. Former NBA star Jeremy Lin led the way with a team-high 25 points and seven assists.

Post-game triple    

1. Bolts’ early surge

The Meralco Bolts will have surprised many with a powerful effort in the first three quarters, holding the lead for more than 17 of the 30 minutes.

‍New import Zach Lofton, recently signed as a replacement for missing star import Suleiman Braimoh, was lethal on the floor, scoring 19 points at the half. Lofton finished with a game-high 35 points.

The Bolts, known for their interior presence, were also surprisingly hot from outside the arc, going six-for-11 from three in the first half.  

2. Threes don’t fall for the Kings… until the fourth

The Kings, who shot 42 percent from three in their last EASL game against Seoul SK Knights, went a dismal seven-for-26, for 26 percent, in the first three quarters.‍

But the P. LEAGUE+ team found their shooting stroke in the final frame, hitting five of their seven threes.

Joseph Lin, who was scoreless going into the fourth, was two-for-two from beyond the arc.   

3. JLin steps up

After shooting just 35 percent for 12 points in his EASL debut against Seoul SK Knights, Jeremy Lin shot 60 percent from the field for a team-high 25 points on Wednesday.

The rest of his team, however, struggled on the floor, shooting just 39 percent.‍

Despite the Kings’ poor shooting numbers, they got hot at the right time, going nine for 19 for 47 percent in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Bolts 32-26 to come back and win their second EASL game.   

EASL Player of the Game: Jeremy Lin, New Taipei Kings

Former NBA sensation Jeremy Lin was fired up Wednesday, delivering a solid performance to lead the Kings to a hard-fought victory at home. ‍

Lin recorded a team-high 25 points and seven assists on the night, going 11 of 12 from the charity stripe.   

Stat of the day

New Taipei showed strong teamwork this evening. They combined for 21 assists in the game, compared to just 12 assists from Meralco. ‍

Jeremy Lin led his team with seven assists, and now is averaging eight assists per game in the EASL season.

Quotes of the day

New Taipei Kings head coach Ryan Marchand: ‍

On Meralco Bolts first half performance: “I think they came out really hot, came out with a lot of energy. We didn't do a really good job on the glass, and we didn’t take their space away, so giving up 48 points in the first half isn’t good enough for us on the defensive end.”

New Taipei Kings guard Jeremy Lin:

On New Taipei Kings’ performance against the Meralco Bolts: “Man, I’m proud of my team. Honestly, we have a lot of guys who can score the ball and who are extremely great players. But what I really liked was in the second half we were really locked in defensively. We got a lot of great defenders as well. This was a full team effort. Fun game.”

On the tightness of the New Taipei Kings team: “We care about each other, we like each other, and we want to see each other succeed. I think that’s culture. I think that’s character. We’ve got to keep doing that and we’ll see how far it takes us.”   

Next games

New Taipei Kings: away vs. Meralco Bolts (January 3, 2024) ‍

Meralco Bolts: home vs. Ryukyu Golden Kings (December 13, 2023 in Macau)

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