Pilots and Kings vie for first P. LEAGUE+ title

June 8, 2024

5 mins

Pilots and Kings vie for first P. LEAGUE+ title
Pilots and Kings vie for first P. LEAGUE+ title

Written by EASL

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P. LEAGUE+ Finals Preview: New Taipei faces off against Taoyuan

The P. LEAGUE+ Finals tip off Sunday (June 9) with 2023 P. LEAGUE+ finalists the New Taipei Kings squaring off against the Taoyuan Pauian Pilots, who are playing their first-ever league finals.

As P. LEAGUE+ finalists, both Taoyuan and New Taipei automatically qualify for the EASL 2024-25 season.

Taoyuan Pauian Pilots vs. New Taipei Kings (Best-of-7)

Last season’s finalists and EASL fourth-place finishers the New Taipei Kings will take on P. LEAGUE+ Finals debutants the Taoyuan Pauian Pilots.

The Pilots struggled out of the gate, hovering around mid-standings until February 4. A remarkable turnaround saw them finish the season with a 26-14 record, clinching their first regular season championship.

In the semis, the Pilots, down 2-1 in the series against the Hsinchu Toplus Lioneers, staged a comeback to win three consecutive games, clinching their first playoff series victory.

The Kings are seeking redemption after last season’s finals loss to the Taipei Fubon Braves in six games.

Former NBA star Jeremy Lin joined his brother Joseph at the Kings last offseason, bolstering the team’s firepower.

The Kings started the season strongly, winning their first nine games in the P. LEAGUE+ and the EASL combined.

However, misfortune struck when Jeremy Lin suffered a plantar fascia injury in late January, forcing him to miss 15 of the team’s following 16 games, including the EASL Final Four.

New Taipei only managed to secure four victories in those 16 games. They lost all three EASL matches Lin missed, ending with a fourth-place finish at the EASL Final Four 2024.

Lin returned from his injury on April 13 and New Taipei finished the season strong, winning seven of their final 11 games. The team ended the year with a commendable 22-18 record, securing third place in the regular season standings.

New Taipei took a 3-1 series lead against the Dreamers in the semifinals. After losing Game 5, a strong fourth quarter in Game 6 secured the series 4-2 for the Kings.

The New Taipei Kings and the Taoyuan Pauian Pilots split the season series with four wins each.

Players to Watch

Taoyuan Pauian Pilots – #69 Justin Lu Chun-Hsiang – G

#69 Lu Chun-Hsiang averaged 14.9 points against the New Taipei Kings this season.
Courtesy: P. LEAGUE+

Manning the point for the Pilots is Lu Chun-Hsiang, who has made significant strides during the P. LEAGUE+ playoffs.

The 26-year-old was the league’s second-leading scorer in the playoffs, averaging 19.8 points, 6.3 assists, and 4 rebounds in six games against the Lioneers.

Lu set career highs this season, averaging 16.8 points and 3.3 assists in 37 games.

New Taipei Kings – #7 Jeremy Lin – G

#7 Jeremy Lin averaged 19.8 points per game against the Taoyuan Pauian Pilots this season.
Courtesy: P. LEAGUE+

JLin7 provided the offensive spark the Kings needed during the playoffs.

After his return from injury on April 13, Lin played six games with limited minutes, averaging under 20 minutes per game.

His playing time ramped up from May 7, and his performance improved greatly, averaging 19 points in the following 10 games.

Lin ranks third in scoring during the playoffs, averaging 19.5 points in six games against the Dreamers, including a 33-point effort in the Game 6 clincher that secured the Kings’ finals berth and qualification for the EASL in consecutive seasons.

Lin averaged 19.8 points per game against the Pilots this season, including a 37-point effort back in November.

One more stat you should know

Dominating the interior

During the 2024 P. LEAGUE+ playoffs, the Taoyuan Pauian Pilots and the New Taipei Kings topped the rankings in two-point field goals.

The Pilots led the four semifinalists with 22.8 two-point field goals, scoring at 46.6 percent, while the Kings closely followed with 22.7 two-point field goals, at 49.5 percent.

Game schedule

All times China Standard Time

  • Game 1: New Taipei Kings (Away) vs. Taoyuan Pauian Pilots (Home), Sunday, June 9, 17:00
  • Game 2: New Taipei Kings (Away) vs. Taoyuan Pauian Pilots (Home), Wednesday, June 12, 19:00
  • Game 3: Taoyuan Pauian Pilots (Away) vs. New Taipei Kings (Home), Saturday, June 15, 17:00
  • Game 4: Taoyuan Pauian Pilots (Away) vs. New Taipei Kings (Home), Monday, June 17, 19:00
  • Game 5: New Taipei Kings (Away) vs. Taoyuan Pauian Pilots (Home), Thursday, June 20, 19:00*
  • Game 6: Taoyuan Pauian Pilots (Away) vs. New Taipei Kings (Home), Saturday, June 22, 17:00*
  • Game 7: New Taipei Kings (Away) vs. Taoyuan Pauian Pilots (Home), Monday, June 24, 19:00*

* = if necessary

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