ABL10: 🏀KL Dragons 72 – 79 Saigon Heat🏀
It was a game where we really couldn’t find the bottom of the basket, ending in a 72-79 loss to the Saigon Heat in our home, MABA Stadium.
The game began in our favor as we used an 8-0 run to build a quick 10-3 lead with every starter getting on the scoreboard. The Heat showed some resilience to bring the game back to a tie to finish out the first quarter 18-18.
In the second, the Heat went on a streak of their own to go up by 11 but this time, we showed our resilience and closed the half with a 8-2 run to trail 35-40 at halftime.
A jump shot by Cade Davis tied the game in the middle of the 3rd quarter, 51 a piece, as we threatened to finally take control of the game. However, we were met with a sharp response by the away team and never took the lead back.
In the last quarter we fought back to make it a one-point game but the Heat followed with 11 unanswered points, finished off by two dunks from their import, Malcolm White. We were forced to extend the game through fouls but weren’t able to complete a comeback.
We were led by Will Artino who scored 24 points and pulled down 15 rebounds. Amir Bell also had a solid game with 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists.
The glaring issues were 2 points off the bench for the entire game, and shooting just 3-25 (12%) from the three-point line. The silver lining here is that we were right there in the last minutes of the game having missed so many shots. We now drop to 5-6, tied for sixth place in the league standing.
The Saigon Heat had four players in double figures with their local player, Chris Dierker, providing them with a lot of energy off the bench. The win for them puts them at 3-9 for the season inching them closer to Hong Kong Eastern at 9th place.
After the game, Head Coach Jamie Pearlman said, “It was a very disappointing loss. We shot the ball poorly and found it difficult to find any rhythm at the offensive end. We will look towards to the next game.”
The game on February 9, 2020 at MABA Stadium against Macau Black Bears has been rescheduled due to travel restrictions brought by the Corona Virus. In our next game, we host Tapei Fubon Braves on 12 February, which will be a thrilling rematch from our season opener.
The Braves have since replaced their center, Sim Bhullar, with last year’s champion from CLS Knights, Maxie Esho. The team also features OJ Mayo and Charles Garcia, two prolific imports. They are currently at a 9-5 standing. Tipoff will be at 8:00 PM.
Fans can catch the game on ASEAN Basketball League’s social media pages and Astro Arena.