ABL10: 🏀Hong Kong Eastern 82-78 KL Dragons 🏀
We dropped a close 78-82 defeat to Hong Kong Eastern, handing them their first victory of the season.
For the second game in a row, we missed the services of Simeon Lepichev who is still recovering from a thumb injury.
Despite Cade Davis picking up two quick fouls, we started well, quickly establishing a ten point lead thanks to the hot three point shooting of Ting Chun Hong and Chin Cheng Wah that forced an early Hong Kong Eastern timeout.
Off the timeout, Hong Kong Eastern came out on fire while our offense turned cold. The home team finished the quarter on a 11-0 run to take the 16-15 lead.
Kuek Tian Yuan quickly started our second quarter with a corner three pointer to regain our lead. Will Artino who only had two points in the first, had a stellar second quarter, scoring 11 points to increase our lead to six.
However, Hong Kong Eastern’s new signing Brandis Rayley Ross was eager to make an impact on his debut and scored five points late in the quarter to make it only a two point game. Our veteran shooter, Loh Shee Fai was able to sink a buzzer beating jumper to ensure we take a 37-33 lead going into the half time break.
Shaking off his first half frustrations, Cade Davis immediately opened the third quarter with his first basket of the game. Just as he did in the previous game, Davis had a personal take over in the third quarter, scoring 14 points, including an impressive basket and a foul followed by a flex from the former Oklahoma Sooner.
Davis’s hot offense spread to the rest of the team and a shot clock beating three pointer from Will Artino gave us an eleven point lead going into the final quarter.
The final quarter saw Hong Kong Eastern surge a comeback as we struggled to contain the hot shooting form of their veteran forward, Brandon Costner. The home team was able to eventually tie the game through a lay up from Chan Siu Wing with three minutes remaining.
Showing our determination to come away with the win, Will Artino and Kuek Tian Yuan scored four points in the paint to give us a four point lead going into the final two minutes to force a Hong Kong Eastern timeout.
Off the time out, it would be Costner again haunting us with five straight points to finally regain Eastern’s lead.
Amir Bell was able to make a jumper to regain our slim one point advantage on the next play but it would be none other than Brandon Costner, who scored his seventh three pointer to give them a two point lead with 27 seconds remaining.
Amir Bell and Cade Davis were not able to make their three point attempts and we ended the game with the 78-82 loss after Brandis Raley Ross made two final free throws.
With the loss, our record now stands at 3-2 and we drop to third in the standings.
Our top performer was Will Artino with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Cade Davis contributed 19 markers while Amir Bell had a near triple double with 9 points, 9 rebounds and 15 assists.
‘Mei Mei’ Ting Chun Hong scored 10 points while Captain Kuek finished with 7 points and 9 rebounds.
After the game, Head Coach Jamie Pearlman said, “I was really happy with the way our guys competed for three quarters. I felt we were really tough defensively. Unfortunately, Brandon Costner with his size and his ability to shoot the three ball caused us problems in the fourth quarter and we found it really difficult to guard him. It’s a game that we’ll use as a good learning experience and we’re looking to play the Formosa Dreamers at our first home game.”
We will attempt our bounce back at our first home game of the season this Sunday, 12th of January 2020, 2.30 PM at MABA Stadium against the Formosa Dreamers from Chinese Taipei.
The No.1 team in the 2018/2019 regular season standings has had an inconsistent start to their season and come in with a 4-5 record fresh off a dramatic road win against the Macau Wolf Warriors where a ‘Jet’ Chang Tsung-Hsien three pointer earned them a 92-89 victory.
The Formosa Dreamers started the season with a 1-3 record before making two world import changes in signing former World Import MVP, Anthony Tucker and 27 year old big man, Jordan Tolbert to replace Liam McMorrow and Marcus Keene.
Since the changes, Tucker, Tolbert and former Singapore Slinger, Jerran Young have led a Formosa Dreamers revival with three wins to firmly put them in the running for a playoff spot.
The Dreamer’s local line up feature five talented former Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and Chinese Taipei National Team players in ‘Jet’ Chang Tsung-Hsien, ‘Amigo’ Yang Chin-Min, Tien Lei, Lee Hsueh Lin and Chen Shih Nien. Lee Hsueh Lin was the 2012 CBA Finals MVP as he won a championship alongside Stephon Marbury for the Beijing Ducks.
The Dreamers will be led by the former Head Coach of the Saigon Heat, Kyle Julius.
Fans can purchase their tickets at https://ticket.tickethotline.com.my/ and at MABA Stadium on game day.