ABL10: 🏀Saigon Heat 68-80 KL Dragons 🏀
A great start to our 2020 as we picked up our second straight victory by defeating the Saigon Heat 80-68.
The team travelled to Ho Chi Minh City without Kuala Lumpur born Simeon Lepichev who suffered an injury to his thumb.
Amir Bell started us well with a three point play before the hosts hit us back with a 9-0 run sparked by the veteran Christien Charles.
Shaking off his early free throw woes, Will Artino got us back in the game with six straight points to tie up the game. Both teams traded leads late in the first quarter and just as it seemed Chin Cheng Wah had tied up the game for us to end the first, Justin Young made a desperation three pointer from half court to give the host team the 22-19 lead.
We struggled for the early part of the second quarter as we allowed the Saigon Heat to stretch the lead to as high as eight thanks to the inspired play of Sam Thompson.
Just when we needed a spark, our locals provided the jump start with back-to back three pointers from Chin Cheng Wah and Kuek Tian Yuan making it a one possession game.
We kept battling and finally managed to tie the game going into the half time break thanks to a three point play from Cade Davis.
A gritty start to the third quarter saw no points scored in the first two and a half minutes both ways before Cade Davis broke the deadlock with his first three pointer to finally regain us the lead. That would be the catalyst to a strong third quarter performance for Davis as he scored ten points to stretch our lead to as high as eight before a Gary Forbes three pointer cut the lead to only five going into the final quarter.
A Tam Dinh three pointer early in the fourth gave us a nervous start as the home crowd roared their team on with the lead going down to only two.
We were able to fend off Saigon Heat’s attempts at tying the game and Cade Davis once again took over the game with eight straight points to stretch our lead to eight.
With the Heat struggling to break our defense, Davis scored another layup to stretch the lead to ten, followed by a basket and a foul for the returning ‘Mei Mei’ Ting Chun Hong. ‘Mei Mei’ successfully completed the three point play to quench all hopes of a home team comeback.
We finished the game with the 80-68 win to end our four games losing streak in Ho Chi Minh City going back to the 2017/2018 season.
Cade Davis was our best player with 27 points. Davis proved clutch for us down the stretch, scoring 20 of his points in the second half.
Will Artino picked up his fourth straight double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds while Amir Bell contributed 12 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists.
It was also an impressive showing from our local players who combined for 23 points. Ting Chun Hong led the local scoring with 7 points.
An efficient overall team performance on both ends of the floor, saw us score at a 44% field goal percentage while we held the Saigon Heat to only 37%.
Head Coach Jamie Pearlman said, “Obviously losing Simeon for this game, we were definitely concerned we were going to miss out on his size, rebounding and defensive presence. But, I’m really proud with our guys and the way they battled tonight. Mei Mei, Shee Fai and Kuek really came in and did a fantastic job on the defensive end. When we keep a team down to 68 points, we definitely give ourselves a great chance at winning.”
“Simeon is game by game at the moment. We’re monitoring his situation closely and we don’t want to rush him back too soon as it could lead to a prolonged injury.”
With the victory, we move up to a 3-1 record and will next face the 2016/2017 champions, Hong Kong Eastern at the Southorn Stadium in Wan Chai, Hong Kong on the 8th of January at 8.00 PM.
With a new head coach in Jordan Brady, Hong Kong Eastern are facing a tough start to their ABL campaign, having lost their first three games. Despite their difficult start, Hong Kong Eastern boasts the services of the league’s current leading scorer in Trey Kell who is currently averaging 31.3 PPG.
Hong Kong Eastern also recently reinforced their team with the services of veteran forward Brandon Costner, who replaced TJ Price. With five members of their championship team still on their roster, Hong Kong Eastern will prove to be a formidable opponent for us.
Since their entry into the league in the 2016/2017 season, we have yet to register a single win against the Hong Kongers, losing all eight of our previous encounters.
Fans can catch the game live on ASEAN Basketball League’s YouTube and Facebook page as well as Astro Arena.
本土球员西蒙 (Simeon. Lepichev) 因拇指受伤所以未能与猛龙前往于胡志明市的客场赛。
阿米尔 (Amir Bell) 开局得三分之后接着被东道主在老将克里斯迪恩·查尔斯 (Christien Charles) 的带领下连得9分。
威尔 (Will Artino) 前期陷入低靡的罚球命中率，但后来仍连得6分将比分拉平。首节末端，双方的比分持续拉锯，而当陈振华 (Chin Cheng Wah) 在读表阶段将比分拉平时，东道主的贾斯丁·杨从的中场三分球成功命中，以22比19分领先首节。
第二节前期因萨姆·汤姆森 (Sam Thompson) 的精湛的演出使我们深处困境，带领西贡热火将分差拉剧到8分。
在顽强的抵抗下，最后多亏了凯德 (Cade Davis) 的三分球，双方平分结束了上半场。
谭·丁 (Tam Dinh) 第四节开局的一记三分球将分差拉近至两分，也因此炒热了主场气氛，搞得猛龙七上八下。
在热火仍无法破猛龙的防守之下，凯德再送上一记上篮，直接将分差拉至十分。而这时回归猛龙的“美美”陈俊弘 (Ting Chun Hong) 决定在热火的伤口上撒盐，送上一记2+1，直接扑火。
杰米总教练 (Coach Jamie Pearlman) 提到：“显而易见的，这场比赛少了西蒙的身高、篮板以及防守，我们无疑地会担心这点。 但我为着球员们今晚的表现的感到骄傲。美美，树辉和添源在防守端上的跳出来且表现地很棒。当我们能压制热火只让他们得68分时，我们绝对胜券在握”。
香港东方此赛季迎来了新总乔丹·布雷迪 (Jordan Brady)，但开季首三场比赛都吃败仗。即便东方有着艰苦的季初，他们却拥有特里·凯尔 (Trey Kell)坐阵。他目前全联盟第一的得分王，场均香港得分共31.3分。.
香港东方最近也增加了新战力，迎来了老将前锋布兰登·科斯纳 (Brandon Costner)，而他将顶替TJ 普林斯 (TJ Prince)的位置。东方中仍有五位夺冠的球员，他们仍是个不容忽视的挑战。