ABL10: 🏀Macau Black Bears 97 – 87 Kuala Lumpur Dragons🏀
The dice didn’t roll in our favor at the Venetian Macao tonight as we lost 87-97 to the Macau Black Bears, falling to our second straight loss.
Playing behind closed doors due to emergency measures caused by the coronavirus outbreak, we enjoyed a positive start to the first quarter as we built an early nine point lead thanks to 11 points from Will Artino. The host team were not deterred as they caught their hot three point shooting form to close the quarter on a 9-2 run, giving us a slender 24-22 first quarter lead.
The second quarter saw us continue to struggle containing their three point shooting as the Black Bears took the lead and then extended it to 10 thanks to Mikh McKinney’s back-to-back three pointers.
Overcoming his earlier injury scare, Amir Bell went on a personal 7-0 run to cut the deficit to 3 late in the second quarter. Lao Chon Pong would go on to bury the host team’s ninth three pointer of the game before the returning Simeon Lepichev scored an offensive putback basket to cut the lead to four at the half.
Despite the Black Bears starting the third with their tenth three pointer, we kept up our push and eventually made it only a one point game with four minutes remaining.
Despite our efforts, the end of the third quarter saw the league’s leading scorer, Kenny Manigault go on takeover mode, scoring 11 points to push their lead to twelve. A Will Artino basket reduced the lead to 10 going into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter was a struggle for us we found it tough to stop the offensive onslaught of Manigault and McKinney and struggled with our shooting consistency. With less than five minutes remaining, McKinney scored back-to back three pointers to stretch the lead to 17.
Our late game push was not enough as we finally fell 87-97 to the Black Bears, pushing our record down to 4-4.
Our top performer was Will Artino with 28 points and 10 rebounds. Despite an early game injury scare, Amir Bell managed to log 28 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists.
After the game, Head Coach Jamie Pearlman said, “Credit to the Black Bears who shot the ball at a great clip tonight. We didn’t play to the best of our ability.”
We will get back to winning ways in our next game against the Formosa Dreamers in Changhua Stadium on the 1st of February 2020 at 3.00 PM.
Since our thrilling comeback victory against the Dreamers at our first home game, the have Dreamers bounced back in style, defeating the Saigon Heat 95-65 to push their record to 6-6.
The Dreamers also made a lineup change, bringing in Anthony Tucker’s former teammate, Ryan Watkins to replace Jordan Tolbert. Watkins played for Mono Vampire earlier this season and was replaced by Mike Morrison, freeing up the way for his reunion with Tucker. Watkins will make his Dreamers debut against us.
Fans can catch the game on ASEAN Basketball League’s social media pages and Astro Arena.