It wasn’t our night as we fell 71-87 to the Malaysia National Team in our second game of the 2nd MABA International Basketball Invitation.
We started the game well, building an early double digit lead thanks to a three pointer from John Wong.
Just as we thought we had control of the game, our former player Wong Yi Hou would inspire a strong 17-3 run for the National Team to end the quarter with a three point lead.
Chiang Wei Er started the second quarter with six straight points to regain our lead. However, the National Team once again ramped up their trademark full court press defense to give our team a tough time, forcing six turnovers, regaining the lead and stretching it to as high as seven. Thankfully, a much needed Tan Wei Long three pointer cut the lead to only four at the half.
Wei Long kept up his fine three point shooting, scoring two from downtown to tie up the game early in the third quarter. Unfortunately for us, turnovers once again haunted us as our players, Chin Cheng Wah and Kuek Tian Yuan made key baskets for the National Team to keep up the National Team’s hot shooting form as we struggled with ours. It was a dismal third quarter for us as the National Team ballooned the lead to 17 at the end of the third.
We did our best to get back into the game in the fourth cutting the lead to as close as 12 but it was too little too late for us as we took the 71-87 loss to the National Team.
Our top performer was Will Artino with 21 points, 13 rebounds and 4 assists while Tan Wei Long and Tem Zhen Jie contributed 12 and 11 points respectively.
Our 21 turnovers proved costly as we allowed the National Team 31 points off our turnovers. Wong Yi Hou proved a constant thorn in our side, scoring 22 points to lead the National Team’s charge.
After the game, coach Jamie Pearlman said, “Unfortunately, we couldn’t overcome their zone and press defense. With the limited time we have with our full squad, we haven’t worked out our zone and press attack enough.”
“We weren’t disciplined enough and it was a disappointing loss. We have enough experience and talent on the team and we should be better at finding solutions on the run.”
“We’ll keep working on our offensive system and we believe that with more time practicing together, we’ll take our offensive system to a higher level. Full credit to the National Team for the outstanding performance today.”
We will attempt to get back on winning ways against the defending champions from Australia, the ACBA Dragons on the 25th of October at 5.00 PM.
The ACBA Dragons are unbeaten so far with two resounding victories, defeating Xiamen University 89-52 and our fellow ABL team, the Formosa Dreamers 96-77.
The tough Australian team has shown toughness both on offense and defense throughout the tournament, using their size and crisp ball movement to pick up both victories.
Their top performers thus far have been former Sydney Kings players, 2.03 meter forward, Darcy Harding, American New Zealander guard Dion Prewster and Australia’s 9th ranked 3×3 player, Cooper Wilks who has been wowing MABA Stadium with his thunderous dunks.