A tough result for us as we fell to the defending champions, the ACBA Dragons in our third game at the 2nd MABA International Basketball Invitation.
It was a scrappy low scoring first half as both teams struggled to find their offensive rhythm in overcoming each other’s tight defense.
Unfortunately for us, Amir Bell had to leave the game early in the second quarter due to injury.
Despite losing Bell, we kept up our efforts and a basket from Simeon Lepichev gave us our biggest lead of the half at five before Darcy Harding and Steven White combined to make it only a one point game at the break.
Nicholas Tem Zhen Jie continued his fine form in the third quarter, making two threes to extend our lead to six. However, our fellow Dragons from Australia kept up their resolve and were able to once again make it a one basket game as the third quarter ended 39-37 in our favor.
We suffered a blow at the start of the fourth quarter us as our young playmaker Teoh Yi Kang fouled out of the game leaving us shorthanded at the point guard position.
ACBA Dragons would take advantage of this, going on a 11-1 run to start the fourth quarter to take control of the game.
Despite our best efforts, we weren’t able to make the shots to fight back and took our second loss, falling 46-54 to the ACBA Dragons, who remain undefeated.
ACBA Dragons fully used their size advantage us, out rebounding us 55-40 and forcing us into shooting foul troubles. The ACBA Dragons shot an efficient 14/17 of their free throws to edge us out for the game.
In the post game interview, Coach Jamie Pearlman said, “I thought our defense was great tonight, our guys really battled hard and executed our system at a much higher level than our previous game. We’re still working on fixing our defensive system and we felt that today was a step into the right direction for our defense.”
“Losing both our main point guards was really tough for us. Unfortunately we couldn’t organize our offense down the stretch and failed to get any kind of rhythm going late in the game.”
We next face Australian team, the Wah Chin Kings from Melbourne on the 26th of October at 5.00 PM as we attempt to get back to winning ways. With an identical 1-2 record with us, defeating the Wah Chin Kings will be important in our efforts to finish at the podium for the tournament.
The Kings are playing in an overseas tournament for the first time and feature American, Chris Lynch who played for us during the first ever ASEAN Basketball League season in 2009.