The Macau Black Bears got their first win of the new ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) season as they defeated their neighboring rivals Wolf Warriors on the road, 100-117.
The Wolf Warriors actually started the game well, exchanging baskets with the hot-shooting visitors to keep it close until multiple mini runs by the Black Bears in the second quarter created a double-digit gap between two teams heading into the break.
The stellar shooting performance of Kenny Manigault, who finished with 33 points and 10 rebounds, coupled with Jenning Leung’s 20 points and five assists, continued to create damage in the third period as the visiting squad widened the lead to 21 with only 10 minutes left in the game.
As the season-opening game seemed to be slipping out of hand, coach Todd Purves inserted second year player Zhang Xianchao (seven points, three assists and two steals in eight minutes) from the bench in the fourth quarter and he would become the focal point of a 14-3 Wolf Warriors run to cut the deficit to only eight with three and a half minutes to play.
But then nine straight points from Brandon Edwards (20 points, 10 rebounds) in just over two minutes would deliver the dagger and bring home the first ABL10 victory for his club.
The Charles Hantoumakos-led team played much better in this game as compared to the loss to the Fubon Braves, knocking down 17 threes, which almost tripled their opponents, with four starters in double figures and decent contributions from the bench.
One setback for the Black Bears would be the struggle beyond the arc of their leader Mikh McKinney (23 points, nine rebounds, 12 assists and two steals), who is now two for 20 from three this season.
For the Wolf Warriors, despite being enhanced with a championship-experienced set of imports, Cai Chen surprisingly was still their scoring leader with game-high 32 points and 10 rebounds. Douglas Herring (19 markers, 10 dimes) and Julian Boyd (21 points, seven boards) had effective debuts, both shooting 50% from the field.
Steven Thomas in his first ABL game in over three years led all rebounders with 15 but contributed limited on scoring while the other starter Cris Shentu added 12 points and five assists.
Both teams will see action again on November 27th. The Wolf Warriors will look to bounce back by hosting the San Miguel Alab Pilipinas while the Black Bears will continue their long road trip at Hong Kong Eastern.
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