CLS Knights proved their determination and resiliency in front of home crowd in a 87-78 victory against the Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Team.
Eastern started the game aggressively with Samuel Deguara, before he earned his third personal foul late in the first quarter as the home team extended the lead down the stretch.
Aside from import Montay Brandon, all of the Knights starters managed to contribute in the 25 to 17 lead, where forward Brandon Jawato was able shoot perfect from beyond the arc.
Marcus Elliott was able to found more space in the driving lanes with Deguara sitting on the bench, and both Jon Siu and Sandy Kurniawan traded baskets from deep before the Knights called an timeout.
Eastern gunner Tsz Lai Lau continue to act his role in making an open three to called the game in 35 a piece. Maxie Esho only able to made 1-of-8 from the field, but it was Jawato again who made sure his team gained a three points lead enter into half-time.
The Hong Kong locals managed to contribute 16 points and 11 boards to cancel off the absence of Deguara during the entire second quarter, but Esho started third quarter hot with eight points, including two tough shots from deep. Eric Ferguson showed off his defensive versatility down the stretch, but continue his cold shooting touch from previous game, missing several crucial buckets.
To make things worse, Deguara committed another personal foul in fighting rebound against Stephen Hurt late of the third quarter. As the Maltese center was kept in the quarter despite foul trouble, he made his presence felt by scoring four quick points to cut the lead into two at the 3:10 mark.
The home team lost their tiny lead after Ferguson made a and-one bucket to end the third quarter. But it was Brandon and Esho who take turn in scoring to gained the lead back, then Wei Long Wong who made a crucial long bomb to further extended the lead at 02:58 mark.
Jawato drilled in yet another three to secured the lead as Deguara continue to dominant down low in the previous possessions.
The Knights sealed the game at 87 to 78, with much of the hot shooting credit to both Jawato and Wong, who were shooting 8-out-10 from beyond the arc.
Maxie Esho was awarded player of the game after putting up a double-double performance in 22 points and 10 boards, while their big man Stephen Hurt hold his ground well against the 7’5” Deguara, had 17 points by the end of the game.
The visiting Eastern was led by Ferguson, who finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and two steals, but team veteran Elliott only managed to add 14 points and nine assists in the devastating loss. However, the Hong Kong bench was able to outscored the opposing bench by 13 points in total.
On the 27 of November, Knights will meet with Saigon Heat again second time of the season in GOR Basket Kertajaya, Surabaya. Whereas, Eastern will look to end their losing streak against the Macau Black Bears back in Hong Kong as well.