The Westports Malaysia Dragons avenged their previous loss to the Saigon Heat with a thrilling 84-82 victory during their ASEAN Basketball League season home opener.
The Dragons stunned Saigon Heat early with 6-for-7 three point shooting to take the early first quarter advantage. However, the Heat’s returning world import Trevon Hughes was determined to regain momentum for his team, making three three-pointers to give the Heat a slim two-point advantage at the break.
The Dragons suffered a blow early in the third as world import Nnanna Egwu picked up his fourth foul early, sending him to the bench. Taking advantage of the Dragon’s lack of presence in the paint, the Heat surged to an 11-point lead going into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter saw an inspired Dragons performance as the home team went on a 9-0 run to cut the lead the two. The Dragons eventually regained the lead through Jonathan Wong Zhong Han’s bucket and the foul midway through the fourth.
The game remained close and the Dragons might have thought they did enough to secure the win after a pair of free throws by Winston Shephard gave them the three point lead with less than a minute remaining. The Heat however were able to tie the game with a second remaining thanks to Murphy Burnatowski’s three pointer from deep.
Off the Dragons timeout, Nnanna Egwu was able to lob a pass to Winston Shepard who barely made the game winning jumper as the ball teased the crowd by rolling on the rim for a second before falling into the net to give the Dragon’s the victory.
The Dragons improve to a 2-2 record as they are set to face Hong Kong Eastern at home on the 6th of January, while the Saigon Heat fall to a 6-4 record and will hope to bounce back against Mono Vampire on their home court also on the same day.
Follow us on Twitter at @aseansports1.