In a career night of the Filipino-American guard, the Long Lions’ malaise deepened with a third straight defeat as the 2016-2017 ABL champions falling 114-95 to the Black Bears in Hong Kong.
The current ABL heritage import Mikh McKinney had a game to remember with a career high 41 points to go along with six rebounds and eight assists. He also shot 11 out of 19 (50% from beyond the arc). The 6’1 guard was unstoppable in this game, kept attacking the basket though playing full 40 minutes and successfully drew 15 free throws from the home team which he made all of them.
Hong Kong Eastern did start the game with an optimistic tone, taking a seven point advantage midway through first quarter, all contributed by Jon Siu and Samuel Deguara. But after a timeout, the Macau squad was able to get themselves together and finished the period with a 23-20 lead.
Both teams then delivered an amusing offensive performance in the second quarter at Southorn Stadium, going back and forth with. Eric Ferguson excelled in this quarter with 13 points (27 markers and 13 boards in the game) but it was not enough to regain his team the lead as the Black Bears stayed composed and took extended the margin to six after the first half.
The visitors would not look back from there as they played even better in the second half. It was only an eight point game going into the last 10 minutes but eight straight points from local player Liu Zihao (13 points off the bench) and Hong Kong’s leading scorer Deguara (29 points, 82% FG) fouling out on the other end would turn the game one-sided and ended up a 19 point victory for Macau.
Anthony Tucker who also played full 40 minutes recorded 29 points and eight dimes while Nathan Yu had a sweet comeback to his home ground, contributed 13 big points including three three pointers. In a not-so-productive evening, Ryan Watkins still had a double-double with 15 points (6/18 FGs) and 12 rebounds.
On the other side, the shooting struggle and turnovers of the Long Lions were big factors in this loss as they shot 20% less from the outside and committed eight more turnovers than the opponents.
Marcus Elliot continued his woes from beyond the three point line despite barely missing a triple double with 21 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. The former Finals MVP made only three out of 16 three pointers attempted in the last two games after going 54.5% in the first two.
Hong Kong Eastern will look to get back to the Win column on Saturday with an away game at Zhuhai where they blew out the Wolf Warriors with a 28 point win in the very first game of the season while Macau Black Bears will seek a happy ending for its long road trip in Singapore on Friday against the reigning ABL player of the week Xavier Alexander’s Slingers.
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