Mono Vampire officially clinched the final playoffs spot in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) after a hard-fought 91-87 win over the Westports Malaysia Dragons on the road.
The ABL runners-up from last season started the game on hot shooting form, scoring their first eight field goal attempts to build an early six point lead.
Meanwhile, the Dragons, who are fighting to stay alive in the playoffs hunt, received a much needed boost from local veteran shooter Loh Shee Fai, who went on a personal eight-point scoring run to snatch the two-point lead for his team going into the second quarter.
They kept their momentum going into the second quarter, building the lead to as high as seven before Mono Vampire’s Moses Morgan and Mike Singletary combined for a 11-0 run to take a 42-38 lead at the half.
The third quarter proved to just as close as the Dragons kept chipping away at the lead and were finally able to regain after Winston Shephard’s layup with a minute to go. Much to the Dragons’ dismay, Morgan was able to hit a three-pointer at the end of the quarter to ensure Mono kept the lead going into the final period.
Tyler Lamb started the fourth with back to back jumpers to lead Mono Vampire on a 7-0 run which gave them enough space to keep the Malaysian squad at bay. The Dragons shooting form began to fade in the fourth as the Thai side built a double-digit lead through back-to-back baskets from Malcolm White with three minutes remaining.
Mono Vampire withstood a late Dragons rally to to close out the game with the victory and the final playoff ticket.
Mike Singletary led six Mono players in double digits scoring with 20 points, 13 rebounds and five assists, while Tyler Lamb’s 18 points for the game pushed him up to 6th on the ABL’s all time scorers list.
The Dragons’ valiant fight was led by Winston Shepard’s second triple-double of the season with 20 points, 20 rebounds, and 11 assists. Resident import, Chris Eversley contributed 26 points in the loss.
The loss also meant the Dragons will miss out on playoffs qualification for the third-straight season since winning the championship in the 2015-16 season.
Both teams will meet each other again next on the 20th of March in Nonthaburi, Thailand.
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