Last season’s runners-up now own of the second-longest active winning streak in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) after defeating the Macau Black Bears on the road, 107-102.
The visitors started the game well and held a 12-point lead early in the first quarter before several mini runs from the Black Bears in the rest of the first half reversed the situation and made Mono Vampire trail by by the exact same deficit (61-49) going into the break.
But it was all Vampire in the second half as the Thai club continued to be efficient from the field with six players shooting over 50 percent from the field, giving them a 10-point advantage with just over two minutes left in the game as Macau struggled from beyond the arc (31 total missed threes).
Macau did try their best not to let the away team escape with the win, but Nathan Yu blew a wide open layup that was supposed to cut it down to a one possession game, and Mono Vampire’s Tyler Lamb (19 points) being clutch on the other end with six points in 19 seconds sealed the deal for coach Douglas Marty and company.
Despite the loss, McKinney and Watkins were their usual selves with big numbers. McKinney had 23 points, seven boards, six dimes and four steals while league leading rebounder Watkins added a double-double of 15 and 12 to go along with three steals.
Anthony Tucker’s injury replacement signing Dewarick Spencer proved age was just a number with a 34-point performance (six made threes) including a buzzer beating full-court screamer at the end of the first quarter for Macau.
Transferee Jenning Leung also played a decent game with nine points, all coming in the last two minutes, plus five rebounds, four assists and three steals. The Black Bears also received productions off the bench from Liu Zhi Hao and Tian Zhongtian with eight and 11 markers respectively.
On the other side, the duo Mike Singletary and Romeo Travis both had excellent all-around performances as the former finished with 36 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and two steals, while the latter had 17 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Fellow import Malcolm White also had a great game with 20 markers and eight boards on a perfect 100 percent shooting.
For their next fixtures, the Macau Black Bears will travel to Manila to take on the short-handed San Miguel Alab Pilipinas, while Mono Vampire will have back to back games against current ninth-seed Malaysia Dragons which will likely decide the winner of the last playoffs spot.
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