The Macau Wolf Warriors earned their first win of the 2019-20 ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) season with an 88-83 home victory over the visiting Taipei Fubon Braves.
Wolf Warriors import guard Doug Herring opened up the scoring with two quick buckets, hitting a triple and a layup, to put his team ahead with an early 5-0 advantage, but the Braves’ OJ Mayo responded, converting on a three-point and two-point jumper of his own.
With neither team shooting particularly well from the field in the first period, it was Herring who helped orchestrate control for the home side as Macau jumped to a 19-12 lead to end the quarter.
In the second quarter, the usually fast-paced Braves ran into trouble against a pesky Wolf Warriors defense, committing several turnovers in the open floor, and gigantic center Sim Bhullar was limited by veteran Steve Thomas. After 20 minutes, the home squad went into the half holding onto a 39-26 lead.
To start the third quarter, a fast-break dunk by Julian Boyd further extended Macau’s lead to 15 points, however, the Braves were able to up the tempo later on in the period to go on a 15-4 run to cut their deficit.
Herring continued to put points on the board for the Wolf Warriors, while Charles Garcia helped keep his team in the game as the quarter ended with a slim 61-55 lead in favor of the hosts.
In the final period, the Braves were able to cut their deficit to just three points following an 11-0 run led by veteran Tseng Wen-Ting and Mayo, but Herring proved to be too resilient, successfully steering the Wolf Warriors back on the right track down the final stretch. He would go on to hit four crucial free throws to seal the game 88-83.
Herring finished with 32 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists while new teammate Scotty Ewing, who also hit an important shot from deep in crunch time, contributed 10 points and two assists. Ewing was born in Hong Kong, thus considered as local for the Worlf Warriors under latest ABL rule.
For the visiting Taiwanese squad, OJ Mayo continued his hot-shooting form, finishing with 25 points. Throughout the course of the game, the Braves were unable to capitalize from the charity stripe, going just 9-of-18 at the line.
The loss was the first on the road for Fubon in its young ABL history, and the team will be traveling back to Taiwan for the second edition of the Taiwan Tussle against the Formosa Dreamers on December 21. Meanwhile, next up on the schedule for the Wolf Warriors is a road matchup against the Black Bears.
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