The Wolf Warriors finally notched their first victory in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) after taking care of business in the fourth quarter against the visiting CLS Knights.
Both teams were at a deadlock at the 4:22 mark of the final period, before the home squad decided this would be the night they break the losing spell, going on a 12-4 run to close the game behind eight-straight points from import guard Eric Tisby.
Despite trailing by 14 after the opening quarter, the Wolf Warriors slowly clawed their way back in the second, closing the half within a mere point from the Knights. They continued their hot steak and held the lead for most of the final two quarters before CLS import Maxie Esho tied the game at 84-all halfway through the fourth.
After a gallant stand against the defending champions San Miguel Alab Pilipinas a few days ago at home, the Knights fell in another close loss after seemingly running out of gas towards the end of the game, as the Wolf Warriors defense made them miss seven of their next eight shots to secure the 96-88 decision.
Early local Most Valuable Player candidate Cai Chen led the Wolf Warriors to their first victory after scoring 25 points, dishing out nine dimes, and grabbing six rebounds. Eric Tisby pulled them through in the clutch with his 19 points and nine assists, while Mike Bell added a double-double of 17 points and 19 boards.
As usual, Maxie Esho did it all for the Knights, scoring a game-high 26 points while adding eight boards and four assists. Fellow import Montay Brandon also stepped up with 23 points, seven rebounds, and six assists, all while shooting 83 percent from the field. Brandon Jawato was the only local in double figures for the Knights with 13.
With the win, the Wolf Warriors finally barged into the win column at 1-8, while the CLS Knights remain at eighth place with a 2-6 card.
Both squads will go on their holiday breaks but will open the new year on the road, with the Knights visiting the Formosa Dreamers on January 5, and the Wolf Warriors flying to the Philippines for their match with San Miguel Alab Pilipinas on the 6th.
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