The Westports Malaysia Dragons slugged out a hard fought 89-83 victory over the league’s bottom team Wolf Warriors, sweeping their season series.
The Dragons, confident from their midweek win over the defending champions Alab Pilipinas, started with fine form from beyond the arc, scoring five three pointers to take the 26-22 lead going into the second quarter.
The second quarter once again belonged to the home squad after a 17-2 run stretched their lead to as high as 17 off a three pointer by Nnanna Egwu. Fortunately for the Wolf Warriors, their import trio of Eddy Curry, Mike Bell and Mike Taylor finished the quarter strong, combining baskets to cut the lead to eleven at the half.
The Wolf Warriors began their furious fightback late in the third quarter. Despite being down by 14 with two minutes remaining, back to back three pointers by Cris Shentu helped them trim the lead to only six going into the final quarter.
Unfortunately for the Macau-based team, former NBA guard Mike Taylor picked up his second technical foul in the final minute of the third quarter, forcing him to leave the game.
Despite missing Taylor, the Wolf Warriors stunned the Dragons by tying the game early in the fourth off back-to-back three pointers by Cai Chen. Chen finished the game with a season high 32 points to stamp his early season claims for Local Player MVP.
Dragons resident import Chris Eversley, however was quick to respond with a three of his own to regain the lead. The game remained close as the Warriors were able to hang around with a Mike Bell three pointer making it only a three point game with a minute remaining.
At the ensuing play, a layup by the returning Winston Shephard made it a two possession lead giving the Dragons some much needed breathing space. The Warriors were not able to recover as crucial turnovers allowed the Dragons to escape with the victory.
A heated moment at the end of the game saw the Warrior’s debuting player Zhong Xianchao ejected from the bench as he hurled expletives at the referee over a call made on the turnovers.
The Dragons begin a five game road trip against Mono Vampire on the 16th of January, while the Wolf Warriors resume their campaign against their fellow Macanese team Black Bears on the 20th.
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