It was an exciting Day 1 of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Eastern Region Pre Qualifiers with the headline story being a shock win by Malaysia over the SEABA Pre Qualifiers champions, Indonesia.
Malaysia 70 Indonesia 61
Malaysia would overcome an early 13 point deficit to overcome a cold shooting a cold shooting (36%) and careless (21 turnovers) Indonesia, finishing with a 70-61 victory.
Indonesia would rue the day as sloppy ball movement and inability to finish at the rim would prove costly for them. Naturalized import, Jamarr Johnson led the team with 15 points but struggled on a 28% shooting day, missing several easy layup attempts.
Malaysia’s full court press would prove dividends, forcing several key turnovers at crucial stretches of the game as their young line up outlasted Indonesia.
In a close game, Malaysia would take the lead for good at the end of the third quarter off a pair of free throws by captain Kuek Tian Yuan. Despite Kuek and leading scorer Chang Zi Fueng (18 points) fouling out of the game in the fourth quarter, Malaysia would hold firm with good clock management to ride out the victory.
Malaysia next face Macau on the 27th of November while Indonesia take a day break before facing Macau on the 28th.
Thailand 83 Singapore 65
Thailand tip off their campaign in impressive fashion, defeating Singapore 83-65 in Thai American Moses Morgan’s FIBA competition debut.
Singapore would keep it close early in the game before Moses Morgan would spark a 20-5 early in the second quarter to put Thailand in double digits for good for the game.
With only Delvin Goh left to banner big man duties for Singapore, it would be tough for them break through against the bigs of Thailand, Morgan, Teerawat Chantachon and Chanatip Jakrawan. Thailand would outrebound Singapore 47-36 for the game.
Thailand would cruise to the final 18 point victory led by Jakrawan’s impressive double double of 19 points and 11 rebounds. Morgan would also have a successful debut, contributing 19 points and 3 assists.
Singapore’s valiant efforts were led by Kelvin Lim Hong Da with 12 points and 7 rebounds and Leon Kwek contributing 11.
Thailand next face Fiji on the 27th of November while Singapore face Guam on the same day.
In the day’s other game, the battle of Oceania was won convincingly by Guam, who trounced their neighbors Fiji 93-55 led by Earnest Lee Ross Jr’s 19 points.
Full schedule of games available here.