The Fubon Braves and Hitech Basketball Club opened the 2019 FIBA Asia Champions Cup East Inter-Sub Zone Qualifiers with runaway victories in their respective matches.

In the tournament opening game, the reigning Chinese Taipei Super Basketball League (SBL) champions and newest ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) squad Fubon wanted to make a statement as they completely outclassed the all-local Punjab Police Team, 100-56.

Guards Liu Weir-chern and Chang Po Wei led Fubon to the blowout victory with 18 and 12 points, respectively. Meanwhile, imports Charles Garcia and Jaquan Lewis combined for 23 points and 14 rebounds in limited action.

Rajvir Singh led all scorers with 23 points to go with nine boards for India’s 33rd Federation Cup winners, but shot only 24 percent from the floor, while also committing eight turnovers.

The second game of the double-header yielded a similar result, as the 2018 Thailand Basketball Super League champions Hitech Basketball Club also outmuscled the Singapore Armed Forces Sports Association (SAFSA), 106-52.

Nattakarn Muangboon, Hitech Basketball Club (Photo: FIBA)
Nattakarn Muangboon of Hitech Basketball Club guards Herman Chan of SAFSA (Photo: FIBA/Onvisa Thewphaingarm)

Hitech opened the game with a 16-0 start and never looked back. They led SAFSA by 32 at halftime and refused took their foot off the throttle, extending their advantage to as much as 58 points in the fourth quarter.

Veteran Wattana Suttisin led the Thai side with 16 markers off 55 percent shooting, while teammates Patiphan Klahan, Xavier Alexander, John Fields, Chanatip Jakwaran, and Montien Wongsawantham each scored 13 points or more.

Meanwhile, Leon Kwek was the best player for SAFSA, as he finished 15 points, six assists, five rebounds, and two steals, while Tan Jun Wei added 12 points and six boards in the loss. Like the Punjab Police team, Singapore’s Armed Forces squad also came into the tournament without imports and paraded an all-local lineup.

All four teams will battle continue to play each other in a single round robin, before the top two squads at the end of the tournament qualifies to be a part of the final eight teams in the club championships later this year.

Day two of the FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2019 East Inter-Sub Zone Qualifiers continue tomorrow with another double-header as the Fubon Braves face SAFSA, while Punjab Police takes on Hitech Basketball Club, starting at 17:00 (GMT +7) at the Thai-Japanese Youth Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.

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