Mono Vampire Basketball Club pulled off an important victory in their road to playoffs against Westports Malaysia Dragons, 84-75.
The Dragons established their offensive presence early in the game after rookie Yek Liang Chuan and team captain Chris Eversley gave then a 13-7 lead halfway through the first quarter. The home team finished the quarter strong with an 8-0 run facilitated by rookie Jonathan Wong Zhong Han.
However, the visiting squad hit back with a 14-3 run at the beginning of the second quarter. Thai-American Tyler Lamb contributed 10 points in this stretch, including two shots from deep. The Dragons weren’t able to find any rhythm, going scoreless for nearly six minutes until Wong and Winston Shepard added six points to end the first half.
The double digit deficit was cut to just five points after Shepard led his team to a 9-2 run early in the second half. Both teams exchange baskets throughout the quarter, but Shepard was able to keep his composure and ensure his team was within striking distance at the end of third quarter, contributing 12 points single-handedly.
After Wong and Lamb exchanged baskets from the perimeter, Mike Singletary nailed in another shot from beyond the arc to give his team a nine points lead.
The Dragons made a late push and made it a single possession ball game after Shepard and Yek made crucial baskets. However, the visiting team didn’t let their effort go wasted and secured a crucial victory after Lamb and Singletary nailed in decisive free throws.
The visiting team was short-handed without Romeo Travis due to a sore knee, and big man Malcolm White who only played around 20 minutes due to injury as well. But their all-around forward Singletary dropped 27 points and 12 rebounds, while Lamb contributed a solid 23 points performance in this important match-up. The Vampire also had an effective 31-for-61 shooting from the field.
Shepard led his team in almost every category again, added 23 points, 15 boards, seven dimes and four steals. While the Dragons rookie combo Yek and Jonathan Wong both combined 29 points and eight rebounds. Eversley shined only in the first quarter, as he only recorded 15 points and two steals in full time.
Mono Vampire will host Hong Kong Eastern on March 2, while the Dragons travel to Indonesia to play the CLS Knights on the 3rd.
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