Here’s our recap of Day 3 of the 2018 Malaysia Hoops Challenge held at MABA Stadium, Kuala Lumpur
WA SBL Select Team 75 Adroit Singapore 69
In a game that would be the SBL Select Team’s toughest challenge thus far at the Malaysia Hoops Challenge, the Australians would hold on for the six point 75-69 win over Adroit Singapore.
The SBL Select Team would threaten to pull away with hot shooting and used their physical advantage to build a 13 point lead early in the second quarter. Adroit would not relent and with careful ball movement, managed to cut the lead to only seven thanks to the inspired play of Leon Kwek and import, Drelan Tripplett. Adroit would only commit six turnovers for the whole game, allowing them to stay in the game despite being outrebounded 36-71
Adroit would struggle with foul trouble as Leon Kwek committed his fourth foul early in the third. Australia would take advantage of Adroit’s foul troubles, with Rowan Mackenzie extending the lead to 11 off a beautiful fake pass into a layup with three minutes remaining in the third. Adroit would still keep up their spirit and disciplined zone defense and managed to cut the lead to only four off a buzzer beating three pointer by veteran Wong Wei Long
Despite Leon Kwek committing his fifth foul early in the fourth, Adroit would be able to cut the lead to three off another three pointer by Wong Wei Long. Things would get chippy in the fourth with unsportsmanlike fouls called on both sides. Free throws by Jackson Hussey would make it a six point game late in the fourth before a huge dunk by Drelan Tripplett made it a four point game with a minute to go. SBL would then turn to Matthew Adekponya who would drive all the way to the basket to extend the lead to six with less than a minute remaining. SBL would keep the lead for the rest of the game, pushing their record to 3-0.
Red Baron 69 CLS Knights 59
Red Baron kept their perfect record going, being pushed to a close game by CLS Knights Indonesia before pulling away at the end of the game.
The game would remain close going up to the third quarter, with the score being tied at 47 apience with both teams trading leads throughout.
The fourth quarter would signal takeover time for Red Baron’s import, Sammy Monroe as he started the fourth scoring nine straight points to stretch Red Baron’s lead to seven in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter. Monroe would score 11 of his 22 points in the fourth.
The Knights would not relent with big threes from Kaleb Gemilang and Bima Riski Adriansyah making it a two point game with five minutes to go. Red Baron would not let up, keeping the pace and through good ball movement, Daniel Eves and Lim Jian Yu made key baskets to stretch the lead back to eight with three minutes remaining, forcing a Knights timeout.
The Knights would not be able to mount the comeback off the timeout as Red Baron finished with the ten point win to remain undefeated while the Knights remained winless at the Malaysia Hoops Challenge.
With the win, Red Baron now set up a potential championship deciding clash with WA SBL Select Team on Day 4
NS Matrix 89 KL Dragons 70
NS Matrix bounced back from their defeat against Red Baron, with a come from behind win against the KL Dragons, sending the Dragons to their third straight defeat
Dragons would come out buzzing, eager to recover from their two heavy losses, against the Matrix. Dragons would improve on their defense, and shot 60% for the first quarter with a buzzer beating jumper by Joshua Gan Teck Hwa giving them a six point lead.
The second quarter would see an explosion by Matrix Filipino import, Jeff Viernes who would score 19 of his 23 first half points in the second quarter. Viernes would be instrumental in leading the Matrix fightback and careless turnovers by the Dragons allowed Matrix to take a nine point 50-41 lead at the half.
Matrix would be dealt bad news at the half as Viernes was ruled out from returning to play due to dehydration. The Dragons would look to take advantage and through the inspired play of Chris Eversley, cut the lead to three early in the third quarter forcing a Matrix timeout. The timeout would timely as Matrix would step up their press defense and through the hot shooting of Wong Yi Hou, Ting Chun Hong and Wee Joon Lock, Matrix would increase the lead back to 12 by the end of the third.
The Dragons would not be able to recover as their cold shooting form haunted them in the fourth as Matrix kept the press and obtained numerous easy baskets as the Dragons fatigue would catch up. Matrix would close out the game in convincing fashion for the 19 point win.
At the conclusion of Day 3 of the Malaysia Hoops Challenge, the standings would be:-
- WA SBL Select Team 3-0
- Red Baron 3-0
- NS Matrix 2-1
- Adroit Singapore 1-2
- CLS Knights Indonesia- 0-3
- KL Dragons 0-3