Verve Club rebounded from their last defeat in fashion with a 145-52 route of the guest team from the Phillipines, King Pinas Asia.
King Pinas Asia’s player woes continued with player/coach, Rolando Navarro, absent from the team today. They once again played with three Malaysian players that joined on an emergency basis. They replaced Kot Soon Peng with Yim Shen Yi, while Tommy Wong and Raphal Yap returned.
Verve Club brought in veteran national team guard Soo Eng Heng and former national team junior player, the athletic Benjamin Sim to reinforce their line up for the rest of the league.
Chadrack Lufile set the tone for Verve with an opening jumpshot before RJ Argamino replied with a 3-pointer, continuing his fine scoring run. This would be Pinas’ only lead of the game. Pinas still looked lethargic and the lack of bodies showed right from the beginning with only three men running up for offense with the 47 year old EJ Feihl remaining at the back for most of the quarter.
Verve veteran shooter, Lee Chien Chung, rediscovered his scoring touch from Verve’s opening game, hitting five 3-pointers and finished the first quarter with 17 points. Pinas’s cold shooting and inability to cope with the physical prowess of Verve’s two imports resulted in a 30-13 lead for Verve at the end of the first quarter.
Three made free throws by Pinas reduced the deficit to 14 at the start of the second quarter but this would be the closest they would get. They kept the pace with Verve for most of the quarter, led by six points from Peter De Ocampo. Verve rising star, Tan Wei Jie, took control of the game late in the second, scoring 7 straight points and giving them the biggest lead of the half at 24. An Argamino basket for Pinas ended the half with Verve leading 59-37.
Similar to the last game by Pinas, the third and fourth quarter played out the same way. Pinas’ lethargy and lack of height did not give them any opportunities to mount any comeback. Poor shot selection and a lack of strategy were once again the story of the game for Pinas as Verve were able to play large stretches of the second half with an all local line up who saw limited minutes in the past two games. Verve didn’t slow down and broke the 100 mark early in the fourth with a basket by Lufile.
The top performer for Verve in the second half was young big man Goh Yan Qing with 13 points. The final buzzer sounded to a resounding 145-52 victory for Verve Club with Goh scoring the final basket, breaking the record for the largest win and most points scored at MPL 2017 so far
Verve took full advantage of the lethargic King Pinas Asia, using their full rotation of 12 players to outwear Pinas, having all members on the scoreboard today. Verve move to 2-1 and Pinas are still looking for their first victory after three games.
Player of the Game
Veteran Lee Chien Chung led the offense again with an incredible 27 points in only 15 minutes of play including 7-9 3-point shooting.
Verve 145: Lufile 28, Lee 27, Camps 15, Goh 13, Gan 12, Tan 9, Liew 8, Fong 8, Kwan 8, Heh 7, Sim 7, Soo 3
Pinas 52: Argamino 21, De Ocampo 10, Pacquiao 9, Cudal 5, Feihl 3, Yim 2, Wong 2