Farmco Touch Up were crowned the champions of the inaugural Malaysia Pro League defeating the top seeded KL Dragons Basketball Academy 83-78 in a closely contested affair.
Earlier in the day, the Penang Stallions defeated King Pinas Asia 124-92 to finish in fifth place. They were led by their Filipino imports, Jhapz Bautista with 41 points, matching his previous scoring record against Pinas in the preliminary round. His compatriot, Dexter Zamora finished with the only triple double for the league with 27 points, ten rebounds and 11 assists.
Verve Club, without their injured import, Chadrack Lufile would pull off the surprise 78-71 victory against the PRG Eagles, finishing third. They were led by American Daniel Camps with 30 points and 12 rebounds.
Both teams were at full strength and were looking to be crowned the first Malaysia Pro League champions.
Fil Am, Kyle Toth was determined to get hot early starting the game with a three pointer for the Dragons before being replied by Farmco veteran forward Wong Chin Yong with a rare three pointer of his own. 7 ft 5 Samuel would look to stamp his dominance early with five points and two blocks giving Farmco an early 8-3 lead.
The Dragons would soon spit fire from downtown scoring three straight pointers to race into the lead for good for the quarter. They would be able to extend the lead to eight through inspired play by Canadian Daniel Eves before Cameroonian, Chris Kuete and Ooi Ban Sin combined to cut the lead to three at the quarter. The score at the end of the first would be Dragons 18, Farmco 13.
Kuete would look to snap his cold shooting at the start of the second, forcing his way to the line making two free throws. Poor shooting by the Dragons allowed Farmco to start the second on a 8-0 run as the Dragons were unable to contain the huge Deguara forcing a Dragons timeout. An Eves three pointer out of the timeout would finally break the scoreless run for the Dragons. Their cold shooting would still continue to haunt them as Farmco kept their offense going stretching the lead to as many as 14 off a Guga Batumalai three.
Toth would hit another three at the 1:27 mark leading to Farmco calling a timeout in an attempt to not allow Toth to gain any momentum. This would not prove effective as the Dragons found their hero through the 17 year old Phan Wee Chen with back to back three pointers cutting the lead to five at the quarter. Farmco would go into the half with the 39-34 lead.
Farmco would look to quickly regain their dominance stretching the lead again to ten early in third led by the hot shooting of Guga and Ban Sin before a hook shot by Dragons big, Foong Ming Joe sparked the Dragons offense in the third. The fouls came quick in a heated quarter with Eves and John Ng getting into foul trouble for the Dragons and Kuete picking his third as well.
Kuete’s third foul would send Addy Tung to the line where he would make the two shots tying the game for the Dragons. It would be Farmco though to take the slim lead into the fourth quarter off a three pointer by Guga which was replied by a Tung jump shot. Farmco would lead 60-59 to end the third.
A Toth runner would finally regain the lead for the Dragons at the start of the fourth temporarily. Farmco would regain control off the hot shooting of Guga with two three pointers. A fast break layup made by Ban Sin would stretch the lead to nine for Farmco forcing a Dragons timeout. Toth would come out the timeout scoring back to back baskets cutting the lead to four before Deguara and Kuete once again pushed the lead the back to eight.
Eves would then hit a three followed by an and1 basket by Foong to cut the lead back to three again. Farmco would hold steady gaining the key rebounds off the Dragons misses in the last minute but unfortunately Ban Sin would only make two out of four free throws after getting fouled and sent to the line. The Dragons would attempt a final comeback with Tung hitting two free throws with five seconds to go and the ball going to Farmco. Guga would make the two final free throws after getting fouled to seal the game 83-78.
Coach Antolin Zamar would attribute the victory to his veteran players, citing they wanted this badly and gave their 200% to win the game for Farmco, especially after unexpected losing to the Dragons in the first game.
Player of the Game
Samuel Deguara kept his composure in the face of intense physical pressure defense by the Dragons throughout the game only committing one foul the entire game. He finished with 24 points and 24 rebounds.
Farmco 83: Deguara 24, Ooi 20, Guga 16, Kuete 12, Wong 7, Foo 2, Chin 2
Dragons 78: Eves 18, Toth 15, Tung 15, Phan 10, Foong 9, Shadzwan 4, Wan 4, Ng 3