FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM THE GAME
(Series tied 1-1)
The Thang Long Warriors overcame a slow start.
Things started off shaky for the home team in the first quarter as they were held to just 5-20 (25%) shooting from the field. The Warriors would have went into the second quarter down, 11-20, if it weren’t for a buzzer-beating three-pointer from Trung Truong Hoang that found its mark, cutting the deficit to just seven points at 14-21.
Tam and Sang Dinh had off-nights.
Brothers Tam and Sang Dinh combined for just 20 of their team’s 68 total points. The elder Dinh brother finished his night with 13 points on 6-18 (33%) shooting, including a dismal 1-7 (14%) from deep while Sang finished with just seven points on 3-10 (30%) shooting, failing to find his stroke from beyond the perimeter and laying an egg going 0 for 5. The Catfish team, as a whole, were an abysmal 4-27 (14%) from behind the arc.
Conversely, Thang Long’s star players showed up in a must-win game.
Justin Young and Jaywuan Hill found themselves in a similar situation, being down 0-1 in the finals for a second straight year. The results were different this time around as their team came out victorious to even out the series. Hill led the charge with 26 points (11-28, 39%), 14 rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block, while Young had one of his better outings of the season, finishing with 18 points (5-11, 45%), nine rebounds, three assists, and one steal. Both starters played the entire 40 minutes.
Warriors center Nguyen Van Hung provided a spark for his team off the bench as he finished with a double-double of 12 points (5-11, 45%) and 10 rebounds. Defensively, the “tank” also contributed two steals while playing tough defense against DeAngelo Hamilton. Collectively, the Warriors’ bench outscored their opponents 19-10.
The Danang Dragons still own the lone perfect postseason record for at least another year.
It’s only the second season, but it still counts. Coming into the finals, both the top-seeded Thang Long Warriors and third-seeded Can Tho Catfish had yet to lose a game in the playoffs. The visiting Catfish handed the Warriors their first loss of the postseason in game one and 2017’s top seed returned the favor in game two with a 73-68 victory.