FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM THE GAME
Akeem Scott is the Saigon Heat’s catalyst.
No surprise here really. Scott was brought in during the off-season as coach Kyle Julius’ main man and he didn’t disappoint in his ABL debut. The world import was a blur on the court, showing off his quickness from baseline to baseline and explosiveness in his rim attacks. Things all went downhill for the Heat once Scott fouled out with a little more than three minutes to go in the game, as the team looked disjointed without their starting point guard. He finished with 29 points on 9-of-24 shooting, seven rebounds, three assists, and four steals before being sent off.
Lenny Daniel’s revenge.
The American forward’s return to CIS didn’t end in disappointment, much to the dismay of Heat fans. Ever since he was surprisingly cut by his former team and signed with the Dreamers, the matchup against the Saigon Heat was billed as must-see. Already known for his athleticism and versatility, Daniel had a little extra pep to his step, finishing with a double-double of 22 points, 19 rebounds, and three blocks. As for a post-game greeting with the man who cut him? Not even a glance was spared.
Shooting percentages versus turnovers.
The Saigon Heat dominated the visiting Dreamers in all aspects related to turnovers. They had a whopping 13 more steals and 12 less turnovers, translating to a huge 22-1 margin in points off turnovers. On the other hand, the Dreamers shot 15 times less from the field than the hosts, which included 14 less attempts from deep, but both teams managed to tie in conversions from both categories with 27 total field goals made and seven three-pointers made.
Same heavy minutes for the new look Heat starters.
Despite suiting up 10 players in their season opener, only seven members actually saw floor time, with the starters once again being heavily relied on. Moses Morgan’s fourth quarter injury barred him from additional time, but the other four Heat starters played north of 32 minutes. The only other players to receive playing time were Stefan Nguyen (16 minutes) and Le Ngoc Tu (15 minutes).
The Dreamers’ bench showed up.
Led by Lenny Daniel’s 22 points, the Dreamers had four players score in double figures. Of those four players, two came off the bench. Starter Jaleel Cousins did pull in 19 boards, but his 13 points were matched by Chen Yu Han who also grabbed two rebounds, dished out two assists, and added one block in his 27 minutes. Yang Tian You finished as the Taiwanese-side’s second leading scorer at 15 points in his 25 minutes off the pine. Together, Formosa’s bench outscore Saigon’s 28-7.