FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM THE GAME
The genius of Kyle Julius.
New Saigon Heat skipper Kyle Julius was brought in during the offseason, touted as a master tactician, and boy, was that put on full display against Mono Vampire. After a disappointing loss in their opener, the Heat came out on Sunday night and executed a masterful game-plan strung together by the man at the helm. After picking apart the opposition and making the Vampire have to adjust to the Heat’s game, the crickets should be chirping in doubter-central.
Size versus speed.
One of the biggest arguments among Heat naysayers was the team’s lack of size. Going up against a Mono Vampire team that featured the ABL’s biggest player in Reggie Johnson was presumably going to be a tall-task, literally. The activity of the home team on offense, and particularly, on the defensive side of the ball laid that to rest. Jason Brickman’s usual paint-probing exploits were halted and entry passes into Johnson were met with quick hands from a committee of Heat defenders in a game that was never really within grasp for the visitors.
Holy high-octane Akeem Scott, Batman.
Let’s not be coy about Akeem Scott. The dude is a beast and I’d be willing to take bets against him for being the quickest player in the league with the ball in his hands from baseline-to-baseline. After a pretty good ABL debut last weekend, the world import guard topped it with an even more stellar performance. In 37 minutes of action, he put together a 37-point, 6-rebound, 5-assist, 3-steal performance that had fans in attendance on the edge of their seats. Oh yea, he did all of this while shooting 76 percent from the field (13-17) which included 66 percent from three (6-9).
Reggie Johnson’s unconventional double-double.
It’s no secret that Mono Vampire world import center Reggie Johnson is a big guy. He’s pretty much had his way against opponents throughout the early stages of the 2017-2018 ABL season, feasting in the paint on offensive rebounds and second-chance opportunities while racking in double-doubles like it’s nobody’s business. The freight train ran into a wall of Heat defenders and wasn’t very effective, so much so, that he sat out the entire fourth period with only three fouls under his name. Johnson would finish with seven points, 14 rebounds, and 10 turnovers.
Saigon Heat’s statement win.
In only their second game of the season, the Heat looked like a completely different team from the one that we saw fade-away in the fourth quarter against their opening day opponents, the Formosa Dreamers. Mono Vampire came into the matchup as one of the top teams in the league, and the Heat pushed them aside like rag-dolls. It’s still too early to fully judge Saigon off this one dominating performance, but other teams should be on alert as to how dangerous this team can be when they’re clicking.