FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM THE GAME
Streaks continue for both teams.
The CLS Knights Indonesia suffered another close heartbreaking defeat on their home court coming off the holiday break for the fifth straight loss in a row. Chongson Kung Fu managed to escape Indonesia with a close victory, earning their fourth straight win and maintaining their unbeaten record.
Tough conditions for Chongson Kung Fu.
The visitors from China showed clear signs of struggle early in the game as they tried to adjust to the heat in GOR Kertajaya Arena’s air-condition-less confines. The Knights took advantage of this, building a lead of up to 15 early in the first, led by the hot shooting Mario Wuysang and Sandy Kurniawan. The Kung Fu played the entire game with only a six man rotation, making things even more difficult for themselves in the tough conditions.
A frantic finish.
It would be seesaw game with both teams trading leads from the end of the second quarter onward. The Knights looked set to break their losing streak, holding onto a 9-point lead at the 6:42 mark of the fourth quarter. The Kung Fu’s new heritage import, Fil-Am Mikh McKinney who had been struggling all night to that point finally came through, scoring nine points (4-5 FG) to lead the visitor’s charge toward victory.
Chongson took a six point lead with a minute to go, but inspired plays by Freddie Lish and Decorey Jones cut the deficit to a one point game with 41 seconds to go. Justin Howard would then score an easy basket to turn it back to a three point game with nine seconds remaining and both Brian Williams and Decorey Jones missed opportunities to tie the game for the Knights in the waning seconds.
CLS Knights Indonesia’s strong local showing.
The locals for the home squad put in strong performances led by Indonesian basketball icon, Mario Wuysang, who put in a vintage performance of 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists including four three pointers. Arif Hidayat also impressed in his extended minutes to score seven points, including some cool, collected baskets during key moments of the game. 2017 third round PBA draft pick Ebrahim Enguio played his heaviest minutes so far this season at 17, as he looks to continue impressing the Knight’s coaching staff.
Impressive stat-lines from Kung Fu starters.
Anthony Tucker flirted with a near triple-double performance, finishing with 22 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists while playing all 40 minutes. The American import had an uncommonly sluggish night from beyond the arc, converting on just 3-of-17. Fellow world import starter Justin Howard added 19 points and 13 rebounds.
It would be a landmark night for Howard as he is now officially the highest scorer in ABL history after Saturday night’s victory. Heritage import Mikh McKinney had 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists while Caelan Tiongson contributed six points and grabbed an impressive 13 rebounds. Local Guo Kai continued his fine form with 16 points. One can’t help but question if a six man rotation from the Kung Fu can sustain their form for the rest of the season as they still have 16 games to go, including four against fellow undefeated team, Hong Kong Eastern.