FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM THE GAME
First quarter scorcher.
The visiting Saigon Heat came out on fire from downtown to open up the game, including going perfect in their first six attempts from range. It wasn’t until slightly less than five minutes to play in the first quarter that they finally missed, helping the visitors build up a lead to as big as 15 points. Eastern’s Marcus Elliot was just as hot, going 7-of-10 from the field, including 3-of-4 from deep. His 17 points in the first quarter kept the game from spiraling out of control for the home team and cut the deficit to just five by the time the buzzer sounded to end the opening quarter at 35-30.
Michael Williams in the clutch.
In just his second ABL game for the Saigon Heat, Filipino-American guard Michael Williams’ offensive arsenal was on full display. After Lee Ki hit a clutch go-ahead three to give Hong Kong Eastern their first lead of the game with just 39 seconds to go in regulation, Williams matched him with a three of his own to send the game into an extra period.
With Maxie Esho fouled out, things looked grim for the visitors as Eastern looked to pound the ball in the paint with their size advantage. After an Akeem Scott layup to tie the game at 113-113, Williams scored the last eight points for the Heat, sealing the upset. He would finish with 39 points, seven rebounds, nine assists, two steals, and one block in 43 minutes.
Christian Standhardinger’s rough night from the charity stripe.
Despite having a masterful performance, finishing with 37 points and 19 rebounds while keeping his team well within striking distance late into the game, Christian Standhardinger’s suspect free throw shooting might have overshadowed it all. The Filipino-German was only able to hit 5-of-17 free throws for a dismal 29 percent. As a collective whole, Eastern failed to capitalize from the charity stripe as the team shot 16-of-33 for just 48 percent, but with Standhardinger shooting such a high volume, he might have single-handedly cost his team a victory in a very close game.
Heat set a new ABL record for most three-pointers made in a game.
Sure the game did go into overtime and the Saigon Heat had additional time to jack up more shots from beyond the arc, but the visitors established that they would be firing frequently and converting consistently from early on. After already having tied the record with 17 makes in their second game of the season against Mono Vampire, the Heat secured their 18th make in a gimme by Michael Williams with the game already decided as the clock expired in the overtime session. On the night, the Heat finished 18-of-39 from deep, an efficient 46 percent overall.
And then there was one.
With their loss Tuesday night, Hong Kong Eastern’s perfect run to start out their season came to a close at seven games. The usual late-game comeback magic that had become synonymous with the team during the course of their 2017-2018 season had finally run it’s course, though it almost nearly came to fruition once again. This leaves Chongson Kung Fu as the lone undefeated team in the league.