FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM THE GAME
Both teams started the game firing the deep ball with little abandon. In the first quarter alone, of the 39 shots taking between the two teams, more than half of them came from beyond the arc with the the Dragons converting on a substantially better rate of 62 percent compared to the Heat’s 25 percent. By the time the final buzzer sounded, the numbers were nearly identical, with the Dragons besting the Heat by the narrowest of margins, hitting 15 of their total 40 attempts for 37 percent. The Heat would finish with 14 makes out of their 38 attempts, one percent shy of equalizing the home squad from the same distance.
Akeem Scott carries the load in a loss.
With Saigon’s newest imports shining last week, it was time for their leader to flex his scoring muscles once again. The Heat starting point guard had his best scoring output of his ABL career so far, surpassing already impressive performances against the Dragons. For the majority of the game, it was Scott that kept the team afloat, trying to keep pace with Malaysia. Coach Julius couldn’t have asked for a more efficient game, as Scott finished with 44 points on 70 percent (14-20) shooting from the field, eight rebounds, three assists, and three steals while coughing up the ball just three times. He was also a perfect 7-of-7 from rainbow-land.
Dragons share the scoring wealth.
Coming into the game, just about everyone was expecting imports Joshua Munzon and Marcus Marshall to carry the brunt of their team’s scoring, and to an extent, they did. However, the Dragons had four players score in double figures, with only Marshall surpassing the 20 point mark. Perhaps the most impressive of the bunch in Wednesday night’s game was the performance of local player Chun Hong Ting, who in his 31 minutes of run, put in 13 points, five rebounds, and two assists. It was really the fashion in which he achieved those numbers that should be given recognition. Showing no fear, he was able to attack Heat defenders, keeping them on their heels. Just ask David Arnold.
Shutting down Michael Williams.
The Fil-Am’s impressive start to his ABL career came to a screeching halt in Kuala Lumpur. He missed every shot he took, going 0-of-11 from the field, with his lone point coming at the charity stripe early in the game in 36 total minutes. The only consolation was that he had a team-high of eight assists, but struggled just about everywhere else. Give the Dragons defense credit for forcing him into uncomfortable shots all night long, which included a committee of different defenders.
A rivalry renewed.
Dragons head coach Christopher Thomas took shots at the Saigon Heat before the game even began, and his team backed up the talk against a team coming off the highest of highs. Leading up to tip-off, the outspoken coach approached the Heat’s Kyle Julius for a pre-game handshake, with the latter not surprisingly declining. As his team put on a delightful performance in front of their home crowd, Thomas was nothing but smiles on the sideline. Things reached a boiling point with the outcome of the game already having been decided, as players and coaches continued jawing with one another and ultimately had to be separated along the mid-court sideline.