FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM THE GAME
Tiongson branded painkiller.
If Marcus Marshall is considered a real pain for many teams from the league, then Caelan Tiongson is definitely a painkiller against him. Tiongson once again threw lock-down defense against the Malaysian team’s number one scoring option, limiting him to only 11 points (15 percent FG%), five of which, came from charity stripe. On the other hand, the Kung Fu forward also made his presence felt at the more glorious end of the floor, putting up 18 points, eight boards and four dimes in this one-sided game.
Malaysia rebounding duo.
It was an off-shooting night for the visiting Dragons, but at least their two local big men, Kuek Tian Yuan and Ivan Yeo, were able to contribute for the team in their own fashion. They combined for 12 points, and successfully grabbed 21 boards, 7 coming off the offensive glass. The two may not be as promising as Singapore’s duo (Delvin Goh & Russel Low), but they are definitely one of the most hardworking pairs in the league.
Guo Kai still missing.
While the home team is currently sitting in second place in the league standings, most of their wins were heavily contributed from their imports and one sole local: Guo Kai. The ex-CBA first draft pick has been missing in action since their game in Saigon, with many suggesting that he has been called up to play for his CBA team, the Guangzhou Long Lions, however, his status still remains unknown at this stage. Guo averaged about 12 points and six rebounds per game, clearly boosting the team’s local lineup, especially considering their recent performance (combined 9-points from all locals).
Nightmare third quarter.
Despite a strong effort in keeping the gap close at the end of first half, the Dragons seemed upbeat in turning the game around, but things went the same old way again. Likewise, in most of their losses this season, they weren’t able to execute well at both ends of the floor coming out of the half. At the defensive end, they had no clue on how to stop the Kung Fu, committing unforced errors to make the situation worse. On the offensive end, the communication among players was still far from ideal, as they continued making a lot of questionable and unadvised shots down the stretch.
Still shiny X-mas present.
Mikh McKinney was one of the signings during the ABL Christmas break, and he again showed his worth in his first home game. He had 32 points, alongside four rebounds and six assists, finishing up the game strong. His drives to the basket were so solid that he made 10-of-14 shots from within the perimeter line, basically looking unstoppable at one point of the game. Even a well-known wing defender like Munzon had almost no chance on locking him down quietly.