The inaugural MPL Development League’s second weekend concluded with with NS Matrix firmly cementing their claims as the early season favorites to win the championship, stretching their win streak to 3-0 with wins over the debuting Seven Star and the third placed team of the 2017 MPL edition, Verve Club.
In the first game of the weekend between NS Matrix and Seven Star, Matrix would lead by as many as 16 before Seven Star made a furious second half comeback and had a chance to tie the game with 28 seconds left on the clock . Intense defensive pressure by Yew Yii Yan forced a crucial backcourt turnover by Ng Jing Jiek allowing Matrix to seal the game with free throws. Matrix would come away with the 59-54 win led by Liew Wei Yuong with a double double of 20 points and 13 rebounds, shooting 50% from the field. Seven Star’s would be led by former national junior forward Kwan Joe Ee with 10 points and 13 rebounds
The second game of the weekend would see the debuting New Ampang Youth Club (NAYC) defeat the Verve Club 56-50 in a close encounter which saw both teams tied going into the fourth quarter. NAYC’s two players with ABL experience, Ho Yeow Loong and Syahrul Ridzuan Rosli would lead the way with 16 and 10 points respectively. Verve would only have themselves to blame with 27 turnovers proving costly despite the efforts of veteran national team guard, Soo Eng Heng who had 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists
The third game of the weekend would be the PRG Warriors (formerly known as the PRG Eagles) making an emphatic debut for the MPL D League defeating the fatigued Seven Star who were unable to make up ground after the gruelling defeat to Matrix the day before. The Warriors would defeat Seven Star 90-74 led by Liew Kar Choon (signed from Verve Club) with 27 points. Liew’s 27 points would be the highest so far for the season. Former national team guard, Tong Weng Keong continues his impressive comeback story after a near fatal car accident in 2015, contributing 12 points, five rebounds and six assists for the Warriors.
The final game of the weekend saw NS Matrix decimate Verve Club 87-45 with four players scoring double digits. Matrix’s youthful team ran roughshod over Verve who were unable to keep up the intense defensive pressure, committing 25 turnovers and shooting a dismal 30% from the field. Matrix’s best player of the game would be the fresh Chang Zi Fueng with 16 points and 7 rebounds. Chang was making his return to the team after participating in the SEABA Champions Cup with Red Baron.
After Week 2, the MPL D League 2018 standings would be as follows:-
- NS Matrix 3-0
- PRG Warriors 1-0
- New Ampang Youth Club 1-0
- KL Dragons 0-1
- Seven Star 0-2
- Verve Club 0-2
- Farmco Knights 0-0
- Melaka 96ers 0-0
- Red Baron 0-0
For the full schedule of games, please check the following link ,http://maba.com.my/mpld-schedule-results/