NS Matrix 77 Farmco Knights 55
The champions of MPL 2017, Farmco Knights (previously known as Farmco Touch Up), make a disappointing start to their MPL D League campaign, losing 55-77 to the unbeaten NS Matrix, who extend their win streak to 5-0 with yet another impressive display. Matrix would not relinquish their ead for the entire game from their first field goal made by Liew Wei Yuong at the 9:35 mark of the first quarter after Teh Wei Hong split a pair of free throws for Farmco. Farmco’s lack of chemistry showed and despite the efforts of Tem Zen Jie trying to keep it close for Farmco, Matrix sprinted to a nine point lead at the half .
Despite Matrix playing their second game in two days, their youthful energy gave them the advantage over Farmco, once again led by their consistent core of Liew, Ooi Xian Fu, Anthony Liew and Yew Yii Yan. Matrix never looked like losing control of the game, constantly extending the league with Farmco never cutting the lead to closer than 11. Matrix would pick up their fifth win in a row 77-55.
Liew Wei Yuong would be the best player of the game, picking up yet another double double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and a perfect 6/6 from the free throw line
New Ampang Youth Club 71 Melaka 96ers 67
NAYC would come away with the victory in the first overtime game of the MPL D League. NAYC were looking to bounce back after their defeat the night before while Melaka 96ers made their MPL D League with only 3 players above the age of 23, as they look to develop their young talent.
The game would remain close until a three pointer by Wong Wee Seng stretched Melaka’s lead to ten, giving them their biggest lead of the game midway through the third quarter. NAYC would not let up and kept chipping away ending the third on a 11-3 run capped by a buzzer beater jumper by Jaghadess Rao Marimuthu to cut the lead to two at the end of the third
NAYC started the fourth with a 10-0 run led by the hot shooting Syahrul Ridzuan giving them an eight point lead .Their tight defense saw Melaka only making their first basket at the 5:30 mark through Chee Li Wei. Melaka would keep up the fight, tying the game with a three pointer by Lim Jian Hui at the 1:38 mark. Melaka would then take a three point lead off baskets by Lim and Wong splitting his free throws. NAYC’s savior would be hot shooting Syahrul who delivered with a clutch three to tie the game. Melaka would not be able to win the game with Kwan Yoong Chye missing the final attempt.
It would be a cagey affair in overtime with both teams trading baskets the entire period. NAYC would make it a two basket game through a huge three pointer by Ho Yeow Loong with a minute to go before Tan Wei Jie made it a two point game with 50 seconds remaining. Intense defensive pressure forced an eight second backcourt turnover giving Melaka the chance to tie the game but 18 year old Brian Yew failed to tie the game after being forced into a difficult attempt .This would allow NAYC to seal the game with free throws by Ho.
The player of the game would be Syahrul Ridzuan with 22 points (8/10 FG) and 7 rebounds. Syahrul’s clutch baskets would prove critical in pushing NAYC to a 2-1 record.
KL Dragons 78 PRG Warriors 73
The KL Dragons defeated the PRG Warriors in an exciting encounter to send both teams to a 1-1 record.
The KL Dragons were looking to bounce back from their close opening game lost against NS Matrix while the PRG Warriors would look to build their momentum from their huge win against Verve Club. The Dragons would establish an early advantage despite the Warrior’s persistent full court press which forced 11 turnovers from the Dragons in the first quarter alone. This would be story for most of the game with the Dragons lacking a stable point guard presence. Poor shooting from the Warriors and well taken baskets by the Dragons gave the Dragons a 12 point advantage going into the fourth off back to back three pointers by Joshua Gan and Connor Chua
On a night where their three pointers were just not falling (9/42), the Warriors suddenly made their three point attempts count as they began a fiery comeback through key 3s from Tan Wen Gio, Liew Kar Choon and John Wong. They would take their first lead of the night with four minutes to go after a Thea Zhong Shin free throw. The Dragons would remain composed; immediately regaining the lead through key plays by Izran Edika. Edika would make an assist to Jerry Fong for the basket, get the defensive stop and rebound and then make another assist for a Chiang Wei Er layup forcing a timeout by the Warriors. The Warriors would get to as close as point but a dagger three pointer by Joshua Gan with a minute to go would be enough to seal the first victory for the MPL D League season for the Dragons.
Joshua Gan would earn the best player honors with a double double of 20 points, 10 rebounds and four assists along with the key three pointer to seal the game for the Dragons. He would also be the only player to play the entire 40 minutes.
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