Earlier in the day, Farmco Knight would defeat Seven Star 83-61 to secure seventh placing while Red Baron would secure fifth placing with a 58-53 victory over New Ampang Youth Club.
PRG Warriors 68 NS Matrix 65
PRG Warriors would pull off the upset 68-65 victory over the No.1 seed NS Matrix in an exciting game that went all the way to the final buzzer.
NS Matrix would take advantage of their height early on, pounding inside to quickly build a ten point lead while PRG struggled with their shooting. They would only be able to score their first field goal off a Lewis Inpik layup with two minutes to go. PRG would count their lucky stars with a Liew Kar Choon three pointer barely bouncing in and a buzzer beating three by John Wong cutting Matrix’s lead to 15-11 at the end of the first.
A Liew Kar Choon jumper would cut the lead to two before Matrix went on a three point tear, making three in a row through Ooi Xian Fu and Chang Zi Fueng regaining a nine point lead for Matrix. PRG would stay firm and through the inspiring guard play of Liew Kar Choon and Lewis Inpik, PRG would claw the lead at the end of the quarter off a steal by Inpik and a pass to into a Liew Kar Choon layup for PRG to take a 37-36 lead at the break.
PRG would come out the break with a huge 9-0 run as Matrix struggled with their shooting. Chang Zi Fueng would finally make Matrix’s first basket of the quarter with four minutes remaining in the third. PRG would still go on to stretch the lead to seven, leading Matrix 53-46 going into the fourth.
PRG would have a 10 point lead midway through the fourth after a pass by John Wong found an open Thea Zhong Shin for an easy basket, seemingly putting PRG firmly in control of the game. This moment would signal takeover time for Matrix’s leading scorer, Liew Wei Yuong who would go on to score seven straight points to make it a three point game with a minute to go to set up an exciting finish to the end of game.
Liew would find himself with an opportunity to make it a one point game but would unfortunately for him, miss his two free throws attempt which opened the opportunity for PRG’s John Wong to score a crucial layup to make it a five point game with 40 seconds remaining. Matrix would call a timeout and make a crucial basket inside through Tan Chee Wey to make it a three point game with 27 seconds remaining. A crucial steal by Thong Chin Chan would then set up Liew Wei Yuong to make it a one point game. Matrix would then foul Ong Wei Yong, sending him to the line where he would only make one of his free throws.
Liew Wei Yuong would grab the rebound and get fouled by John Wong in the process giving him the opportunity to tie the game. Liew would only be able to make one, as PRG grabbed the rebound to force Matrix to send PRG’s second leading scorer, Tan Wen Gio to the line. Tan Wen Gio, who was 0/10 shooting for the night, would make the two huge free throws, giving PRG the three point advantage with three seconds remaining. Ooi Xian Fu would not be able to make the game tying three pointer as PRG clinches the 68-65 victory, earning their way into the finals.
PRG’s player of the game would be John Wong, with an impressive 16 points and 17 rebounds double double in 40 minutes of play. John’s clutch jump shots at key moments of the game would be instrumental in securing the finals spot for PRG Warriors.
KL Dragons 70 Melaka 96ers 59
The KL Dragons emerged victorious over the Melaka 96ers 70-59 to earn their ticket into the MPL D League Finals against the PRG Warriors.
Melaka would come into game at a disadvantage, having only eight players, with numerous players missing due to injuries and other commitments.
Despite their shortcomings, Melaka would stun the Dragons, racing to an early 11 point lead as the Dragons struggled to break through the strong post defense of Chee Li Wei, who had a block party for the game, finishing with nine in total. The Dragons would turn to lead scorer Chiang Wei Er who showed why he deserve the regular season MVP nomination scoring nine straight points to cut the lead to two. A steal from Joshua Gan would give Chin Cheng Wah a clear path to tie the game for the Dragons to end the first quarter 15-15.
The Dragons and Melaka would constantly trade leads throughout the second quarter with neither team being able to pull away from each today. Poh Chee Hoa would prove to be a key factor for the Dragons at the end of the second, first making a three pointer, and then stealing and assisting for Sebastian Ang’s easy layup which gave the Dragons the 34-31 lead at the half.
The Dragons would assert control of the game in the third beginning with Chiang Wei Er finding an open Joshua Gan for the three with six minutes remaining. The Dragons would take advantage of the fatigued Melaka, stretching the lead to as high as 11 as Sebastian Ang evaded Lee Hong Min for the easy layup. Melaka would however manage to cut the lead to seven going into the fourth quarter with the score at 51-44 thanks to a three pointer by Wong Wee Seng.
Melaka would give the Dragons a scare after back to back three pointers by Wong Wee Seng and Tan Wei Jie would make it a one point game early in the fourth quarter. The Dragons would stay focused with and earned some breathing space with Chin Cheng Wah hitting a shot clock beating three pointer to make it a five point lead at the 6:40 mark. Melaka would suffer a blow as Chee Li Wei would collapse due to cramps at the 4:20 mark, forcing him to leave the court momentarily. Chin Cheng Wah would take advantage of this scoring an easy layup inside to increase the Dragon’s lead to eight. Chee Li Wei would return and through efforts of a Tan Wei Jie basket three point play, Melaka would cut the lead to five with 90 seconds remaining for the game.
The Dragons would then employ good clock management at this point, taking their time on offense and forcing key turnovers from Melaka. The Dragons would stretch the lead with intentional fouls by Melaka and cruised to the final 11 point win 70-59.
The Dragons would be led by Chiang Wei Er with an impressive 16 points, 16 rebounds and 4 assists statline.
With the victory, the KL Dragons now move onto play PRG Warriors in the finals of the MPL D League.
Melaka moves on to face NS Matrix at the 3rd placing playoff on Sunday.