Earlier in the day, NS Matrix would secure third placing with a come from behind 80-77 victory over the Melaka 96ers led by Liew Wei Yuong with 30 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists.
PRG Warriors 70 KL Dragons 55
The fourth seed PRG Warriors earned the right to be called the first champions of the Malaysia Pro League Development League with an emphatic 70-55 over the second seed KL Dragons.
The Dragons would breathe fire early with back to back three pointers from Sebastian Ang and Chin Cheng Wah giving them an early seven point lead. With PRG leading scorer, Liew Kar Choon being kept under tight defensive pressure in the first quarter, PRG would turn to John Wong who single handedly kept PRG in the game with nine points in the first quarter alone. A buzzer beating lay up by Chiang Wei Er off a nice find by Chin Cheng Wah would give the Dragons a three point advantage at the end of the first quarter.
The Dragons would suffer a huge blow with Chiang Wei Er committing two fouls within the first two minutes of the second quarter, sending him to the bench with three fouls. The game would be close until John Wong would once again take over, scoring five straight points to give PRG the five point 33-28 lead at the half. John Wong would have a monster first half, scoring 18 of his team’s 33 points.
The Dragons would receive a much needed boost Chiang Wei Er as he returned to the court at the start of the second. Chiang would lead the Dragons to quickly retaking the lead. An irate PRG Warriors coach Ee Kee Lip would be called for a technical foul for excessing protesting against the referees. He would call a timeout as the Dragons built a five point lead, lashing at his players for their lack of communication on the court.
The timeout would prove effective with PRG stepping up on the defensive intensity, forcing the Dragons to commit several turnovers. Liew Kar Choon who would miss his first ten attempts would finally come good with a key game tying three pointer late in the third quarter. This would be the spark PRG needed as they closed the third quarter on a 6-0 capped by another three pointer by Liew and a free throw off Chiang Wei Er’s fourth foul on Liew as he attempted a fast break layup. PRG would take the six point 49-43 lead going into the final quarter.
With Chiang Wei Er having to sit out again, the Dragons would struggle to score without their key scorer. The Dragons would only be able to score two points in the first three and a half minutes of the fourth quarter as PRG stretched the lead to nine off a three pointer by Ong Wei Yong and yet another basket by John Wong. This would lead to Chiang Wei Er quickly checking back in, making his presence immediately felt with a layup to cut the lead to seven. Despite the Dragon’s best efforts, PRG would again stretch the lead to nine with John Wong scoring an offensive rebound putback with 3:24 remaining for the game forcing a Dragons timeout.
The timeout would not prove effective as the Dragons committed back to back costly turnovers and could not buy a basket as their shooting form deserted them. It would be John Wong again with the crucial play to kill off the game, drawing the Dragon’s defense before finding an open Thea Zhong Shin with the layup to give PRG the nine point lead with two minutes remaining. The Dragons would not recover and allowed PRG to extend the the lead with intentional fouls in a desperate attempt to salvage the game.
The PRG Warriors victory would in line with the goals of the Development League to develop the younger talent of Malaysian basketball. 81% of the minutes played today and 63/70 points by PRG Warriors were by U23 players. The key statline of the day would be PRG only committing five turnovers for the game, while forcing the Dragons to 23.
The Finals MVP would be none other than John Wong, playing his second 40 minutes game in two days. He would finish with 26 points and 10 rebounds on efficient 56% shooting . The 22 year old 186cm Power Forward would prove to be the key factor to PRG’s championship run.
PRG would go 1-3 at the end of the regular season without John, who was unavailable due to other basketball commitments. John would play 115 minutes and average 16.3 PPG, 12 RPG and 2.7 APG in the three playoffs games.
With the conclusion of the season, the league announced the following award winners:
Regular Season MVP
Chee Li Wei (Melaka 96ers) – 9.3 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1.8 BPG
Regular Season U23 MVP
Tan Wei Jie (Melaka 96ers) – 19.0 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 1.8 APG
Regular Season All First Team
Soo Eng Heng (Verve Club)
Chiang Wei Er (KL Dragons)
Chin Cheng Wah (KL Dragons)
Choo Wei Hong (Farmco Knight)
Chee Li Wei (Melaka 96ers)
Regular Season U23 All First Team
Liew Kar Choon (PRG Warriors)
Tan Wei Jie (Melaka 96ers)
Syahrul Ridzuan Rosli (NAYC)
Liew Wei Yuong (NS Matrix)
Anthony Liew (NS Matrix)
After the playoffs and rankings games, the final rankings of the MPL D League would be:-
- PRG Warriors (9-4) (Champions)
- KL Dragons (8-4)
- NS Matrix (10-2)
- Melaka 96ers (6-7)
- Red Baron (6-6)
- New Ampang Youth Club (6-6)
- Farmco Knight (5-6)
- Seven Star (3-9)
- Verve Club (1-10)
We at ASEAN Sports would like to congratulate all the award winners and the PRG Warriors for their outstanding achievements at the inagurual Malaysian Pro League Development League.
We hope that throughout the 2018 MPL D League season, we’ve managed to keep you, our readers well updated and look forward to continue bringing you the best ASEAN basketball coverage
The next MPL Conference, which will reportedly be played with imports, is slated for tip off in September 2018.